Potential maximised thanks to a bungalow blitz

Rose Martin visits a house that has undergone a transformation.

WANT a simple lesson in how to maximise a property's potential? Then take a look at this house at 4, Uam Var Drive, in Bishopstown.

Not cashy, not flashy, this was a plain, old bungalow back in 2000. One of a number of similar properties on the Curraheen road, the three-bed was structurally changed to become the modern, four-bedroom house it is today.

A collection of small, divided spaces when purchased by the vendors, they thought long and hard about the layout. And also took the wise decision to get all the work done first, and then move in.

The transformation was a joint effort between the couple and their builder, Emmet O'Callaghan, (whose brother is rugby player, Donncha O'Callaghan) and it took seven months from start to finish.

The major work involved taking out a central fireplace and opening up two rooms to create one big living room.

Then, the hallway access to the kitchen was closed off and a wide arch created to the living area. Doors were taken down and replaced with flush panels in blond wood, giving an overall sleek look aided and abetted by the white finish on all the internal walls.

The attic was then converted into an ensuite master bedroom and instead of losing a bedroom, they put an open tread staircase from the living room to the first floor. Velux windows were placed on the rear, west-facing aspect and a shower and small bathroom were created at one end of the bedroom.

Of the three ground floor bedrooms, one has been converted to a living room, and all of the wooden floors have been sanded and varnished.

The kitchen is a clever mix of the contemporary, with some expensive and not so expensive fittings blended in a highly functional space.

The units came from Ikea and because they couldn't source the right splashback tiles, floor tiles were used instead and add a bold touch. The island unit has a clever breakfast addition.

"It's very sociable," says the vendor, "and if you're cooking people can sit or stand around.

"The kitchen is a mix. I've spent a substantial amount on some things and not on others."

The kitchen stools are from Mimo, as is the freestanding, sliding wardrobe in the guest bedroom. In white with a mirrored front, it's a substantial piece of modern furniture.

One of the most outstanding features of the house is the massive rear deck. Running the length of the house, it's a huge party room and, as it's west-facing, it gets the late evening sun. The garden at the back is a bit wild, but it's really private with swathes of conifers shading out the neighbours. Brambles at the end give the country touch, and you can see the fields of Curraheen and the Ballincollig bypass.

The house also comes with an attached garage which has a utility area at the back.

The kerb view gives a hint of what's inside and on closer inspection, you can see that the front garden has been 'done', but subtly.

On the market with Micheal Downey of ERA Downey McCarthy Murphy, it is guided at €425,000 but bidding is yet to begin, so expect to pay more.

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