House of the week

HOW many restoration projects for classic modernist houses are there in this country? Very few is the anecdotal answer. As a race we’re still in thrall to the Georgian — Victorian and Edwardian barely cut it — and our modern vernacular is a mash of simple farmhouse and country manor — all neo-Georgian, of course.

So what are the odds for a sympathetic buyer for Croí Dhuibh, at Tory Hill, Mullinavat, Co Kilkenny?

This true, 1960s build is a split-level house which has changed hands about three times in its life so far, with the result that the original architect’s name has been misplaced.

And while the detached house on almost two acres of grounds remained in its original state for most of that time, it was modernised by its vendors some six or seven years ago.

Now it’s a walk-in job, with an opened up interior while a lot of the parana pine panelling and other ‘Brady Bunch’ touches have been eradicated in favour of what David Gough of Ennis Gough likes to call a ‘California look’ to the interior.

The owners have also furnished the house with good quality reproductions including a salute to Mies Van der Rohe and le Corbusier as well as the addition of modern, corner sofas and the use of a clean, minimalist aesthetic.

The main living space is now more articulate than before and also, a marvellous addition is added to the first floor living room — an outdoor terrace with glazed, gale-stopping sides and a pergola cover that wouldn’t look out of place on a Greek island — except for the sun, of course. But on clear days, of which we’ve had quite a few lately, the views and aspect here are superb.

The house is on the south-facing side of Tory Hill, with views which stretch over three counties and as far as the sea — the sweep of the lighthouse at Helvick Head can reach here at night and the vista can reach as far as Brownstown Head and the Suir estuary.

Priced for today’s market at €299,000 David Gough says it’s a prize buy:

“This is a very beautiful detached family home, perched on the south facing foothills of Tory Hill.

“Originally built in the mid 1960s, this spacious property occupies two levels in a split-level arrangement, and features top quality finishes in its fixtures and décor.”

Built to make the most of the views, the main entrance hall is at ground floor level and leads through to a large, dual aspect room that can be used as an office, study, or playroom.

Off the hallway is a gym, (every home should have one), and it links through to the garage, which could have conversion potential, long term, as it covers 40 sq metres — and that’s within the limits for planning retention, too.

An open tread stairs leads to the main living space, a room of another 40 sq metres and with two huge picture windows to take in the views.

This leads through to kitchen/dining room which is fully modernised and like the rest of the house has simple colour palette and low key, but quality fittings.

Sliding doors lead off the kitchen onto the elevated terrace which is located over the garage with glazing and timber “roof”. This provides an excellent sheltered spot for entertaining, outdoor dining or relaxation, says Gough.

The rear of the upper floor features the bedroom and bathroom accommodation with four double bedrooms and an en suite master. The main bathroom is large and well equipped. Outside, the maturity and quality of the grounds will be another major selling point, says Gough, with mature hedging forming a private boundary around the site. The house is elevated on the hill and comes with its own private water and waste supply, but it’s a short commute to either Waterford or Kilkenny cities, with fast access to the south, east and west, says Gough.

VERDICT: Ready-to-go, rare property with stunning views and good space.


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