Sunday 18 February 2018

Peek Inside: Magnificent Glass House complete with catering lift for breakfast in bed

With geo-thermal heating and other mod additions, it is claimed the Glass House requires no work until 2028

An aerial view of the house
An aerial view of the house
The dining area with glass block walls leading to the hall.
The living room
The landing with feature window
The entrance hall with feature staircase
The kitchen with island unit

Katy McGuinness

Designed by architect Thomas Nolan, and constructed in 2007 as the Tiger roared its last, the Glass House outside Thomastown in County Kilkenny comes with an 'A' energy rating, which is especially rare.

The impressive A3 BER has been achieved thanks to the use of geo-thermal heating, and the house is described as being 'future-proofed' to 2028.

There is underfloor heating throughout, and a central vacuum system.

It's also quite big - the 4,736 sq ft of living space is more than four times that of an average three bed semi. On top of this, it stands on two acres of its own grounds, and has 360 degree views over the surrounding countryside.

An aerial view of the house
An aerial view of the house

This striking house, located 3km from Thomastown and 11km from the M9 running between Dublin and Waterford, will give pause for thought to house-hunters looking for a large modern, energy-efficient home within easy reach of Kilkenny. The city is 16km away, while Dublin is 135km away.

The Glass House is set back from the road behind electronic entrance gates, at the end of a tree-lined drive. The entrance hallway features glass block walls and a custom-designed feature staircase leading to the upper floors. To the right, a dual-aspect sitting room looks out over both the front and rear gardens. The focal point of the room is an unusual split-level sunken fireplace with a solid fuel stove.

On the opposite side of the entrance hall, an open-plan kitchen has a separate dining area and sun room. The solid walnut kitchen is by Stephen Kerr and features granite worktops, a seated island unit and a range of appliances by Neff and Fisher & Paykel, including a stainless- steel double dishwasher. A catering lift serves the first and second floors, handy for those who like to have breakfast in bed but don't want to carry multiple trays up and down the stairs.

A separate utility room is fitted with walnut wall and floor cupboards and is home to the geo-thermal heat pump as well as the washing machine and tumble dryer. There is also a lavatory and cloakroom on the ground floor.

Up on the first floor, rather than being wasted space, the landing is used as a living space with seating and a bar area; the dumb waiter must come in handy for bringing up the crisps and peanuts.

The three bedrooms on the first floor are all doubles, and two are en suite. There is also a large family bathroom. The master bedroom has both a walk-in wardrobe and a dressing room, and there are two useful storerooms on this level. A home gym, from where there is access to a large outdoor sun terrace, could alternatively be used as an additional bedroom.

The living room
The living room

On the second floor are two further bedrooms and a games room, as well as another bathroom and four dedicated storage spaces.

Outside, the gardens are landscaped, and a decked area accessed from the kitchen features LED lighting and a spiral staircase leading to the first-floor sun terrace. A large detached garage also has a room suitable for music practise, a home office or additional storage. There's a separate Barna shed, and plenty of room for new owners to plant fruit trees and cultivate vegetables, as well as for a young family to install all the goalposts, trampolines and swing sets their children might desire.

Nearby Thomastown dates back to the year 1200 and still retains the picturesque charm of a medieval walled village. It has a distinctively boho ambience, and is home to a community of artists, musicians and other creative folk, including Mag and Ger Kirwan who produce trout and Ireland's only trout caviar at Goatsbridge Trout Farm.

At the Camphill-run Watergarden, there are gardens, a garden centre, an art gallery and a coffee shop, while The Old Mill in Bennettsbridge is the base of potter Nicholas Mosse, and has a craft shop and café.

At Mount Juliet, a few kilometres away, the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed championship golf course attracts golfers from all over the world, while others are drawn to Ken Harker's Michelin-starred Lady Helen restaurant.

In Kilkenny, Garrett Byrne's Campagne - also Michelin-starred - is the city's finest restaurant. The set lunch and early bird menu - you might order terrine of chicken livers with spiced greengage puree, caramelised walnuts and walnut toast, followed by slow-cooked venison with butternut squash, Savoy cabbage and red wine onions, finishing with blackberry trifle and blackberry ice-cream - is a bargain €34 for three courses. There are those who consider the presence of Campagne reason enough to want to move to Kilkenny, something of a mecca for those interested in good food.

The entrance hall with feature staircase
The entrance hall with feature staircase

Over the October bank holiday weekend (October 27-30), the city will host the 11th annual Savour Kilkenny festival, attracting gourmands from around the country to watch demonstrations by luminaries of the Irish food scene, including Catherine Fulvio, Rory O'Connell, The Happy Pear and The Gastro Gays.

The Glass House

Thomastown,

Co Kilkenny

Asking price: €695,000

Agent: Hooke & MacDonald, (01) 631 8402

Indo Property

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