Cutting a dash on Cobh’s Valley Road is Seabreeze, as light and airy a property as its littoral name suggests.
Near enough to beaches for a pre-school dip - or virtual classes in times of pandemic - it’s the kind of home you imagine could be found on the shores of Nantucket Sound or Long Island, rather than Cobh’s Great Island.
It’s a one-off, designed for its original owners, solicitor Michael Enright, in the late 80s by Douglas-based architect Donogh O’Riordan of O'Riordan Staehli architects, now Reddy O'Riordan Staehli. The upshot is a house with a series of charming architectural details, including unusual floor-to-ceiling windows that protrude in a V-shape from the main downstairs living area onto a suntrap patio.
The effect is to broaden the vista while guaranteeing oceans of light inside.
Upstairs another feature window in the form of wraparound glazing projects outward from a corner bedroom creating a great sense of space.
Another nice design touch is the steps between living room and dining room which not only enhance the sense of style, but also add to the interconnectivity at downstairs level. The dining area opens onto a stylish kitchen with breakfast area and behind the kitchen is a fine size utility room/pantry.
Back in the hallway, windows again come into play with a large rectangular window over the double doors and a beautiful round-arch window on the turn of the stairs.
With its charming architectural aesthetics, Seabreeze manages to achieve a contemporary feel while at the same time radiating classic elegance.
Good looks and charm aside, it is at its heart a fine family home which the current owners are leaving to downsize.
Whoever buys will find plenty on offer nearby for an active family lifestyle.
Just a short stroll away are two small, pebbled beaches, Glenmore and Cuskinny, a godsend for locals during lockdown, when travelling any significant distance to the coast was banned.
For boat owners - and there’s plenty of scope to park up a boat at Seabreeze - Marlogue Marina is just a 10 minute drive away, or if sea legs remain elusive, landlubbers can head straight for Marlogue Woods, a popular forest recreational area on the south east of Great Island.
On picturesque Valley Road itself, there’s also plenty room for manoeuvre in the secluded gardens of €560,000 Seabreeze, spread over the best part of an acre.
The patio on the farside of the house capitalises on a south-facing aspect. It looks just the spot for morning coffee or evening sundowner. A nearby water feature is just waiting to be re-vitalised.
There’s glorious planting up along the sloping drive with an abundance of mature trees and shrubs.and there’s even what auctioneer Johanna Murphy of Johanna Murphy & Sons describes as a “secret garden” tucked well away from the living quarters. It could become a handy bolthole for ducking irritating household chores - or just irritating household members.
There’s CCTV for added security, as well as a detached garage with water, power and a loft which could be converted, Ms Murphy says “into a granny flat or office space or AirBnB”.
Home offices are all the rage in the Covid era and there’s already a very fine office inside Seabreeze, off the hallway.
Upstairs, the sunlit master bedroom comes with a his/her dressing room and ensuite. There are two other large double rooms and a guest room which is also ensuite. Decor is tasteful throughout.
A second stairs leads to a large attic room, brightened by the installation of Velux windows.
Ms Murphy considers this a “key piece” of the house when it comes to kids.
“There’s loads of space. You could put a pool table up here, it could be their games room. And there’s also substantial storage space.” Ms Murphy says Seabreeze, has been “an amazing family home” over the years and will continue to be so.
“It has everything. Space. Big gardens. Lots of light. Every room catches the sun.
There are beaches nearby, a marina, a popular pub, the High Chaparral in nearby Ballymore. Walterstown National School is only a kilometer away and Cobh town, with its restaurants and supermarkets is only a five minute drive away.
Ms Murphy believes the house will appeal to a family looking for a nice lifestyle as well as a nice house. Cobh continues to attract interest from house buyers in Cork city and further afield she says because their money goes much further. Her house sales are increasingly to people from outside the area.
“Cobh has a huge amount to offer, not just sport like sailing and rugby and tennis, but it also has a very healthy arts scene, with the Sirius Arts Centre and Haulbowline Theatre Group. You can’t go wrong here,” Ms Murphy says.
There’s certainly a lot on offer at Seabreeze, not least the vividly pink foxgloves, at a premium this time of year.
A sense of doors perennially flung open letting in air and light.
Cobh, Co Cork
232 sq m/2,500 sq ft