A staircase worthy of Scarlett O’Hara is one of many attractions in this Bandon house, writes Trish Dromey.
The grand sweeping red-carpeted staircase at Manch Villa in Bandon, like the one you see in the movie Gone with the Wind,provides quite a dramatic backdrop for photographs.
The owners of the six-bed detached house did in fact use the staircase for the photographs of their daughter’s wedding. This happened 10 years’ ago when Manch Villa had just been completed. “We moved in just two days before the wedding. It was a rush but it was worth it, the photographs were stunning,” says the owner.
The curving mahogany staircase, set in a grand hallway with Corinthian-like columns and ornate ceiling cornicing, is one of the property’s many impressive features, as is the large glass railed balcony above the front entrance.
The owner says that when they were building their 5,000sq ft home on the outskirts of Bandon, her late husband chose the design features including the grand staircase he had his heart set on, while she chose the colours.
Building to the highest specification and sparing no expense, the owners combined classic old-world features such as the staircase and elaborate cornicing with modern technology. The wrought-iron entrance gates are operated by remote control while the house also has CCTV, a central music system, solar panels, underfloor heating and an air-exchange system.
Elevated above the roadway, Manch Villa is accessed by driving up a sloping driveway and climbing a small set of steps to enter though a pillared double doorway in to the grand hallway.
At one side of the hallway, double doors lead in to a red sitting room which has an elaborate fireplace, handcrafted display units and a high ceiling with a chandelier as well as cornicing, which along with the carpet is red.
The colour red is used throughout the house like a theme. “There are only two rooms which don’t have even a small amount of red,” says the owner.
At the other side of the hallway is a very long formal reception room-cum-dining room which has an ornate fireplace and elaborate ceiling mouldings, cornicing and centre roses as well as two chandeliers.
In contrast to the formality of the dining room the kitchen diner at the rear is a thoroughly modern space with white fitted units, granite worktops and a whole range of 21st-century gadgets. In addition to the usual appliances it also has an integrated coffeemaker and a plate warmer.
Other ground-floor rooms in this exceptionally spacious house include a utility room, a guest bathroom, an office a guest bedroom and a wet room. At the top of the bifurcated staircase there is a large bright galleried landing with double doors leading out to a balcony with panoramic views of the countryside.
“You can see the nearby ruins of Castle Bernard and you can see right out over Castle Road to the Golf Club,” says the owner.
The views of the gardens at the front, the town and the castle from the bay window in the master bedroom are almost as good. An extra-spacious room this has extensive Slide robes and a dressing room in addition to a stylish modern black tiled ensuite with a jacuzzi.
Also at the front is an only slighter smaller ensuite bedroom with a dressing- room and castle views while there is another large ensuite bedroom with a smallish sitting room at the rear. The property has two more bedrooms at this level in addition to a well-equipped gym with an ensuite and a two-person sauna.
At the back of the house, there is an integral carport which allows the occupants avoid the rain and pull in right up to the back door underneath the first-floor gym. Using all available technology to make life comfortable, the owners also fitted a full back-up generator for the whole house in the detached garage at the rear.
The owner says that although they only used it twice, it was very useful. The garage has also been fitted with a diesel tank so the owners don’t need to fill up at a petrol station. Located a little over 2km outside Bandon on the Dunmanway Road, Manch Villa has landscaped gardens at the front.
Describing it as a wonderful family home with immense space and style, Brendan Bowe of Bowe auctioneers is seeking offers of €695,000. Since it went on the market in the summer he says it has attracted Irish and international interest and has already received a significant offer.
A residence with plenty of space and style.