Family home built with character

Thu, Jun 21, 2012, 01:00

INNISHANNON, CO CORK €1.25 million:The owner of this carefully planned house built it himself in the 1990s

THE OWNER of this house built it himself in the 1990s – it was not his first – and he designed it to suit family life, to address the woodland around it, and to be comfortable and interesting.

“I designed it to be unusual so that the eye doesn’t get bored and, even after living here for all this time, I still look around and see a new angle always,” he says.

His two sons, now grown up, have become an architect and engineer so they may have been inspired by the experience of living in Shipool Lodge, Shipool Wood, Innishannon, Co Cork.

But with the children having flown this cosy but sizeable nest, which is for sale at €1.25 million through Sherry FitzGerald, it is too big for the owner.

Along with the four/five bedrooms, the 311sq m (3,348sq ft) house incorporates a swimming pool (added in 2003), sauna, home cinema, library, hot tub and garage.

And while it is a happy family house, and has had many visitors over the years, it is split into different zones that give people their privacy.

On one side of the house is the main bedroom – with fireplace, en suite and verandah – a gym and the swimming pool.

On the other side – beyond the double-height livingroom and study – is a guest bedroom at ground level with a wc and three bedrooms above. The bathroom on this level has a claw-foot bath. There is also a library here with built-in shelves.

As well as the living/diningroom on the ground floor, which has a fireplace and huge windows looking on to wooded gardens and a lawn, there is a kitchen with a door to a car port.

There is also a detached garage with a self-contained unit with a bathroom and living/sleeping area above it.

Also on ground level is the study, gym, jacuzzi/sauna room, pool and part of the library. The upper part of the library has a vaulted pitch-pine ceiling and a spiral stair to the home cinema on a mezzanine.

The house is a few miles from Kinsale on a split site, with 2.5 acres around the house and – across a road – a further 1.5 acres fronting the Bandon river, where the owner rebuilt a pier.

Nature is brought indoors via the form of natural materials such as pitch pine, brick, flagstones and ceramic tiles. “The main attraction about this place is that it is in a wood with beeches and other big, mature trees which are probably 150 to 200 years old,” says the owner. “We always let the garden run slightly wild and I put in lots of places where you can sit and look at flowers. It’s just a general feel-good house. I’ll miss it.”

Shipool Lodge, Shipool Wood, Innishannon, Co Cork

Description: Four/five bedroom house with swimming pool

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald

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