A design for life in Roscommon
Derrinlanna's style and space a tempting prospect for city dwellers
Dublin house hunters can only read the asking price for this immaculate family home near Athlone and weep. And then plenty of them will be wiping their tears, doing the sums and wondering if there's a way that they could manage to make the commute to work.
With a fair wind, Dublin Airport is one hour and 15 minutes by car and Galway City an hour away. Athlone town is 10 minutes' away and Junction 13 on the M6 just six. These are all likely to be crucial numbers for any purchaser giving serious consideration to Derrinlanna House.
Designed by South African architect Jordaan Kemp and with interiors by Helen Turkington, the 4,500 sq ft Derrinlanna House is on the market for €525,000. In Dublin, that's the kind of money that will get you a decent (but nothing fancy) two-bedroom apartment in Ballsbridge or a three-bed starter semi in one of the better-located new developments that are now coming on stream.
But things are different outside the capital and in Roscommon, the buyer of Derrinlanna will be getting an awful lot more house for their money.
For starters, it comes with three acres of land. Approximately two acres is laid out in two post-and-rail-fenced paddocks to the front of the property, which means the house is set 300m back from the road, providing privacy behind electric gates.
The current owners do not keep horses, but it would be open to new owners to explore this possibility. The remaining acre is in garden and decking, created by the well-known firm, Tully Landscape. It's matured well since it was planted in 2010 and is relatively low maintenance.
The design of the house is considered and practical, with a good flow to the internal layout. For such a large house, it feels neither too big nor too grand. The interiors are tasteful, elegant and comfortable, as one would expect from Ms Turkington, whose signature style is very much in evidence.
The entrance hall is bright, with a tall vaulted ceiling. To the right is a contemporary living room with a marble fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows that allow the room to be filled with natural daylight.
To the left of the entrance hall lies the open-plan kitchen/living/dining room. The kitchen is by Siematic and features Gaggenau appliances, including a coffee-maker, steam oven, electric oven and warming drawer, all of which are included in the sale. There's a de rigueur free-standing island with a Quooker boiling water tap, a separate dining area and a large, but cosy, family sitting area/television room with a wood burning stove that heats the whole area.
Off the kitchen is a large pantry with a freezer, multi-temperature wine cooler, fridge and storage units. A separate dining room adjacent to the kitchen overlooks the garden and is suitable for more formal occasions. There's also a handy guest lavatory.
A bright corridor links the living zone of the house to the bedroom area. Off this are the home office/study and the cinema room with large screen and surround sound HD projector. It's clear this room is popular for gaming, with specially-designed chairs for maximum enjoyment.
The master bedroom measures approximately 1,000 sq ft - that's larger than many three-bedroom apartments in Dublin - and has a large walk-in wardrobe, a full ensuite bathroom and doors that open out on to the deck.
There are four further double bedrooms, one is ensuite. The family bathroom has a built-in television, and the utility/laundry room has direct access to the rear garden.
A separate detached double garage has space for two cars and an office area that could be used for any number of storage or business purposes. There is also a detached store/workshop. With an impressive B2 BER, Derrinlanna House was constructed to passive home standard and its green credentials include Optiwin triple-glazing, a heat recovery ventilation system, zoned underfloor heating system powered by a combination of solar power and oil, and operated by smart/remote controls, and a Tisun hot water tank heated by solar panels.
The current owners say that a fill of oil costing €1,000 lasts them an average of two years.
Other features of the house include a smart CCTV system, fire alarm, wiring for a multi-room sound system, a central vacuum, and a fully automated Niko lighting system. Cornafulla National School for boys and girls is one kilometre away, while the nearest secondary schools are in Athlone, and a school bus service operates in the area.
Athlone offers plenty in the way of shopping, and has a number of excellent restaurants, including the Fatted Calf, Left Bank Bistro, the Wineport Lodge (for many years the base for the television series, The Restaurant) and Kin Khao, the late Paolo Tullio's favourite Thai restaurant.
Sean's Bar, on the banks of the Shannon, dating from 900 AD, is officially the oldest pub in Ireland, and possibly in Europe, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
Creggan, Cornafulla, Athlone,
Asking price: €525,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald O'Meara (090) 6475500