Cool lodge has Silk touch

Tommy Barker says Silk Lodge has the quality touch in Clonakilty.

YOU can take Silk at this modern house elevated above Clonakilty town in West Cork: Silk Lodge’s interior and design touches are top drawer.

It is a recently-built family home, belonging to a couple both steeped in the architecture and design line, so the quality of what’s been done is almost a given.

And, it can be yours for around the €500,000 mark, the figure quoted by estate agent Terence O’Leary of Property Partners O’Mahony Walsh in Cork city and Ballincollig who’ll have to travel to the coastal town for viewings (he knows the route, having doing lifeguard duty on nearby Inchdoney beach in 1990, actually saving a life during his spell on duty). Just a week on the go, he says it is getting local and far-flung interest, including calls from Dubliners looking for a holiday home.

It may also get a Department of the Marine civil service relocation fillip.

It’s a four-bed detached dormer, with a thoughtful and calming interior and careful workmanship a few minutes’ walk from the town.

The house was built by architectural technician Aidan O’Donovan, a West Cork local, and his wife Elaine, who jointly run the five-person strong Construction Design Services in Clonakilty.

They’re selling up Silk Lodge, which is also home to their three boys “for lifestyle reasons,” as they hope to trade down a bit locally and to pick up an overseas holiday home as a work-life balance.

Their company has a nice line in tasty dormers, catering for local planning stipulations, and there’s a good chance that if you’ve admired one in the area, it comes from their drawing tables.

Their own house, Silk Lodge, on the Clonakilty-Shannonvale road by the entrance to a cluster of detached dormers they designed, featured in the glossy interiors magazine Ireland’s Homes and Interiors, which stressed their design style mixing contemporary with traditional.

The interior is probably more contemporary than the stone, wood and render exterior, but is done with local labour and craftmanship in a way that won’t date as quickly as some faddish looks: in fact, the more you look at the detail, the more satisfying this house gets.

The changes start from the front door inwards, with a high hall ceiling zig-zagged in concertina-ed angles, setting a lofty tone for the rest to follow, and floors are a mix of tile and timber, with a curving stainless steel strip delineating the two broad halves of the ground floor here. Off to the right is an 18’ by 11’ sitting room with raised and curved fireplace and chimney breast, and there’s garden access off to back via painted French doors.

Across the open hallway is the main family living space, with a 19’ by 14’ dining/living/entertainment/chill-out room, with expansive quality timber shelving, smart pendant and back-up lighting, and glass blocks are used almost as sentries in a restrained way to mark out this space from the superb, cook’s dream kitchen.

It mixes maple with stainless steel and glass, appliances are Miele, and wall units are extra high, flush to ceiling, to get rid of that ‘dead’ space and dust catching area on top of the usual run of units. There’s a highly practicable central island for serving and sitting around. It is a real easy-going entertainment space, too, so it is handy to have garden access from here as a party spill-over space.

Other ground floor rooms include a guest WC and a utility which houses the central vacuum system, while overhead are four bedrooms, three of which are good doubles and some have distant harbour views. The main family bathroom is well-done too, with Sottini ware, extensive pale mosaic tiling, wall-mounted suite, bath and separate shower with glass block screen.

Decor ideas and items come from Ikea to Dunnes Stores, from trendy Mimo in Cork and the internet.

There are good private back gardens, with play areas and organic veg patch, sloping landscaped front garden, plenty of parking and Clon’s bars, shops, restaurantse are a few minutes trot downhill.

Then, there are beaches, boats, golf, walks, fishing and more.

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