AN abundance of creature comforts are on offer at this East Cork property.
For humans, there’s a well-finished, attractive, architect-designed house with an outdoor pizza oven, while cats and dogs each get a 1,100 sq ft purpose-built facility..... with underfloor heating.
The owners built the house and the cattery and kennels, at Ballymackibbot, near Killeagh, in 2005, and have since run a successful business from it, looking after cats and dogs.
When the couple set out to build their dream home, they fell in love with this particular design, which they found on the cover of a book in their architect’s office.
“It was like a country cottage, which had been extended upwards and outwards — we liked the shapes and the windows, especially the curved one with the turret roof. It was perfect,” they recall.
The only thing that was wrong with the house on the magazine cover was its colour.
The couple wanted to match the stones in the nearby fields, and, after an extensive search, did this with Centurion Stone cladding.
The house they built is 2,200 sq ft and has been finished with great care, to a high standard.
Features include CAT 5 cabling, under-floor heating, high-tech lighting, marble tiling, a handcrafted kitchen, and a double Jacuzzi bath. A very bright house, it has 44 panes of glass.
Behind the bay window, at the front, is a large, L-shaped, elm-floored lounge with fitted book shelves, and a raised stove is set into the chimney-breast.
The large curve of the window, and a section of 18’ ceiling above it, give a very distinctive appearance to this bright and comfortable room.
Running through the centre of the house is a multi-level hallway, with a floor of unpolished Travertine marble. The room has a seating area and a bespoke wrought-iron balustrade with oak handrail.
The second door, off the hallway, leads to a formal dining room with cherrywood flooring, French doors, and a triangle of exposed, oak beams. This room has been designed so that it could be converted into an en-suite bedroom.
To the rear of the house is a spacious kitchen-dining room with handcrafted Pippi oak units made by a furniture-maker in Midleton.
The large, pale cream sitting room has an antique cast-iron fireplace. Off the kitchen there’s also a utility room, a larder, and a WC.
The first door at the top of the stairs opens into a tiled bathroom, with a raised double Jacuzzi bath set in beige, and grey marble tiles, as well as quirky toilet-roll holder in the shape of a dog.
This floor has three carpeted bedrooms, including two with walk-in wardrobes and en-suites.
The accommodation for the animals has been built at the bottom of the garden, out of sight and earshot of the house. Both buildings have been designed to meet British regulations for this type of facility and are insulated with underfloor heating.
Designed by garden-centre consultant, Liam Kelly, the landscaped gardens have a long, raised bed, planted with perennials and ornamental shrubs.
The gardens run from the electric gates to the house and wrap around it.
The main feature in the patio is a very substantial, wood-burning pizza oven, which was built to an Australian design.
It takes four pizzas and, at a temperature of 800 degrees, can cook a pizza in four minutes.
On a site of two acres, the property has extensive lawns and is bounded at the sides by mature trees. Located at Ballymackibbot, it’s six miles from Killeagh and 11 miles from Youghal.
The price guide is €395,000, and estate agent, Shay Cronin, of Cronin Wall Auctioneers, in East Cork, says this is a family home with a wow! (or, a miaow?) factor.
Early interest has come from trade-up buyers and from one Cork couple who told him that a business looking after animals was exactly what they wanted for their retirement.
He also notes that the facility has commercial planning and could be put to a variety of uses.
: Comfortable living for cats, dogs, and humans