High-spec gem in the hills

Tommy Barker visits a very modern villa in Cork’s genteel Montenotte.

GETTING a summer launch with estate agents Sherry FitzGerald is Melwood, a very deceptive Montenotte ‘villa,’ in the modern vernacular.

Set by the entrance to the upmarket niche development Woodlands Demesne, Melwood is a hugely accommodating family home with a surprising 4,000 sq ft of living space, highly adaptable for different living needs.

A modern build using the best of traditional materials and with feature brick arch windows with hardwood frames, it has scope for up to seven bedrooms (two en suite) with bedroom options on each of its three internal floors.

The site’s slope allows such a large detached house to appear almost modest from outside, while a high wall gives it privacy from the Middle Glanmire Road, the main route through Montenotte.

Some of Montenotte’s older period housing stock, dating mostly from the 19th century, is also under active viewing after a late spring launch. There are offers from around €1 million to €2.2m in the offing on two in particular on the market with Hugh McPhillips of Marshs. The first is a complete do-er upper, the other a completed renovation.

Melwood comes in as a modern alternative, with a €1.6m guide price via Sheila O’Flynn of Sherry FitzGerald. She says the south-facing villa-style home, designed by Reddy O’Riordan Staehli Architects, is “in impeccable condition, having been finished to an exacting standard and specification approximately seven years ago”.

The scene-stealer is probably the grand entrance hall, with its 21 ft high ceilings, a hardwood staircase and landing, set off by a welcoming fireplace. Neutral colours, quality finishes, large room proportions and sheer floor area, including an attic-level games room, make a ready-to-go proposition for a new family of owners. While a younger generation will warm to the games room up top, those paying for it can take comfort in the plush basement-level office, air-conditioned and with mahogany built-ins, or else in the secure wine cellar.

The main reception rooms are on the middle floor, including a formal drawing room with double-door access onto a south-facing balcony, with gas fireplace and high ceilings.

The kitchen/dining room is across the hallway, very big and with a large utility off. It has oak units with Corian tops, gas coal fire and the monitoring points for the security features (video intercom etc) are here too as the house’s privacy is covered by high walls, railings and electronic gates.

Melwood’s site is an easy to keep one, with hard landscaping and patios around the house. There are lots of access points to the outdoors, while the lower-ground master bedrooms also have garden access. The grounds are mature and well planted, wending down to a point well removed from the house.

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