Size: 128sq m (1,380sq ft)
Jeremy Murphy and Associates
Describing something as “deceptive” can actually be a good thing sometimes.
And when it’s a nice, presentable looking front to a house, it can be a real compliment - if the surprise is a really spacious and polished interior.
This three-bedroom cul-de-sac house at 77 Yewlands in Maryborough Woods outside Douglas in Cork is deceptive in all the right ways. The addition of a single-storey extension has really opened up the downstairs living space beyond what you might expect from the terraced exterior.
The kitchen and dining zones are to the middle of the house and there’s plenty of room for a table set for eight people. Black granite worktops give an understatedly sophisticated finish to the high-gloss cream-coloured units. There’s even a handy two-seater breakfast bar area.
And where some of the ‘outside’ once was is now a large lounge area with double french-style doors leading to the spot-on patio and rear garden.
Appropriately enough the glossy green front door faces onto a mature green area and the maintenance-free pebbled area to the front offers off-street parking for a car.
The front garden is planted with a low-maintenance beech hedge to tie in with the surrounding landscape. It is interplanted with some photinia ‘red robin’ which provides extra evergreen interest and the two together are attractive during winter months when the red of the photinia compliments the beautiful russet colour of the beech.
For a while, neutral home decor meant an expanse of eggshell, bone, ivory, alabaster and vanilla (I’m embarassed to think about what I forked out for what was essentially a bucket of white paint back in the day).
Here the neutral walls and floors are the backdrop to bright jewel-coloured rugs, couches and art. The new owner could put their own distinctive look on this home with a minimum of effort by just moving their own treasures and furnishings in.
Solid timber flooring and a cast-iron fireplace with granite hearth in the living room are features of the classic-style decor but it’s the built-in television and display unit on one side of the fireplace that will really draw your eye.
Upstairs, the main double bedroom is ensuite and runs the width of the house. Built-in wardrobes offer lots of space. The “other” double bedroom and the single room also have wall-to-wall built-in wardrobes and overlook the front of the property. The attic is converted and carpeted and there’s a shower room.
At the back of the house the garden is cleverly divided into three zones. The Indian sandstone paved area is designed for outdoor seating and dining and overlooks the neat lawn area surrounded by some show-garden perfect plants.
The third zone is a step-down area next to the shed used to reduce the height of a good-sized trampoline. Low raised beds are planted with heuchera marmalade, aster monch and late-flowering dwarf fuchsias, hebes and masses of campanula muralis. These plants will provide colour over the different seasons without ever getting too big for their allotted space and the display in these beds is further enhanced when the spring flowering tulips and alliums emerge from the soil.
The clue’s in the name for the heuchera marmalade, by the way — it has some fab russet and amber leaves with hot-pink undersides. The lawn is planted around the perimeter with some pretty impressive specimens: hostas, leucanthemums, helenium and lupins provide the summer colour in this area — and the roses, which also flowered during the summer are still giving of their best now along with a particularly striking salvia called “black’n’blue” and chocolate cosmos which will soon come to an end.
As well as the garden shed and sunken trampoline the lower area contains cleverly chosen bamboo cultivar thamnocalmus kew beauty, which provides tall evergreen screening without travelling throughout the garden and beyond. In springtime the clematis montana rubens paints all the fences pink for a time with its flowers and the beds come alive with tulip, daffodil and allium blooms.
A great example of how much can be done with a relatively small space. This house is on a bus route and is also within walking or cycling distance of Douglas Court Shopping Centre and Douglas village itself.
VERDICT: Yew’ll be right at home here.