Green glamour in tour hotspot

THE former Backpackers’ Lodge in Schull has taken itself up a notch or two, but hasn’t lost sight of its green credentials.

Owner and designer Vary Finlay (who once ran the business) has transformed the former hostel into a two-house complex on Schull’s Colla Road.

And the rise in expectations is reflected in the guide price — the houses are on the market at 750,000 each, which is a bit steep for semis, but then, this is Schull.

The sailing centre of West Cork, this town draws in hefty tourist numbers from home and abroad each year.

The house price bubble reflects demand and a bottleneck of supply due to visual amenity issues. At The Break, the new name for this six-house complex, you get a property that’s certainly not run-of-the-mill. Just two are being sold through local agent, Stephen O’Keeffe of James Lyons O’Keeffe. All are wood-framed and cedar-clad — with floors fitted in ‘greener than thou’ floating cork floors.

The work of master craftsman, Noel Burke, the houses have many idiosyncrasies but have not been stinted upon. The windows are hand-made in cherry, internal walls are in Sasmox boarding, which offers high U and extra fire resistant/ low sound transference values.

All of the internal doors are oak and built-in wardrobes are solid cherry, and the stairs in oak and ash are handmade by Noel Barry. Bathrooms come fully finished.

Both houses have superbly finished kitchens, says Stephen O’Keeffe, with extra large, Smeg cooker, hood and fridge.

No 5 has free-standing units from Habitat in solid beech and No 6 has a bespoke kitchen in oak by Burke.

Numbers 5 and 6 also have different aspects, but both have sea views and no 5 has a first-floor level deck to get the views and afternoon sun.

The living area in No 6 opens onto a large deck with stairs going down to the garden and both houses have finished gardens with paths and patios of Indian sandstone, stone wall boundaries and outside lights.

Heating is the standard oil burner in No 5, but No 6 has geothermal heating with the option of adding a wood-burning stove.

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