You might think you know the lay of the land when you visit a one-off dormer family home, on a landscaped acre on the edge of a sleepy county village…..but, not so here.
Here, in Co Cork’s Lisgoold, you just don’t expect the curated riot of colour, the collection of graphic art, stencilled street art framed, goth-like skulls, portraits with an edgy urban vibe, graffiti, a limited edition Banksy image, works from the likes of Jef Aerosol, and Dillon-Boy, murals and gallery-style collectables.
You certainly don’t expect to see gothic-style, initially familiar Disney female character images, in slightly erotic poses or in charged, gestures from the collectable artist JJ Adams’ series Dirty Disney, in a young family’s home, where the childrens’ bedroom walls have simpler, unadulterated images from Frozen, TrollHunters and Spiderman.
It’s fun, and it’s funky and there’s something then for every age: welcome inside the doors of the chastely-titled No 4 Church Hill, in East Cork’s Lisgoold.
There’s a private art, print and funky objets d’art collection going on behind the walls of No 4 that would, superficially at least, look more at home in a London loft apartment, a SoHo gallery or in a Dublin docklands penthouse apartment.
Yet, five minutes into a visit at No 4, and while your eyes might still be out on stalks guessing artists, admiring furniture, impressed by the vintage and designer lighting and just visually overstimulated, you realise this is a superbly finished, and luxuriously functional, family home.
It has attention to just about every detail, which will transform ‘back’ to something tamer, with little more than a switch of art ‘n’ stuff hung on the walls, and/or displayed on the shelves.
It’s adaptable. And, it’s now back up for sale, on a super-secure one-acre of pristine and expensively landscaped mature grounds, with play house, dog run, garage/workshop, and even has a concrete base down and services laid on for a larger garage store.
This part-stonefaced private home of a young couple who moved to Cork from Jersey (he’s a Jersey Island man, she’s originally from Cork) last changed hands only about three years ago. In fact, it still appears on some websites in its ‘old form, back in 2017, when it carried a €425,000 asking price via agent East Cork-based auctioneer Adrianna Hegarty.
It sold in ’17 after very spirited bidding for a recorded €485,000 according to the Price Register: it’s current owners just came in with the last ‘killer’ bid to snatch it away from two other active bidders, and they’ve since poured many, many tens of thousands of euros into internal upgrades, including top-end kitchen, new bathrooms and some new flooring, while many others are invisible, but important.
However, when making plans and acting on upgrades, they realised they hadn’t counted on the Irish weather, having moved over from a sun-kissed period rural home in Jersey in the Channel Islands.
Straight Up? The weather here is getting to them; having recently visited family out in the Far East, and given that their own jobs are internationally mobile, they’ve decided to move further afield for fine weather, for another enviable lifestyle and a new start for their young children, a son and daughter, each aged in single digits, and not yet fully embedded into the Lisgoold community.
They’ve given the sale of No 4 back to Midleton-based Ms Hegarty, and she now guides at €495,000: she notes it’s her third time selling the 2004-built 2,600 sq ft property, as she also sold it for its first owners back in 2013, when it made €385,000.
Where will it end up now? How much of the extra investment will its departing owners get back and recoup? Might even an underbidder from 2017 come back for a look-see, and decide to push the envelope a bit, both in terms of price and what they’ll get in return?
Details on the art and lighting, comes a bit later on down here, but first and foremost for trade-up and relocating lifestyle home hunters looking for a quality home, here’s the skinny on some of the ‘nuts and bolts’ upgrades and features at 4 Church Hill.
A brand new contemporary kitchen holds sway in the home’s core, a 25’ by 26’ (max measurement) split level multi-use kitchen/family/dining room, linking to a sun room which overlooks a lushly-landscaped, green, sit-out and sun-trap patio ….just not enough sun on tap for this home’s inhabitants, however.
The units are by an award-winning German company Next: it’s from their Next 125 range, which got a recent German Design Council product brand gong.
Supplied and fitted by Brian O’Driscoll of O’Driscoll Kitchens in Midleton, it was recently awarded the title of Product Brand of the Year by the German Design Council, with slab satin painted doors (all handle-less, with Gola profiles) as well as ceramic finishes. Smoothly tactile and sleek in their movement, drawers have natural oak insert for cutlery and crockery, worktops are in slender, 12mm Silestone from Hickeys Stoneworks,) and there’s so-subtle LED strip lights in three zones, under the top units, under the ‘floating’ worktop and above the stainless steel kickboards.
Appliances are virtually all AEG, including a super-healthy steam oven, the big fridge is Liebherr, and the Blanco kitchen sink has it built in food waste disposal function. Fresh water is filtered, both for drinking and for kinder uses on appliance like the AEG dishwasher (Midleton’s water supply can be hard.)
Eye-engaging are the three ‘Flowerpots’ lights over the breakfast bar,’ from designers Louis Poulsen, while one of their classic collection, the Louis Poulsen PH5 hangs over the dining area’s table, dating from 1968 and designed by Poul Henningsen.
A trio of coloured marine salvage Seiko clocks are to the side of the breakfast bar and counter stools are Italian, ‘Bombo’ originals, by Magis.
