If they re-imagine it, will they come?


Stocking Wood in Rathfarnam is a new homes development that’s been a long time in the works. Last summer receiver Kavanagh Fennell brought 30 apartments and houses in the Deane Homes built scheme to the market.

Now they’re relaunching the last 20 four-bed houses, having given one of the showhouses a radical makeover.

In a review on these pages last June the four-bedroom houses were criticised for having only one living room that is “oddly small” given the size of the house and it was noted that while “kitchens are to the front, the back gardens are accessed from the living room via patio doors – not an ideal arrangement in a family home”.

The receiver and selling agent HT Meagher O’Reilly subsequently brought in interior designer Ciara Brandon to revamp one of the showhouses and suggest alternative uses for some of the rooms.

As the houses were built some years ago, the design of the houses hasn’t changed in that the kitchens are still to the front and the living room is still the same size, “but with a bit of imagination and paint, we are saying, look at what you can do”, says David Browne from HT Meagher O’Reilly.

There is now a choice of two showhouses, one traditional in style with a fairly neutral decor and a fourth bedroom at second level. The other showhouse, courtesy of a paint job and some new furniture, is now very glamorous and sophisticated. The kitchen has been given a white paint job to brighten it up and the second level is a very cool looking cinema room. “If you don’t need four bedrooms then you may not want to use that attic level as a bedroom. It’s about using the living space to suit your lifestyle,” says Browne.

Ciara Brandon has undoubtedly done a super job on the decor but it remains to be seen if the plush silks and cool greys are enough to inspire buyers and make up for the fact the actual floor space of the houses hasn’t changed .

Sales of some of the later phases of the large Stocking Wood development – a mix of apartments and houses - were slowed by the downturn. However the development is now almost fully occupied, according to the agent, and this will be the last phase of homes there.

The price is €260,000 for a mid-terrace house, €280,000 for an end of terrace and €299,000 for a semi detached house.

What buyers will get is a home in a mature, landscaped development. The four-bed houses are 122-124sq m. All houses have two parking places out front – they have no front gardens – and reasonable sized back gardens.

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