The sea and the sky

Rose Martin visits a coastal home that makes the most of…

SEA VIEWS are usually a strong selling point, be they distant or mere glimpses, but at Ceathrú, Dun Chaoin, they’re panoramic and will be a major element of this house sale.

They’re part of a slick property package in a location where houses of this size and calibre are rare to the market.

The most remarkable sale in Dún Chaoin was at the turn of this century, when the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan sold her modern castle to return to Limerick. The house is believed to have netted a sum close to €2.3 million at the time.

This time round, the 4,000-sq ft property at Ceathrú is open to offers in the region of €1.5m, and the vendor may throw in the furniture as well.

Built in a vernacular style that doesn’t stand out from the crowd, the house nevertheless is a very high-end and incredibly well-finished buy. Despite the use of big beams and stone fireplaces, the decor isn’t clichéd — the scale of the rooms sees to that. Beams are chunky 12 ft x 10 ft lengths of pine and are there to support the apex high ceilings and hold the roof together. The stone gable wall rises to the same level, while the fire breast has a crescent of black granite under the stove.

Floors are a uniform, matt black and rooms open into each other without being fully open plan, but also without the fuss of double doors. Where openings exist, they are finished with traditional panelling in cherrywood and the warm tones of the wood run throughout the house. And, where the odd pieces of occasional furniture are used, they’re made of the same material.

So there’s a single note played throughout the house: stone cherry and charcoal used as a backdrop for the functional and low-key furniture. The effect is modern, traditional and warm all at the same time — and expensive. The house hums rather than shouts the investment made here.

Space is its most obvious luxury and the main living room is a huge, vaulted room that’s almost filled by an L-shaped couch in coffee-coloured leather.

A bold centrepiece is a weighty marble table that was specially imported from Morocco and whose fossilised remains are carved in high relief.

On the western side, the room opens onto a gable sun room that has views south, west and north over An Ghráig. Again, this is a large space, most of which is taken up with another low-slung sofa in cream leather. The rear, and north/ western side of the living room is where the kitchen/ dining room is placed.

Again, the units are in hand-built cherry with black granite worktops, but in this case the granite is also used as a splashback. At the other end of the room, a 10-seater refectory table fills the dining space.

The living area runs into the square hallway at the northern and main entrance, and at the southern side, a utility/boot room leads to the huge patio.

Below the patio is a small walled enclosure where the hob tub stands in the house’s perfect vantage point.

Three of the bedrooms are at ground level and these en suite rooms have an unfussy, clean finish.

On the upper level, there’s a glazed mezzanine overlooking the living space which could make a perfect, library/study area.

Behind it is another large double bedroom with bathroom and storage area.

Outside, and across the large parking area, is the guest cottage — a misnomer, really, as it’s as big as a standard house. It comes with a ground-floor living area finished in the same style as the main house, and a ground-floor bedroom with en suite. Overhead, to either side of the landing, are two very big bedrooms with bathrooms.

Both properties stand on 0.8 acres facing over the harbour and the islands beyond. Like the ad, they’re priceless.

Or not, if a buyer is prepared to shell out the asking of €1.5m — then the vista is free to enjoy.

A composite property, it’s perfect for extended families and visitors as there’s more than enough parking and a long wooden garage to the rear has room for boats, body boards, wet suits and walking boots.

The agent for the property is Terence O’Leary of Murray Browne Auctioneers.

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