A cut above the normal semi

IT only takes a little tweaking to lift a three-bedroom semi above the norm. Take Castle Meadows, for instance.

This estate, with views over Cork harbour, was built by Coleman Brothers, who included an integrated conservatory in the original specifications, an extra which gives huge impact and is a strong selling point.

Secondly, they built the estate on a greenfield site in Blackrock only minutes from the Mahon Point Shopping Centre and the South Ring network. It’s also well served by two bus routes — one to the city centre and the other via Douglas/Cork University Hospital/CIT.

At 20 Castle Meadows, the owners have added a touch of Africa to the cool, modern styling. Really good fittings lift this semi into a higher bracket, even though it hits the market at €350,000 through Johnny O’Flynn of Sherry FitzGerald.

It’s a larger than average house with a light-filled living room and an attractively tiled kitchen/diner. This is a big space, with the kitchen fitted in sleek maple, with black worktops, stainless steel fittings and two breakfast bars.

Then there’s the open plan dining area with wall-to-wall bookshelves (this is well worth copying — books are furniture) adjacent to the conservatory. With access through sliding doors, this room has a polycarbonate roof and is flooded with light. Small wonder it’s used as a study/office — again, it has comprehensive shelving.

In a Mediterranean touch, the block walls surrounding the back garden are painted in a strong blue and it’s very secure for children: it’s also a generous space and comes with a garden shed.

Ash joinery is used in all the doors and the staircase is panelled in pine, which disguises the downstairs bathroom and storage cupboard.

The bright landing has a simple but chic bathroom, and the master bedroom has modern fittings in the en suite. All the bedrooms have ample fitted wardrobes and there’s easy access to the attic with a pull-down stairs. The upper floors have laminate flooring and the decor is low-key but stylish.

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