MOST of us rely on the insight of experts when giving our homes a makeover, but inhouse expertise made the task a little easier at No 7 Cois Coillte near Midleton.
The woman of the house previously worked at Houseworks in Douglas, where SieMatic kitchens, a super sleek German luxury brand, was the speciality.
Prior to that, she was a self-employed interior designer, and worked in the industry until 2012, during which time she fitted out a number of showhouses for McInerney Homes.
Work was harder to come by during the recession and she had the foresight to diversify, qualifying in personal training with the National Training Centre in 2010.
“Prior to that, I just thought of fitness as a hobby but then I became interested in Pilates and did some courses and qualified in STOTT Pilates and now I teach it fulltime at my studio in Midleton. It’s a very creative form of movement and it fits in with my own creativity,” she says.
As someone with a keen interest in design, art and creativity, she knew what she was looking for when they set about a re-design of their own 3-bedroom 121 sq m semi-d in 2017, having lived there since 2006 (Cois na Coillte was built in 2005).
“The builder wanted to do a flat roof but I knew that wouldn’t look great with a terraced garden. We’d have ended up looking straight onto the steps and it wouldn’t have allowed extra light in.
“So we came up with a solution, that the roof would be asymmetric, off centre, with the window on one side higher, allowing the maximum height and light.
” The upshot was a ceiling height of 3.4m at its apex, with greater height on the kitchen side, allowing the installation of extra glass-fronted units above the bespoke grey kitchen units.
“It’s not that big an extension, it added 200 sq ft, but the way we were able to change the living space made a big difference,” the owner says.
It’s a fabulous space, with room for a piano, and it connects beautifully with the back garden, via French doors opening onto steps to a terrace. Four veluxes overhead add even more light.
To the front of the house is a separate living room, with double doors to the main living space and there’s also a utility on the ground floor.
Upstairs has lots of nice design flourishes, with some fun décor in the children’s rooms, and showhouse flair in the main ensuite bedroom.
Outside to the rear, the garden is tiered, with a gravelled, sunny terrace at the top of a series of steps, and above that, raised beds with strawberries and mature trees and shrubs, including magnolia grandiflora, honeysuckle and orange blossom. Annual flowering plants include lupins, hollyhocks, poppies, geraniums and fox gloves.
Out front, more mature trees and shrubbery line a driveway.
After putting so much work into No 7 why are the owners now selling?
They are interested in self-sufficiency and hope to start bee-keeping and rearing chickens, so they are moving 2km to a smaller property on under an acre.
“If I could pick this house up and put it on the site, I would,” the owner says.
No 7 is within walking distance of Saleen National School, close to a creek where the family went kayaking, near a loop walk, and near Ballybrannigan and Inch beaches.
Selling agent Adrianna Hegarty of Hegarty Properties, who is guiding the property at €295,000, says it’s country living with convenience, less than a 10 minute drive from bustling Midleton and 15 minutes from the Jack Lynch Tunnel.
“It offers a lovely lifestyle, And the house is really nice,” Ms Hegarty says.
Stylish, well thought out home that would make a terrific first time buy.
Midleton, Co Cork €295,000 Size: 121 sq m 1300 sq ft Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2 BER: C1