House of the week

WHAT does an estate agent have to do to get a good property listing in these days of restricted volumes of quality trading-up homes?

Kidnap the house-owner’s children? Or just babysit them?

Savills’ estate agent Clare O’Sullivan went for the latter babysitting option in the sale of Midleton’s Woodlea, but cheerfully admits that was years ago. Now, the three young charges that she’d tended are in their late-teens and early-twenties, and with down-sizing on the agenda, she has secured the sale of the family home she knows so well.

But, in the interim, Woodlea also grew in time with the family, with matching symmetrical wings added on a few years ago, on the east and west sides, one (west) for a fantastic sun room, the other for an en suite guest bedroom, also ideal for a granny or other grown up.

As a result, this five-bed family home now has 3,400sq ft of space — and a heated outdoor swimming pool, safely and appropriately enclosed with stout surrounding railings. (That’s handy, as it helps keep George, the family’s St Bernard dog out of harm’s way too!)

On its half-acre-plus site just off the Cork Road, on the approach to Midleton at Oatencake, Woodlea is among a dozen or so large, detached family homes around a cul de sac and private green area and “it’s about the very best location in Midleton,” according to auctioneer (and former babysitter) Clare O’Sullivan, acting jointly with CCM Property Services in Midleton.

Woodlea was built 17 years ago, and while its landscaping has matured around for lots of privacy, the whole house and set up feels fresher, thanks to the recent upgrades and extensions.

The floor plan at ground level is well done, with a big open hall, and large rooms off it giving real breathing space. As in the best layouts, the house’s heart, the 21’ by 17’ kitchen, not only has south-facing garden (and pool) views, but it also opens to one of the two main front reception rooms, which has a double aspect, wood floor and a solid fuel stove set into the open fireplace; the second room also has a stove linked to the fireplace, and each room (facing across the hall) is well-sized, at around 21’ by 16’.

However, best room of all is the even airier feeling 23’ by 16’ new sun room, with cream tiled floor, wood-slat blinds and, thanks to a slight protrusion behind, it actually has windows on all four compass points — a great room, and adds to the flow of space for entertaining.

The kitchen has been updated with its original quality ORM units now topped with granite and hand-painted, and the walls also have a striped taupe and cream painted effect, all very restful.

Elsewhere, there’s a study with high-speed broadband, a utility, cloakroom, and a guest bathroom, while the east wing’s fifth bedroom is en suite, has a lime-washed timber floor and inviting garden access via French doors to the pool area.

Overhead, there are four bedrooms, with a dormer feel and some nice feature roof lines not too obtrusive, and the master suite has its own bathroom, and dressing room/walk-in closet. The family bathroom has both a bath and separate shower enclosure.

Gardens are well planted and landscaped around the perimeter (most of the neighbours all have similar maturing trees and natural stone entrance pillars in common, giving a bit of homogeneity among the various house designs) and Woodlea has a detached small garage suitable for storage, with lots of privacy to the south-facing terrace with pergola and pool area. The pool is heated via its own boiler, generally April to Autumn.

VERDICT: Dive right on in.


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