Trading on its V-ery good looks

TAKE a peek at this Robinhill home from the air, and it seems to give the ‘two-fingers’ salute to standard, block-shaped bungalows imposed on the Irish landscape.

An innovative design, it is a broad V-shape, as if someone cut the house along its length and hinged it out from a corner, with a decked amenity area or sheltered courtyard between the two distinct wings.

New on the market, its unashamedly modern design has found favour with house hunters in the Grangebellew, Co Louth hinterland - as well as those prepared to move out a bit from Dublin.

On the market with Sherry Property in Drogheda, the 5,000 sq ft house has a 625,000 price guide, and is already approaching it in offers, with viewers blown away by the amount of space, light and fit-out specification, they say. Designed and built by a couple with practical building experience, electrician Chris Lennon and his wife Lynn, an interior designer, it is the culmination of a two-year labour of love for them - and a calling card for what they hope will be a new business, designing and building one-off homes to a very high level.

Sockets are in bountiful supply, there’s piped music to the wrap-around wood-decked veranda, low voltage exterior lighting, electric gates and camera, pond lights for the feature reflecting pond in the V, sensor lights, an internal vacuum system, home cinema room wired with eight speakers, and computer/hi-fi and phone lines to all rooms, worked from a central control room.

Chris and Lynn drafted in the expertise of architect Ian Black, based in Julianstown in Co Meath, who had done work for a friend and whose contemporary styling they admired.

They made a happy partnership, and the couple gave him a brief that included their personal likes, such as the notion of a ‘GreatRoom’ which they had seen in the US, a big family area around the kitchen and dining space with high celings, which in this case rise to 13’, while the room is over 40’ long.

Half way through their project the Lennons decided they would definitely complete the house and to sell it on rather than move in to it, and so the decor is kept neutral, lots of plain off-white colours, high-quality Villeroy and Boch sanitary ware, and the only finishing needed is for the new owners to fit a kitchen to their own tastes, and select fireplaces The site, sloping in two directions, dictated the layout and design, and 150 truck loads of shale had to be moved to bed the house down into the contours of the south-west facing slope.

High quality materials have been used in the construction: the facade facing the road is in Limerick stone with narow windows and gives little clue as to the more dramatic features throughout the rest of the house.

Pine cladding is used within the V-courtyard, windows are by Rational, sills are in granite and the gutters are zinc, all topped by mono-pitch natual slate roofs heading in different directions in the two wings.

Rooms include five bedrooms two of which have ensuite bathrooms (Grohe power showers) show, sitting room with recessed lights, cinema/home entertainment room with French doors to the veranda and pond, giant kitchen/dining plumbed for central island, cloak room, powder room - and a welcoming multi-purpose entrance hall/snug, 23’ by 20’ with double doors, interior curved stone wall, gas fire outlet and a wall of glass looking into the sheltered and decked central courtyard area. There’s a basement with store and plant rooms for the high-tech wizardry that goes with keeping the house up to speed

The property is on a site of 0.8 of an acre, landscaped with old railway sleepers used in borders, and comes with an American style double garage with roller shutter doors.

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