Leinster villa with indoor pool is the ultimate dream house for €1.5m
Roxbury House Termonfeckin, Drogheda, Co Louth €1.5m
Before the owners of Roxbury House commissioned architects to draw up plans for their five-bedroom house, they went on holidays to the US. There they toured a lot of properties and came home with a strong idea of what they wanted.
Their new home would be modern, with clean contemporary lines, airy and light-filled and would have a good flow throughout. It would have all the luxuries, including an indoor heated pool with sliding doors out to terraces for those sunny summer days. There would be an underground car park that would accommodate four cars and above it, a cinema and games room. And there would be plenty of outdoor space for barbecues, sunbathing and entertaining.
That was back in 2001, and the architects, Young Design Build, delivered. Roxbury House is an American-style property running to a super-sized 740 sqm and set around a central courtyard that spills light into the house. Windows and French doors on the ground floor ensure that the house and terraced gardens flow into each other. "It's a great house. It's very private, very quiet, and you get the sun all around the house," says the owner.
A double-height entrance hall boasts a wrought-iron banister and rail that curves up and along a first-floor gallery, while French doors to the rear of the hall lead out to the courtyard. Porcelain B&B tiles run throughout the ground floor leading from the hallway to the formal drawing room with open fireplace, and to the dining room that seats 10. There is also a little study kitted out by Clive Christian Interiors just off it. A guest bedroom with en suite leads off to the left of the hall and could also be used either as staff quarters or a granny flat.
But the heart of the house is the kitchen, which gleams with smart Neff appliances, a quartz-topped island unit and granite countertops on the fitted units. Villeroy & Boch porcelain-tiled floors add to the polished finish. There is a comfortable seating area with TV in one corner, room for a good-sized dining area and a utility room which, the owner jokes, could make a normal-sized kitchen itself, while double doors lead both to the garden and to the courtyard.
The owner has a background in interior design and worked in the industry for 20-odd years. It was she who designed the open fireplace in the formal drawing room and the lounge, off the kitchen, where the family tend to gather to watch TV. "I love a good fire, especially on a cold winter's night," she says, though the underfloor heating means they light a fire more for the look than the warmth it provides.
Another door off the kitchen leads to a shower area or wet room and gives access to the 15.7m x 7m indoor heated pool. A second set of stairs to the rear of the house leads to the first floor and the remainder of the bedrooms. The master has a large en suite and walk-in wardrobe and there are three further bedrooms off the gallery.
State-of-the-art technology has been used throughout - the house is wired for surround sound both inside and out. There are Loewe televisions in many of the rooms, while a Smart Home System means that all the owner's CDs and DVDs are loaded up centrally and can be selected from a scroll-down menu onscreen in any room.
The grounds have been landscaped with a sweeping avenue, pretty trees and little rounded hills by Forever Flowers Landscaping. "It's very easy to manage," the owner says of the four-acre gardens and terraces. "It minds itself, really."
Roxbury House is a perfect party pad and has often hosted 90 or more guests without a hint of a squeeze.
Keen for another challenge, the owner is planning to build again and hopes to stay in the area. "It's a great party house," she says. "It would be perfect for someone with kids - there is so much to do." That includes splashing around in the heated pool, snooker in the games room, mucking about in the garden - and there's also room for three or four horses in the paddock.
Joint agents: Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes (01) 237 6300; Sherry FitzGerald Lannon (041) 983 8168
Viewing: Strictly by appointment