House of the week: Douglas, Cork €195,000

Size: Sq m 71 (770 sq ft)
Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 2
BER rating: Pending
Best asset: Cute cottage

The Customs men and women at airports have, by now, generally seen it all, in every shape, form and subterfuge. But, only the ones at Cork Airport have seen it all and the kitchen sink thrown in, for good measure.

This cute house, just up for sale as a pre-Christmas treat, was done very much as a labour of love by its woman owner — who went on to fall in love, start a family, trade to a bigger home, and is now letting her original nest go free — for the princely sum of €195,000, give or take.

She came up with ideas and bits and pieces from far and wide, which adds to its individuality: “the bathroom sink, I brought home from London in my backpack,” she recalls of a particular ceramic bowl fitting, now in pride of place on a plinth in the main loo. “The customs officer said to the guy on the X ray machine ‘John you have heard of everything but the kitchen sink. Well, she has the sink!’”

It passed muster, duty-free, and is now just one small element of the bigger picture that is this 770 sq ft Douglas, Cork hideaway.

The property, listed this week with Sean McCarthy of ERA Downey McCarthy, is at 1 Ravensdale, just by one of the entrances to Douglas woods, across the road from the community park and children’s playground — and has amenities galore on its doorstep.

There’s even a stream by the front, which flows down to and through the woods, from Donnybrook and going on then past the community park towards the shopping centre.

Neat as a pin, the semi-detached former council cottage dates back to the 1970s, and its current owner threw energy and imagination into its makeover and rear extensions. Its 770 sq ft encompasses two double bedrooms, a sitting room, a large kitchen with tiled floor, a smart main bathroom with bath/shower, with a 180 sq ft garage for storage, plus a garden shed. There’s a small green space to the front and the more private back garden is larger, landscaped and immaculately kept. Most of the year, it’s alive with birdsong, and also to be heard are the peals of church bells, and school bells, and kids antics.

The original small house has had a kitchen added on behind, with raised roof section with overhead or vaulted Velux as well as windows on two aspects (one’s a garden door with glazed side panels), so it’s very bright. A small feature window opens from just above the kitchen sink and black granite worktops to the living room, a decent space at 20’ by 10’. This long room runs front to back of No 1, and has an open fireplace with black surround and an insert wood-burning stove, supplementing the oil-fired radiator central heating. Flooring here in this comfy room is wide plank solid oak, there’s lots of shelving and the two double bedrooms have semi-solid oak floors. The main bedroom has a good bank of Sliderobe wardrobes.

The owner used local joinery firm Collins (almost on her Ravensdale Douglas doorstep) for internal joinery, doors and connecting kitchen casement windows, and the main front windows are alu-clad, by Munster Joinery.

Deceptive from the outside, it’s all in absolutely walk-in condition and is best-suited to a person or couple down-sizing, or a nest-building FTB who likes gardens and a bit of style, inside and out.

Because of the garden layout, and the unusual roof line to the back, it’s easy to extend, and there’s scope to integrate the house with the garage.

There could be a courtyard arrangement, a la one or two of TV’s Dermot Bannon designs, suggests the vendor — who’s clearly unwilling to totally let her pet project go.

VERDICT: originality and flair, in a pocket-sized and easily-kept purchase in a Douglas village niche. Nice.


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