A passion to build a family home with respect for the environment brought a young family to Lisnacrilla, a rustic spot just inland of Kinsale close to the pretty hamlet of Brownsmills.
Brownsmills, Kinsale, Co Cork
Size: 220 sq m (2,375 sq ft)
Best Feature: Family friendly and green.
They’d been renting in Brownsmills, and had got to know neighbour and architect Richard Rainey, later entrusting him with the design of their home-to-be, for a 0.75 acre plot with sweeping rural and valley views.
That was back in 2010: they built eco-style with highly-regarded E&T Builders, and set about planting up the gardens with lots of fruit trees and bushes, as well as veggies and herbs.
Estate agent James Murphy bills this apple of your eye buy as “a mini-orchard.” And now, with two small children in tow, a buster of a family pet dog, plus a recent-enough change of jobs for one of the couple, they’re keen to take on another project.
As a result, their aptly-named and clearly fruitful Blackberry Lodge is up for grabs, as the country’s ditches yield their own autumnal blackberries.
This came to a summer market with Kinsale agent James Murphy, who says there’s precious little housing stock in the area to transact.
It has just shy of 2,400 sq ft of bright and comfortable living space, and is guided at €525,000. Set two-and-a-half miles from Kinsale town, if it were much closer, it would be far dearer, he advises.
Just about ever inch of the house is usable space, as the owners eschewed the usual ‘central hall,’ so now this space inside the front door/porch is effectively a bright and handy extra living/seating area, much appreciated as a play and reading space by the children, who also get to run and bike freely across the width of the house.
In accordance with good design principles, all of the main rooms are to the front, facing due south, and the two ‘wings’ each have feature, floor-to-ceiling corner windows which draw in copious light and solar gain.
Allied to this are solar panels for water heating (the house has its own well supply for water), high insulation values, an efficient condenser oil boiler, and heating is underfloor, beneath engineered maple boards, with radiators upstairs. It all works so, well, the quite-large house sips a miserly and mere 650 litres of oil a year.
Blackberry Lodge’s main living room is 21’ by 13’, with great far-distance views, a fireplace and this deep room opens to a private stud/den to the back.
This latter room has its own external access/side door, ideal for those wanting to work from home and keep work/callers separate from family life (one of the owners uses it for teaching music.)
Back past the open hall/stairs room is an open-plan kitchen/ living room, bigger at 26’ by 15’ with the kitchen to the back almost self-contained, with range cooker and back garden views.
Again, a design feature is the full-length corner window, and off on the far gable is a well-glazed sun room.
Thanks to modern materials, design nous and care in build, it gets an excellent B2 BER, has zoned self-regulating heating system with oil condenser boiler in a spacious utility rooms, and has its own water supply, piped direct to each sink.
Blackberry Lodge’s master bedroom is 13’ square, with balcony, dressing room and en-suite with twin sinks, bidet and bath.
A second front bedroom has a shower en-suite.
VERDICT: Time to pick (up) this blackberry.
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