House of the Week: Monalahy, Blarney, Co Cork

PERSONALITY abounds in this Blarney/Grenagh area family home, where the basic outline description of it being a dormer home definitely undersells the quality and style of what’s on offer.

Monalahy, Blarney, Co Cork

Price: €450,000

Size: 166sq m (1,777sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3

BER: B3

Newly listed, this upgraded Monalahy home is one of half a dozen or so roadside houses set out about a 20 minute commute from Cork city, near Pipe Cross House: it’s reached either 9kms north of Blarney/Waterloo, or more directly for city-job commuters perhaps off the N20 Mallow Road.

And, it’s on 0.4 of an acre, has a former mechanic’s shed behind so there’s lots of hobby/storage/work from home options. The property dates to the 1980s, but was fully reworked and upgraded with an individual sense of style in 2010, by its vendors.

It’s done to a style and standard that should have quite a wide appeal, thanks to its contemporary touches, plus energy efficiency/comfort factors. It has been reroofed with a sleek tile, has insulation upgrades that include pumped foam in the attic, has triple glazing, a wood burning stove in a living room, and also a new zoned oil burner... helping score a highly respectable B3 BER.

It measures just a bit shy of 1,800 sq ft, so in overall terms of what people have been building on rural sites in the county over the past few years, it’s almost modest in size, which means it’s relatively easy to keep, clean and to heat.

The 2010 makeover included a new staircase, kitchen, tiling, bathroom upgrades, new sockets and switches, mostly in brushed steel, and several design details are quite ‘stand-out’.

They include the feature open tread staircase, with walnut treads, almost skeletal steel frame and rib-like curved dark steel balusters, with tensioned stainless steel cables and oak hand rails. Overall effect is to banish any ’80s feel, and give it a 21st century vibe.

Flooring too is unusual in the hall, in the living room and in the kitchen/dining room, running from one to the other without door saddles and done in a distressed/scorched sort of pine board for an effective, combining look.

Then, in contrast, rooms like the study and a few of the bedrooms are more standard pine boards, while up in the en suite first floor, triple aspect master bedroom, the floorboards have been painted white.

Walls are mostly white, home to some interesting painting and and art pieces, and then for contrast, and just for the heck of it, other rooms have dark grey walls, contrast colour walls and feature paper section also, yet all working to a monochrome palette.

The kitchen has dark gloss units, topped with 2” thick polished concrete worktops and dark metro splashback tiles, as well as glazed double door to the kitchen to allow light through, while the front of the house has a solid, varnished hardwood front door in a feature stone-faced entrance porch, with pitched ceilings and spiky, arched front window.

The attention to detailing and workmanship is evident in the kitchen too, where a dividing wall has been faced in red brick, and standing in front of it is a retro-style Victorian cast iron radiator, while going for an industrial look is the sink in the ground level’s linoleum-floored guest WCby a ground floor bedroom.

At ground is the L-shaped family living/dining/kitchen, separate living room, study, bed four, and overhead are three dormer bedrooms, with triple aspect (mostly Veluxes) master bedroom with a restful, calm decor, en suite and main bathroom.

While the house has a sort of buzzy vibe, the 0.4 acre garden has remained more traditional in layout,with access to a raised deck done in grey composite material planks via French doors, off the dining area, overlooking lawns, countryside and the 30’ by 20’ garage/workshop.

Overall condition inside and out is mint, and it’s impressing on early viewings so far. The asking price of €450,000 might, indeed, buy some larger one-offs out in this Blarney/Grenagh hinterland, but few will have this innate sense of style and auctioneer Jackie Cohalan of agents Cohalan Downing Associates is bang on the money with her wrap-up description of it as “a country home with city appeal”.

VERDICT: Deft design touches and finishes lift it well out of the ordinary.



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