The view from this €1.375m seaside home will take your breath away
Seaview House, Lower Rosses, Rosses Point, Co Sligo €1.375m
On the day that the current owner agreed to buy the site on which Seaview House now stands, back in the mid-1990s, he had been visiting Rosses Point on business of an entirely different nature - selling carpets.
"I had an inkling that I wanted to buy some land and build by the sea," he says, "and I have always thought that the landscape in Sligo is under-appreciated compared to other parts of the country. But I did not go to Rosses Point that day with the intention of buying a site."
A chance meeting with the then-owner of a rather special site, with direct access to a pebble beach and views over Drumcliffe Bay towards majestic Benbulben, meant that by the time he was leaving the area at the end of the day, a deal had been done.
Because Seaview House is located in an environmental conservation area, with all the planning restrictions that that entails, the process of securing planning permission took a number of years. Eventually though, Leitrim-based French architect Ghislain Luthers prevailed - there were a number of pre-existing farm buildings on the land and these were key to securing permission - and construction began in 2005. The house was finished a decade ago.
"I had seen similar houses that Ghislain had designed in Westport and Connemara," says the vendor, "and I was an admirer of his work."
Luthers proposed an unusual design, with the roof of Seaview House mimicking the shape of Benbulben, and the adjoining guest apartment that of its neighbouring mountain. When you look at the house from a distance, its outline is repeated by the mountains in the background.
A condition of planning was that the house would be dug down into the landscape, so that it did not impact on views towards Benbulben and the sea from the surrounding area. The displaced earth forms a mound that conceals the house from view entirely - the privacy that this affords may make Seaview House particularly attractive to some prospective purchasers.
The vendor is involved in the interior design business (hence the carpets that brought him to Rosses Point all those years ago), and knew that he wanted a contemporary interior, verging on the minimal. The result is a spacious modern house. It has a generous 511sqm of living space with an air of luxury about it.
In the main part of the house, the layout is configured so that the sea views are maximised. The formal drawing room and library are triple aspect, while the dining room also has magnificent views out over the water. Even the cosy family room, with its wood-burning stove, has ocean views. The bespoke painted kitchen comes with a range of integrated appliances and a breakfast area with more of those beguiling sea views.
Upstairs on the first floor, the triple aspect master bedroom suite is as luxurious as anything that you will find in a five-star hotel, with a dressing room and en suite. The three further bedrooms in the main house are all en suite. The separate guest apartment has an open plan living/ kitchen/ dining space downstairs and two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.
By virtue of his trade contacts, the vendor says that he was able to use materials of an exceptional standard in its construction, from the redwood staircase made with wood imported from the US to the patinated copper windows, now a fetching shade of green, which came all the way from Russia.
Another condition of the planning permission was that the land on which Seaview House stands - all 5.5 acres of it - be left in its natural state to preserve it as a sanctuary for a diverse population of wildlife.
The pebble beach is suitable for swimming when the tide is in, and when it's out the beach is popular with horse-riders. This part of Sligo is also known for its golfing - there is a magnificent championship course at Rosses Point - and a few miles away, Strandhill is a surfing mecca, with the lovely Shells Cafe in the village the place where the surfers fuel up before and after taking on the challenges of the waves.
The vendor has lived at Seaview House on and off over the past decade, but says that his family has now decided that they want to be based in Dublin and he is going along with the move, with an amount of regret, not least because he says that the house cost substantially more to build than he will get for the property. For prospective purchasers, that is likely to be quite an incentive - along with the knowledge that securing planning permission for anything comparable in the future is unlikely.
Sligo is 10 minutes' drive away, with Ireland West Airport a 40-minute journey.
Agent: O'Sullivan McGoldrick Property Plus (071) 9148884
Viewing: by appointment