Definitely being packed up and transported to the other side of the world will be the tap light’ by the dining area custom-made by Tanya Clarke of Liquid Lights, and hanging over a radiator with painted, curved custom-made mdf cover by London-based Jason Muteham of London: his more expensive hardwood rad cover designs won awards at Grand Designs Live, and were featured on Peter Andre’s 60 Minute Makeover.
Who’d have thought rad covers came with their own provenance?!
Alongside, and also set to ‘stay’ post-sale, is a chunky curtain pole, with hand crafted posy finials and hold-backs, and all in a bright neon pink Byron & Byron, with heavy duty lined grey curtains bespoke made by Bailick Blinds in Midleton, who also supplied and made up much of the rest of this home’s curtains and blinds, also ‘staying.’ Not everything got made-over and upended when the couple acquired the well-laid out No 4, and blitzed it with pops of colour and pop art, especially colonising the lofty, vaulted ceiling sun room with prints from a variety of internationally rated street artists.
They kept the highly effective black, Danish-made Jydepejsen wood stove, set in a brick fireplace with black limestone hearth: they also kept the fireplace in the front reception room and even the wallpaper from this house’s previous owners, as it works just as well with their own curated collectables, albeit ones with a slightly darker tones; think skulls and figures from graphic novels and some Star Wars fires also.
They kept the quality Maribau flooring in some rooms and replaced other floors with vitrified, non-slip porcelain tiles, oak or wool carpets. The dark teak staircase was kept, but sanded back and painted in pale grey hues so as not to detract from the dozens of framed art and limited edition prints ascending the stairwell.
Viewing No 4 takes a fair bit of time for anyone who engages with what’s on display or casually lying about. Irish Examiner photographer Larry Cummins reckoned he cold have spent a full day here busily framing and snapping himself.
In more prosaic property outlines, this is a home for almost any sized family.
It has a great ground floor, with mixes of private rooms for music and/or TV with a very large volume open plan family space around the kitchen, and also has a pantry/utility, guest WC, playroom/ground floor bed four, and a double aspect home office, used by both of the adults for home office uses, and for gaming.
There are fibre optic broadband speeds of up to 900MB, and certs on the walls for achievement in online gaming, not unsurprisingly as it has been a bit of a project and a play thing for its grown-ups owners, who haven’t gotten boring as they got a bit older.
The gamer-dad of the house does his own line in art and design and even tried his own hand at art and did the murals the children’s bedrooms, doing one of Aaaaargh and Blinky from Trollhunters, another of the Wicked Queen from Snow White in the playroom and Elsa from Frozen, with Minnie Mouse in a daughter’s bedroom and a double-take bust/head, half of Spiderman, the other half Iron Man, is in a son’s bedroom.
The sanctuary-like master bedroom has slightly more risque cartoon images, such as JJ Adams’ Dirty Disney range, some bespoke furniture and lighting, and leads on to a walk-through dressing room (again, by local firm O’Driscoll Kitchens) with stacks of storage, a vanity area and a safe. Next up is an understated reconfigured en suite, and with large shower, vertical and towel rads and has underfloor heating. Even the extract unit here, in anthracite grey, was a find, with a central iris-like mechanism which opens like an old fashioned camera lens, and a super silent motor.
There’s been nothing done on the cheap, or without consideration and product research. The main family bathroom has an extra-large rainfall shower plus over-sized Bari bath (180X90) with a jetted Airpool system. This shoots air jets rather than water ones, which avoids a possible bacterium build-up associated with some whirlpool systems.
No 4 has a walk-in hotpress, masses of storage and scorea good B3 BER, with triple glazing and a new boiler, with zone heating and Nest controls.
Putting it to market this month, and having had to cull the long list of special features for her sales’ brochure and details lists, estate agent Adrianna Hegarty says it’s bright, quirky in its current presentation yet eminently practical with a walk of local Lisgoold services, and less than ten minutes from Midleton, and 25 from Cork city.
It’s got a great appeal, she adds, for anyone “seeking a spatial home of supreme distinction, excellent security (alarm, and electric access gates,) and superbly landscaped grounds.” Even if you were to view without its urban décor extra edge, No 4’s going to impress, she says with its internal and external spaciousness, barbecue building with stove, sandstone patio and sun room with south-west aspect, play area and treehouse made of Douglas Fir., while well-established planting includes beech hedges, alder and ash, birch and bamboo, eucalyptus, ferns, hazel, and a whole lot more.
There’s a lovely ‘inside/outside’ connection by the patio and sun room, where windows have been specially treated (using a product called Air 80) to counter the effect of UV light on furniture, the Mark Challieres birdcage central light and art works by the likes of carton-familiar Richie Rich prints by street artist Dillon-Boy, and the Bansky like print by French artist Jef Aersol with his trademark red arrow.
“It also keeps the temperature levels pleasingly cool on those rare days that the sun shines here in Ireland!,” say the departing owners rather ruefully, having possibly ‘over-specced’ this feature for the amount of sunlight they’ve seen over their three years here.
Verdict: Gallery-like collection right now, but a welcoming family home as well.
Lisgoold, East Cork
Size: 241 sq m (2,600 sq ft) Bedrooms: 4