New home view: Mayden Mornington
Maydenhayes, Mornington, Co Meath Asking price: €287,500-€388,000 Agent: Knight Frank (01) 6342466 or Sherry Property Consultants (041) 9841149
Interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen earned celebrity status in the early Noughties as the face of the BBC makeover show Changing Rooms, in which couples swapped houses with friends or neighbours and decorated one room in each other's homes. When both couples saw their transformed rooms for the first time, a number were infamously so disappointed that they were reduced to tears or tantrums.
Such theatrics were absent when Llewelyn-Bowen and fellow interior design expert Neville Knott presented last Tuesday's episode of the new TV3 design series Showhouse Showdown. During the programme, two interior designers were given two new showhouses to style in a week at Maydenhayes, the development in the coastal Co Meath village of Mornington.
While Llewelyn-Bowen and Knott gave their two cents on the finished showhouses, it was left to members of the public to decide on the winning design. The two showhouses that featured were two of four showhouses launched at Maydenhayes last weekend to market the fourth phase built by Pivotal Construction.
The development of three, four and five-bed homes, which first launched in 2015, is set on Meath's Gold Coast, Ireland's lesser-known answer to the strip of Australian coastline famous as a holiday and surfing destination. The Meath version is the 10km stretch of sandy beach running from the mouth of the river Boyne at Mornington to the river Delvin at Gormanston.
Maydenhayes, named after the eponymous area surrounding the village's 60ft Maiden Tower, is being constructed in a U shape around the 19th-century Donacarney House and its estate. Some 100 people have already moved into the scheme, mostly professionals working within commuting distance or first-time buyers.
The latest phase of Maydenhayes consists of 15 homes, four of which have already been reserved. All the house types at the development are named after Irish literary figures. Prices start at €287,500 for a three-bed semi-detached Kavanagh, and rise to €317,500 for a four-bed semi named the Heaney. A five-bed version, the Clarke, costs from €362,500. There are also a limited number of four and five-bed detached houses from the Wilde design, with prices starting at €355,500 and €388,000, respectively.
In addition, three fully-fitted showhouses from phases of Maydenhayes are also on the market. One is from the Kavanagh type and is priced from €299,500, one from the four-bed Joyce style costs from €348,000, while a four-bed Yeats type is selling for €340,500.
Pivotal says prices at the scheme have increased over the last two-and-a-half years, citing higher building costs and an increased specification. There is a new style of brick to the façade, and grey windows to the exterior, as well as newer styles of fitted kitchen choices.
Each home has higher-than-standard ceilings, walk-in wardrobes in the master ensuite bedroom, a separate utility room, and interconnecting double doors linking the kitchen to the front sitting room. All the A-rated houses are fitted with a Dimplex A-class air-source heat pump that provides cheap and efficient domestic hot water and heating.
Mornington is only a few minutes' drive from the M1 and is 15-minutes from Drogheda's rail services. Viewings are every Saturday and Sunday, from 2pm to 4pm, and every Wednesday and Thursday, between 12pm and 4pm.