'We were happy here' - This €2.15m home comes with a pool and a walk-in wine cellar
Coraville, Blackrock Road, Cork City: €2.15m
The home of well-known Corkman Clayton Love has all the trimmings of a trophy home - a pool, gym, and a walk-in wine cellar. But the accountant, lawyer and yachtsman is clear about the property he bought in 2005: "It was a home I was looking for - I wasn't looking for a trophy."
Up to that point, Clayton, his wife Ellen and their four children had lived in a terraced house further down the road in Cork's sought-after suburb of Blackrock. "We've always lived on Blackrock Road," he says, "we just moved up and down it." But with the children - and their friends - in their teens, the family was in need of a little more elbow room.
When the couple first viewed Coraville, though, it was a very different house, "a half-slated quasi-bungalow". Built in the 1960s it extended to half its current floor space of 636sqm and comprised just the central core of today's elegant and energy-efficient building.
The couple saw its huge potential. "We liked the site, we liked the location, we thought the house was different," says Clayton, and crucially, "the garden was extraordinarily private." Tucked away behind the entrance to the original Temple Lawn House and built on its former orchard, the property is very secluded.
They commissioned local architects Kelly, Barry, O'Brien and Whelan to set about a major refurbishment. "We had no hang-ups about what it should look like, we had no hang-ups about design features," says Clayton. "We gave them a free hand."
The brief was simple: to "create a happy house". That translated into a home that would work as a place for their children to enjoy with their friends, but that would also work in later years when the children might come back to visit with their own partners and offspring.
To this end, two new wings were added to either side of the original property. The central core now houses the entrance hall, family room with doors onto the garden terrace, and an impressive dining room with space to seat 16. Upstairs the master bedroom has a balcony overlooking the garden, covetable his-and-hers walk-in wardrobes and a large en suite with double vanity units.
The east wing sits at right-angles to the original house, and includes many of the working rooms - store rooms, the temperature-controlled wine room, pantry and utility rooms - as well as a state-of-the-art kitchen designed for entertaining with a large island, Neff appliances, and an Aga.
The gym and lap pool are also housed in this wing and serviced by a handy wet room. The pool opens onto a west-facing terrace that is an ideal spot to enjoy the reward of a sundowner after a few laps or a circuit in the gym.
On the first floor are self-contained guest quarters with a bedroom, en suite and play room, all accessed by their own staircase and perfect for use as staff accommodation or a granny flat.
The second wing comprises an ideal party room - spacious and with big sliding doors that roll back to allow family and visitors to spill out onto the south-facing terrace. Three large retractible awnings can be unfurled to provide shade in summer. Upstairs there are four double bedrooms with en suites, all wet rooms, which brings the total to six bedrooms and seven bathrooms in all.
Coraville has many fine design touches: a stained glass window by local artist Maud Cotter, landscaped mature gardens, zoned underfloor heating and solar panels for hot water, as well as a sophisticated security system with car number plate recognition.
The architects obviously fulfilled their brief. "We've had a very happy time here," says Clayton, however, the children are grown up now and have settled far afield and it's time to downsize. "What we're discovering is that we're the ones that have to travel, not the children."
And so Coraville is setting the pace for the 2018 market with a price of €2.15m. No doubt, it will draw a lot of interest from locals looking for a luxury family home in a prime location, or those relocating to Cork, situated as it is within walking distance of the city centre and with the pick of local primary and secondary schools.
Agent: Lisney (021) 427 5079
Viewing: Strictly by appointment