Monday 20 August 2018

In Pictures: Ronan Keating and Yvonne Connolly's former home still has that star quality

The Keatings' former home in Celbridge still has that star quality

The informal living room with minstrel gallery
The informal living room with minstrel gallery
The sunroom
The kitchen
The house was once home to Ronan and Yvonne Keating
One of the seven bedrooms
The dining room
The bar
The 37m pool
The sauna

Katy McGuinness

The facade of Kara Lodge may be unremarkable - it's a pleasant double-fronted dormer bungalow surrounded by gardens planted with mature trees - but appearances can be deceptive.

Venture beyond the front door and, if you half-close your eyes and hum along to Boyzone's 'No Matter What', it's not too much of a stretch to imagine this as the show-business residence it once was, home to one-time golden couple, Ronan and Yvonne Keating.

The pair bought the house on six acres for something over £700,000 (€890,000) in 1999 as Ronan released his first solo single, and promptly re-named it RYK Lodge, living there with their children until they sold for an undisclosed amount in 2001 and moved into a house at the K Club down the road. Ronan and Yvonne later went their separate ways.

Kara Lodge, as it was re-named, was back on the market in 2013 when it was offered for sale on five acres at €1.25m.

The Property Price Register reports that it also sold in November 2017, for €1m.

Now Boyzone have reformed and Kara is back on the market again, this time on two-and-a-half acres, with an adjacent paddock of another two-and-a-half acres available by separate negotiation.

Kara Lodge lies behind electric gates at the end of a driveway, with the main house to the front and two wings to the back, one housing a swimming pool and entertainment complex.

There can't be too many bungalows in Kildare with a 37m indoor pool, and that, as well as the privacy and seclusion of the location, must have been something that appealed to the Keatings at a time when Boyzone were at the peak of their pop fame.

The 37m pool
The 37m pool

In total, Kara Lodge has 7,259 square feet of living space, with no fewer than seven bedrooms. The agents suggest that if it is not bought as a private residence, then it could, subject to planning permission, be operated as a guest house, retirement or nursing home, or something along similar lines.

The front section of the house has formal interconnecting living and dining rooms, divided by a double fireplace, and with double doors to the garden. In the Keatings' day, there were two grand pianos in these rooms.

The informal living room with minstrel gallery
The informal living room with minstrel gallery

There's also an informal living room with a double-height ceiling overlooked by a minstrel gallery accessed via a spiral staircase. Perhaps Ronan serenaded Yvonne from here in happier times?

An arch leads from the dining room to the country-style kitchen, and there are double doors to the timber-framed sun room which in turn has double doors out to the garden.

The country-style kitchen has bespoke units, a number of integrated appliances and an island, and directly off it is a pantry with fitted shelving. Pantries seem to have taken over from walk-in wardrobes in popularity with buyers in the past few years. People prefer to spend their money on shared experiences rather than designer clothes and accessories these days, so pantries are back in fashion because they facilitate the throwing together of impromptu meals with friends and family.

There's also a downstairs loo and a spiral staircase leading up to the playroom.

The dining room
The dining room

The bedroom wing has four large en suite bedrooms on the ground floor, all with built-in wardrobes. This wing also has a bathroom and a laundry room with storage unit, washer, dryer and a sink; a separate utility beside the entertainment room houses a back-up cooker and fridge.

The master bedroom suite is on the first floor, to the back of the house, and has views over the surrounding countryside from its two bay windows. It includes a dressing room with built-in wardrobes, and a spiral staircase down to the swimming pool, making early morning dips a straightforward business. The en suite bathroom has a Jacuzzi bath and separate shower.

Also on the first floor are two further double bedrooms, a bathroom, an office and the gallery that overlooks the informal living room.

Agents like to talk about wow factors, but the expression is rarely as justified as when it comes to the wing which houses the swimming pool complex at Kara Lodge. The space has a large reception room complete with a bar, with glass doors to the pool and access onto a private decked terrace with spectacular views towards the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains. There is also a large sauna and shower/steam room.

Kildare has long been popular with those who seek to achieve that tricky balance between living in the countryside and working in the city. Time your commute right, and the centre of Dublin is just over half an hour away.

Locally, there is good shopping in Lucan and Celbridge, and the latter is home to one of Kildare's finest restaurants, Canteen, where chef James Sheridan does casual fine dining very well indeed. This is, of course, the heart of horse country, and the racecourses at Punchestown, Naas, The Curragh and Fairyhouse are within easy reach, as are the golf courses at Carton House and the K Club. All the amenities any celebrity could wish for.

Kara Lodge

Stacumny, Celbridge,

Co Kildare

Asking price: €820,000

Agent: Savills, (01) 6634350

Indo Property

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