Cover story: Rose Cottage’s top features are extra special

Location: Inniscarra, Cork

MONEY wasn’t spared in the building, and finishing, of Rose Cottage, an Inniscarra family home that’s packed with features for easy living.

Set out beyond Tower, in a rural catchment 15 minutes from Cork City and major employers in the tech sector, this is a home that will appeal to those seeking a quiet county location in which to live — but who want the trimmings of a city penthouse in their home at the same time.

Built only six year ago, on a half acre site that was hard won with planning, the almost plain facade of this south-facing one-off conceals the amount of extras gone into its careful nine-month build.

It was a family project for a couple who were comfortable with building their first one-off, but who’d done renovations before. The man of the house is a plumber, and not only did he put his specialist training into use here, he also used a network of contacts in other trades for an overall high-end look and lustre. Now they’re keen to move back to the city and, in any case, there’s nothing left to do here, except perhaps plant a bit more and to wait for the grounds to mature all the more.

Called Rose Cottage, the word cottage is definitely a misnomer, as there’ s nearly 3,500 sq ft here in all name.

Selling agent is Robert Harkin, in nearby Blarney, and he says it’s one of those houses that has to be seen to be fully appreciated. Guiding it at €479,000, he expects interest from families looking for a supremely comfortable home, with an impressive B2 BER rating, and reckons he’ll get viewers from Apple, EMC, VM Ware and others who’ll appreciate the gadgetry, as well as from other buyers who just want a quality modern build.

So what does it have? Well, the BER’s good for starters, with solar tubes up on an outbuilding, providing lashings of hot water to a 300 litre tank, and that’s handy, as the bathrooms are so good, with showers pumped with a constant pressure via an Aqua Box. The master en suite has a double shower, with two matching rainfall shower heads, and the main family bathroom has a cocooning deep contemporary slipper-style stand-alone bath.

Radiators — where they exist, as the primary heat-source is underfloor — are sculptural in look, and high-output in reality, all with thermostatic control valves, and bathrooms all have Cosytoes electric under-tile heating. The heating is in four zones, upstairs, downstairs, hot water, and, lastly, for towel radiators for year round WC cosiness.

Each room has its own mini-circuit breaker for electrical integrity and independence too, lighting is swivel eyeball/ spotlights, low energy consuming and the house is wired for sound with ceiling speakers for an i-Pad or other docking station, and the rear family room has enough sound from the telly to mimic a Dolby cinema experience — in other words, all bang up to speed.

The technology’s not overly in your face or too demanding, and as much thought went into the floor plan, room positioning and sizes: even the master bedroom’s dressing room/walkin closet is over-sized, at 18’ by 10’. In most other dormers it would be a bedroom, with space left over for a shower room, and handily, there’s a laundry chute, which means washing can be delivered to the large utility directly underneath on a whim. Unfortunately, someone still has to iron it, and bring it back up and store it.....

The entry hall is double height, with cantilevered mezzanine and a 20’ high ceiling, the anchor point for a dramatic cascading chandelier sourced from the States. The stairs is a modern affair, with plain oak open treads on steel supports, painted white, and with clear glass and stainless steel balusters and rails. A large feature glass sculpture by glass artist Eoin Turner hangs by the foot of the stairs, almost dwarfed by the room’s volume.

The same oblong tiles run through most of the house’s ground floor, undisturbed by door saddles, while the rear family/TV room has wide oak planks, laid on the diagonal to give an impression of even more space. This room has a triple aspect, and an 11kw wood burning stove that’s so effective that it heats the adjoining, huge, kitchen/ dining room if and when the glazed oak double doors are left open, with heat to spare also for the hall.

Beyond the kitchen is a high ceilinged sun-room, glazed on three sides and with two banks of three Veluxes each, front and back, and thanks to all the windows, this room has the house’s best views of all, back toward Tower, Blarney and to the city’s hilly fringes. Parts of Tipperary and Kerry can also be glimpsed in the distant yonder.

Back inside, the kitchen’s a bit of a scene setter, with acres of granite tops, with oak units custom made by local maker Seamus Walsh, easily accommodating a massive five-burner range cooker with BBQ plate and double oven (there’s LPG tank gas supply) and appliances are from the likes of Fisher and Paykel, in brushed steel, setting off a brushed steel (not ceramic) deep Belfast-style sink. Sockets and switches are in a similar high quality stainless steel and a speciel import order — the only other house in Cork to have them is Michael Flatley’s Castlehyde. Like we say, Rose Cottage’s extras are all singing, all dancing.....

VERDICT: A roll-call of extras come as standard.

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