House of the week

Just coming up on 10 years old, in great shape and superbly finished is this Allihies 2,800 sq ft home — painted white, and that’s really atypical of the West Cork village and its colourful hinterland.

House of the week

Allihies, Ardgroom and Eyeries on the Beara Peninsula have embraced the injunction to Live Life in Colour — and are known far and wide for their exuberant house colours, every variation under the rainbow spectrum.

So, who’s to say that the next owners of this cracking one-off home, demure in white livery on a site just shy of an acre, won’t go mad with a paint brush or roller when they get their hands on it?

Red? Yellow? Mauve? Stripes? Whatever is done to it, it’ll have been done before: the Irish Examiner’s Arts Editor Marc O’Sullivan personally claims credit for starting the splash of colour trend here decades ago, when he served his time as a house painter. Ever since the 1980s, the peninsula’s vibrant houses have been blushing candidly in the camera lenses of photographers and tourists.

New to market with Darragh Taaffe of Keane Mahony Smith, this understated, comfortable and high-end timber-framed three-storey house has a €340,000 guide quoted, and is open to offers which reflect the value and quality of what’s been put into it.

Design is by Bandon architect Una O’Sullivan and it’s done with style throughout. It’s got a sleek, contemporary interior, with expensive lighting, good flooring (creamy porcelain, and mahogany in places) and just about every room has a view, with some exceptional mountain backdrops, while both the village and the beach at end-of-the-world Allihies are within a short walk.

There’s more going on inside than its typical, Beara-style facade and calm white render suggests, thanks to 2,800 sq ft on hand, and an airiness given to its rooms by its owners, with a clear eye for detail and finishes.

It’s got a porch, conservatory, large living room with raised fireplace, a television room, and a mezzanine gallery/library overlooking the kitchen with stainless steel handrails, while the swish kitchen’s linked to both the conservatory and dining room. Units are in solid cherry, topped with black granite, and other solid timbers feature throughout the house, in the stairs, and fire-rated doors, etc.

It’s got four bedrooms, and three bathrooms in all, and walls internally are also all painted white, best for displaying artwork. Other visual and tactile features include glass-block partitions, and upscale lighting.

Making for a year-round bolthole, the house has oil heating, double glazing, and a steel shed for storing and drying timber, swim wear and boating gear.

Auctioneer Darragh Taaffe of KMS says it’s just stunning and adds “anyone who goes in the door for a viewing come back out again hugely impressed.”

VERDICT: At the tip of the Beara Peninsula, and at the extreme end of Europe, Allihies faces down the Atlantic and is cut into the Slieve Mishkish Mountains. It’s got a long history of copper mining, strong tourism appeal and is reckoned to be the furthest village from Dublin, at almost 400 kms distance. With a seaside house this good, you’d be tempted to give up city life for good.

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