Many of the most interesting properties are ones to which owners have made unexpected and unusual alternations, such as this cottage near Kildimo in west Limerick.
Looking at the pretty red and white exterior of this traditional property, a viewer will be expecting it to have two or three rooms, possibly an open fire and some exposed timberwork and maybe some old-style latched doors.
They will then be quite surprised to discover that the interior of this very traditional property has a galleried mezzanine floor accessed by a very modern looking steel spiral staircase. Even a viewer who has looked at a great many cottages is unlikely to confuse this with any other.
The current owner, who bought the property in 2003, came in search of a quiet country cottage with some land and was delighted to find that as an additional bonus, it came with a galleried mezzanine. “This had been put in by the owner, a woman from the UK and it has torch-effect timber beams underneath and on the steps of the stair,’’ she says.
Although this feature was interesting and unusual, the property was in need of renovation and redecoration. “The cottage was quite basic and dark. It didn’t have central heating or a fitted kitchen. The ceiling beams and the metal staircase were black and the bathroom suite was fuchsia pink.”
Within six months of buying it she had got a joiner in Ballyneety to fit a hand-made pine kitchen, and had also put in French pine solid flooring in the living area and added tongued and groove paneling on the walls and doors.
“To brighten up the space I painted the metalwork, the banisters and the ceiling beams cream and I took out the pink bathroom suite and put in a shower.”
She took a chance on taking out a fireplace in the living area and found a space behind it which was large enough for a solid fuel stove. In addition to the stove she also installed oil fired central heating. The owner did not however replace the single glazed windows and the property has a ‘G’ energy rating.
It’s a small cottage with just 484 sq ft of space, which includes the traditional kitchen-living room which has been finished off with red curtains, drapes, cushions and tablecloth. At one side there’s also a bedroom with cherry wood flooring as well as a slate floored bathroom.
The carpeted mezzanine space has been used as both a bedroom and as a meditation space by the owner. Privacy can be provided by pulling down a curtain hanging from the timber-panelled vaulted ceiling above.
The cottage comes with a site of three quarters of an acre. This includes a lawned area at the side and rear and a large field where the owner allows a neighbouring farmer to graze his cows. The cottage previously belonged to a local postman called Benny Costello and the owner says it is still identified locally as Benny Costello’s Cottage.
The same Mr Costello has also left his mark: “Every spring the gardens by the driveway at the front are covered in bluebells and crocuses and the back garden is filled with daffodils which were all planted by him,’’ reveals the owner who is now planning a career change and a move to the South East.
Guiding at €169,000, with Sherry FitzGerald O’Malley, it is located just over a mile from Kildimo village and eight miles from Limerick city centre.
For the buyer who wants a rustic cottage with individuality.
Size: 45 sq m (484 sq ft)
Best Feature: Quirky