Home cinema is star of show




This 4,500 sq ft, five-bedroom house in Cork’s Carrigrohane has a movie screen in red velvet-clad basement room, says Tommy Barker

YOUR eyes might be out on stalks at the modern-build family home Cois na Laoi — there’s glimpses of the River Lee by Carrigrohane cross and the Angler’s Rest - but the real scene-stealer is the enormous home cinema in the basement.

This 330 sq ft room (22’ by 15’) has a ceiling-mounted projector that casts movies onto a white screen/wall, while the side walls are lined in plush red-velvet fabric for the real cinematic feel. It’s reminiscent of the defunct Capitol cinema’s smallest screen and all that’s missing for going-to-the-movies magic moments is the smell of hot popcorn (easily supplied via a microwave), and a sticky, Coke speckled carpet.

Cois na Laoi’s home cinema room is clean fun for all the family, though. It’s in mint order, as is the adjoining, carpeted games room, which is the size of many hotels’ gyms.

There’s so much space here; there’s the equivalent of a whole other house in this adaptable lower quarters, where there’s also a double garage, a hotel-quality bathroom with shower, and a fifth bedroom.

From outside, you’d never know any of it was there, and for new owners there are options, as a result of the sheer amount of space, especially for those who want to work from home and need a commercial office that doesn’t impinge on family rooms.

This five-year-old house gets so much in, unobtrusively, too, thanks to its sloping site. The only negative is that you have to go up steps to get to the front door proper — unless you come in via the garage.

This modest-seeming, Tardis-like home is at the foot of Church Hill, Carrigrohane, down from the elegant, limestone Church of Ireland St Peter’s church, off the Model Farm Road, by Nangle’s nurseries, and within a scoot of the city centre via the Straight Road. The location is a dream, with easy access to Blarney, Ballincollig, and on towards Macroom and Kerry via the Ballincollig bypass.

This 4,500 sq ft surprise package is for sale via Sheila O’Flynn and Johnny O’Flynn, of Sherry FitzGerald, with a €625,000 price, and has many other interior quirks, notably some very tall, double-height rooms, in the kitchen/dining section, and in the lofty master bedroom, which have the best river views (although floods in the lower fields, by the Carrigrohane bridge, this past week made the river Lee seem closer.)

High-and-dry, above it all on each of its three levels, Cois na Laoi has high-end finishes befitting a house of this status, with forests of walnut timber used.

This luxe wood is used extensively for floors, for built-ins and stair newels, furniture and more, and it gives visual continuity and warmth.

Speaking of warmth, the house has a good, solid B2 BER rating, and that’s not too easy to achieve, so, despite its size, there’s a hope of cosiness ... even if the very high-ceilinged master bedroom will inevitably have its hottest spots 14’ up the walls.

There’s efficient, zoned heating, quality double-glazing (frames are a dark green on the outside) and there’s a pressurised hot-water system for the entire, which is handy, as there are as many as six bathrooms drawing hot water.

All bathrooms are tiled and finished to the same high standard: think four-star hotel in the main, and decor throughout is on the creamy, neutral end of the scale.

You can image the place having been built as a corporate let for some captain of industry, commerce or consultancy, though the swagger’s not overdone, and some personal splashes of colour, injection of art, or heirloom furniture would give it a more family feel.

Alternatively, it’s just fine as it stands.

Accommodation includes front living room with triple aspect and white marble fireplace, linked kitchen/dining family/TV room with high-ceilinged core and airiness, utility, walk in hot-press, big family bathroom, and four en-suite bedrooms which are split between the main ground level and first floor, plus there’s that fifth bedroom at basement level.

If there’s a compromise to all this available living and sleeping space, it’s that the house takes up so much of its site, that outdoor/garden space is somewhat out of proportion. But, what’s there is well done, with two small sections of lawn, paver paths, low-maintenance beds and terraces, and there’s enough space (just about) to manoeuvre a couple of cars in and around the private drive, by the double, arched garage doors.

VERDICT: Buyers in this western quadrant will weigh up the options of a whopping one-off like this, or comparable priced€500/600k-plus buys in estates like Hayfield, Court Cairn, Limeworth or Hill Farm.


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