Luxurious living in Lugano on the Well Road

Well-built Well Road home has the space and finish to give it wide appeal, writes Tommy Barker

They’ve been over 30 years in ‘exile’ in Cork, but now Dublin living beckons once more for the owners of Lugano, on Cork’s Well Road.

They bought a different Lugano, after it appeared in these pages in August ’05 with a then-young family back in 2005, and now after the passage of time, they are empty nesters, ready to sell up and to moved once more.

Last week when the Irish Examiner visited the ‘new’ Lugano, all of their adult children and grandchild were in far-distant Australia — some now living there full-time, others visiting to coincide with the Lions tour.

Back 12 years ago, the house called Lugano which stood on this quarter acre (and which carried a peak time €600,000 asking price) was a mid 1900s, c2,100 sq ft dormer bungalow, and the family hoped then to enlarge it at upper floor level especially.

However, its construction didn’t allow for what they’d envisaged, so by 2006, they went for planning for a brand new build on the original house’s footprint. By late 2007, they were already in situ, in time for Christmas, with the task of picking out the Christmas tree one of the last of a long line of decisions to be made by year’s end.

Lugano’s construction closely followed that of another new-build right next door, on the site of another Well Road bungalow which also bit the dust, and right now, there’s a planning notice up for a similar replacement on the third in a row of similar era bungalow, just between Lugano and the popular, upmarket Douglas Wells apartment development.

As the reborn, all-new (well, c 2007) Lugano now comes to market via agent Michael O’Donovan of Savills Cork with a €895,000 AMV, it’s likely that a whole new family of owners will be in residence here by later this year.

And, as it’s in such immaculate walk-in condition, one of the very few tasks left for buyers might, again, be picking a Christmas tree. Christmas Day is only 177 days away now, and the days are already getting shorter....

Lugano scores with a top address, right on the Well Road and at the Douglas village end, a five- minute walk to two shopping centres and the village’s other many amenities plus schools.

From upstairs at the back, there are views over Douglas Tennis Court to the glistening waters (or mudflats, at low tides) at Douglas estuary, a bit of a far cry though from the city in Ticino Switzerland region from which this Lugano gets its name.

Weighing in at 3,000 sq ft, over two floors, with very decent-sized rooms, this is a substantial home with very workable floor plan, designed by engineer Tom O’Brien, and solidly masonry built by Ovens-based John O’Connor Construction.

The owners quip that even though they are ‘blow-ins’ from Dublin (albeit more then 30 years down now), they sourced nearly everything as locally as they could, and in many cases almost on the doorstep.

The walnut flooring came from O’Flynns in Douglas’s St Patrick’s Woollen Mills, and Capitol Mouldings also in the woollen mills did the ceiling plasterwork, and much of the furniture also came from various interiors shops in the Mills.

The owners brought their own huge Mulberry-coloured very large sofa with them, though (they made sure doors were big enough to permit it be relocated to the new living room, and it’s set to go to Dublin next after its tenure here).

Going with a colour palette from that sofa, they had leaded/stained glass door panels in the same purples made up by Rapid Glass, while acclaimed craftworker Eoin Turner did some feature art glass panels, used in two sections of the hallway.

Ovens builder John O’Connor pulled in some of his local contacts too, so joinery in the oak staircase is by Aherla-based Southwood, and the immense kitchen and island were made by Ovens-based Kieran Lehane of Creative Designs.

Lighting came from Galaxy and Cork Lighting, while the real heavy lifting was done by top stone mason Pat Crowley from Waterloo, Blarney.

He did the detailed feature stone wall onto the Well Road in Castleisland and Liscannor stone (also used in the patio and walls) and he used Castleisland stone for the living room’s fireplace wrapping around the stove, crowned with a highly-polished railway sleeper, sourced from House of Coolmore in Carrigaline.

Externally, the gardens were landscaped and heavily planted by Trevor Welch for year-round colour and visual impact, and the quarter acre site has an imprinted concrete drive front and back, intersecting several curving lawn areas, while there’s also a large storage shed well hidden away, with power supply.

Two of its five bedrooms, ranged off a spacious landing, are en suite and the main bathroom is 13’ by 7’ with bath and separate shower.

At ground, off a tiled hall, are the very big and interconnected kitchen/dining room (28’ by 18’) with its high-end appliances, and the main comfortable 20’ by 18’ lounge. More normally sized are the front den, at 14’ by 11,’ a utility room, guest WC, and still-capacious cloakroom.

Off the kitchen/diner too is a pleasant 12’ by 8’ family/hobby room, home to a large collection of blue and white china and delph from travels and trawls at home and abroad, in the hope perhaps of finding a rare, Qing dynasty heirloom amid the widespread purchases!

VERDICT: All-new, high-quality and in great order.



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