House of the Week: St Luke’s Cross, Cork, €360,000

THERE must be green shoots in the property market — the owner of this city home is on the move again, after a flurry of house renovations in the 2000s which stopped with this home, just before the market ground to a halt.

House of the Week: St Luke’s Cross, Cork, €360,000

At one stage, serial renovator Amanda Gibbons, who is an Aer Lingus cabin crew stalwart, did five Munster houses and moves in five years, with her turned-around homes regularly making the glossy pages of interior magazines. She even did a Hong Kong apartment at one stage.

This Gardiner’s Hill house, extended up to a five-bed, even made a seven-page spread in Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living mag when it did a 2005 European City of Culture Cork Focus. Now, it’s for sale: the bug has bitten once more, and Amanda has bought again, nearby.

Fully made over 10 years ago, and still as fresh, No 1 Herbert Park Lawn is a new listing with Sherry FitzGerald’s Ann O’Mahony and comes on the back of a very recent good Montenotte house sale she secured. This offer, however, will have a wide appeal to a wider buying cohort as it’s priced at €360,000, and is very much your walk-in job.

Semi-detached, it’s set in a small row of just four c 1950s homes above Cork’s St Luke’s Cross half way up Gardiner’s Hill, with west-facing aspect, private back garden and off-street parking.

So, lots of basic boxes ticked here already, and with one en suite ground floor bedroom, and four more beds upstairs with luxurious master bed en suite, it’s a very adaptable family pad, within a short walk of the city centre.

Owner Amanda used architect Ken Owens to draft on her gable-end two-storey extension, which replaced the original garage, and this gave room for a long kitchen plus utility the full width of the now-widened house, with that en suite ground level bedroom to the front, and directly over is the full-width master suite with bay window overlooking the back garden for morning sun and views back to Cork harbour.

It’s a good sized room, with a particularly clever insert: behind the bed head is a false wall, rising 7’ or so, stopping just shy of the ceiling (pic right). It allows the room look full width, and gets light from both front and back, and the back of the wall is fully shelved and railed, as a large-ish dressing/wardrobe space. It’s very clever, and links then to the well-tiled shower room, with cherrywood flooring. Separately the upper level here has three other bedrooms, two doubles and a single, a WC and a separate bathroom with further shower, so it’s going to be very accommodating for families at morning peak times.

The ground floor has two-interlinked reception rooms, going front to back and thus bright all day long, with a simple fireplace with raised black granite plinth and stainless steel surround. Highly polished stainless steel also surface as handrails on the stairs, with an unusual provence — they were fashioned out of pipe meant for Harley Davidson motorcycle exhausts, sort of a vroom with a review.

Colours throughout are neutral, Dulux Orchid White for the most part, accented with coffee shades, and the kitchen has simple Shaker maple units: “kitchen styles can date very quickly, so I kept this simple and it’s easy to replace, upgrade or just paint,” the owner points out almost unnecessarily, as it’s as pristine now as the day it went in.

French doors open to a rear, graveled patio with steps up to a raised and private lawn with shed. Foundations have been put in here for a conservatory or sun room if a new owner wants to add on now, or later on. As for high-flying Amanda, she’s off again, bigger fish to fry.

VERDICT: It’s going to fly.

Location: St Lukes, Cork

Price: 360,000

Size: 164 (1,750 saq ft)

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 2

BER Rating: Pending

Best Feature: A smart buy

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