Friday 23 March 2018

Stone house in Kilkenny is full of country charm for €1.5m

Cappagh stone house Inistioge, Co Kilkenny €1.5m

Sunk into the landscape, the architect-designed house
Sunk into the landscape, the architect-designed house
The rear view from Cappagh Stone House

Caroline Allen

Having always lived in old houses, Joan Waters fell under the spell of light-filled interiors on her travels in Spain, Portugal, Singapore and Australia. Fortunate enough to secure a site in her postcard-perfect native village of Inistioge in 2007, she oversaw the creation of this modernist-style residence.

The 400 sqm property, which was constructed into the hills overlooking the village - a popular film location, optimises the views of the Nore Valley and surrounding countryside.

Architects Larkin & Associates in Bennettsbridge had obstacles to overcome when designing the two-storey dwelling on just over two acres. "They didn't even think I would get planning permission due to the location," recounts Waters. Persistence paid off, although she had to concede on height which had to be reduced to blend into the landscape.

A vast amount of soil was extracted to allow the property to sit into the sloping site. "During the process, a lot of subsoil was removed, containing a large portion of stone. I decided it was perfect for the house exterior, helping it blend into the countryside, hence the name Cappagh Stone House," says Waters.

The courtyard at Cappagh Stone House
The courtyard at Cappagh Stone House

Introducing as much light as possible to the day and evening rooms was a priority, so the south-facing kitchen with its curved cabinetry features a glass roof dome. The pantry allows access to the courtyard across from the kitchen. An adjoining main lounge faces west to avail of evening sun.

Underlining the fact that this is no ordinary house is the sports room, with sunken ceiling lights. Perfect for parties as it's almost soundproofed, it allows gatherings to spill outdoors. It leads to an adjoining study with French doors on to the courtyard. A large guest en suite bedroom is also downstairs.

While the house is full of luxury touches, there are plenty of practical elements including the washroom adjacent to the garage, the boot room, utility and laundry rooms and a fully tiled shower downstairs. The bathrooms have underfloor heating and there are three en suite double bedrooms - the master bedroom has a supersized en suite and walk-in closet.

A Mediterranean-style courtyard was incorporated to trap the evening sun and grow grapes, pears and other fruit trees. "I had a full crop of outdoor grapes last year," Waters says. The built-in barbeque area contains a sink. Stone left over from the house exterior was reinvented for the rockery, created by a local contractor.

"The roof garden was designed over the ground floor and has lovely views of the Nore and surrounding countryside. There are some minor finishing touches to be done such as the installation of a glass railing and possibly following on from my initial thoughts, a Japanese garden with sun area," says Waters.

Electronic gates lead up a gravelled avenue bounded by shrubberies and flower beds to the house, with its enclosed terrace, accessed through both the utility and laundry rooms. The property has a BER rating of B2. Services include well water, solar panels, zoned thermostat heating and a central vacuum system.

The kitchen at Cappagh Stone House
The kitchen at Cappagh Stone House

Callum Bain of joint agents Colliers International says there's no shortage of admirers for Cappagh Stone House. "It appeals to those looking for a very comfortable, quiet, family home in one of the better parts of Ireland as well as those who want an exceptional holiday home. Someone already living in the area seeking an ultra modern home will be drawn to it, as will those fortunate enough to be able to retire to such a property," he says.

"It catches the imagination of continental purchasers because of its clean lines."

Era: 2007

Size: 400 sqm

Agent: Colliers International (01) 633 3700; Donohoe Town and Country (056) 777 0400

Viewing: Strictly by appointment

The drawing room at Cappagh Stone House
The drawing room at Cappagh Stone House

Sunday Independent

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