Check out the gorgeous seaside view from this Waterford escape
Ardoginna Ardmore, Co Waterford €795,000
One of things artist Brenda Harris will miss most when she sells her seaside home is the light. "The light is extraordinary. It has that seaside feel to it. A white light and yet the blue is so blue."
That light has inspired her vivid landscapes, interiors and garden scapes, many of which hang on the walls of Ardoginna, her three-bedroom house just a short walk from the sea near Ardmore in Co Waterford.
She and her husband David bought the site about 10 years ago with planning permission for the house already approved. "We couldn't resist the views." Brenda, whose background is in interior design, set about reworking the plans. "I reconfigured the windows and went back to look for planning permission. I wanted a more traditional look with smaller windows to the front, which is north facing, so that keeps it cosy, and I opened it up with big windows at the back where the sun beams in. You get the winter sun which is lovely. There's a good overhang to the roof too so it doesn't overheat the house." Now, the three-bedroom house has a wonderful sense of light and space.
"All the back of the house opens onto the terrace so every room has French doors leading out on to the terrace because the view is magnificent."
It also adds solar gain which was another priority. "This is an eco-house," says Brenda. "It has triple insulation, triple glazing, air tightness, and it has solar panels. It is a cosy house. It has two wood-burning stoves as well and there are no fireplaces or draughts or anything - it costs less than €1,000 a year to heat."
Brenda spends a lot of time in France and the interiors reflect that, with painted white floors in the three ground-floor bedrooms, simple chandeliers and antique painted furniture. A freestanding rolltop bathtub was spotted in a brocante in France and refurbished. The entire second floor is a 115.5 sqm studio with painted wood ceiling and floors where Brenda spends her days at the easel. It could easily become a dorm for summer visitors, or be divided into a large bedroom and en suite.
Above all, Ardoginna is a house designed for entertaining and the kitchen/dining room reflects that. A central island lends itself to chatting while you chop. There's a six-burner Rangemaster stove, while a small back kitchen with sink and counter space is designed so all the mess of cooking can be cleared out of sight when entertaining. There's no formal dining area, just a table with views out to the terrace and to the sea. "We've had many a great party here. The terraces are like an extension. My happiest memories are really people eating here, either out on the terrace or in the house. I've recently got a baby grand and we have had some great sessions here."
The gardens are a third of an acre that runs almost to the sea and is cleverly divided by paths and terraces into an al fresco eating space, some planting near the house, with a garden house and lawns perfect for children to play on.
"In some ways I'm loth to leave but family is tugging at the heart strings," says Brenda. She and her husband are downsizing and moving closer to their son and family in Greystones. "I really hope the new owner is somebody who wants to share the house. It'd be a lovely family home, but equally lovely for retirement knowing your family could come and visit you. It's got loads of room for people to stay. That's really what I'd hope for it, that it would be enjoyed that way."
Size: 372 sqm
Agent: Ganly Walters (01) 662 3255
Viewing: By appointment only