Overwhelmed in Underwood: a corker near Douglas for €2.5m

Extraordinary attention to detail and striking views of Cork harbour make this five-bedroomed property quite unique

Thu, Apr 25, 2013, 05:00

When I called to Underwood, a 687sq m (7400sq ft) property on 4.7 acres overlooking Hop Island, five minutes from Douglas in Cork, two perfectly fine looking doors leading into the leisure area were being replaced. Why would anyone about to sell a property be bothered with minor repairs? Later, businessman owner Rick Delaney told me he had felt a small draft in the seal of the doorframe one day and simply had to have it fixed.

This attention to detail and level of personal investment has been replicated throughout this five-bedroomed property, making it one of the best finished homes to come on the market in Cork for a very long time. Many of the features were custom-made for the house, including the doors and much of the furniture.

The main house has Kahrs polished timber floors, a high tech air conditioning system, Gaggenau and Neff appliances in the bespoke Sematic kitchen, and views from many of the rooms of the garden and Cork harbour. The security system means that the owners can be anywhere in the world and allow access to the house through their iPhone, as well as view images from the 16 security cameras situated around the property.

A glass pod structure, which the owners say is one of the largest domestic glass structures of its type in the country, has been added off the kitchen, and includes a wood-burning fireplace and limestone flooring. Even the downstairs office, most often a throwaway room, has a handmade desk and fitted shelving, as well as an en suite bathroom and separate shelving located behind hidden bookshelf doors.

Upstairs, the master bedroom has lovely cherrywood fitted wardrobes with a nice island unit that incorporates a seating area. The children’s bedrooms are separated by a bathroom, and along the corridor the owners decided to insert a false door, because the corridor felt too long.


Leisure area
Downstairs, an outdoor garage has been extended to accommodate an enormous leisure area, complete with a gym and an 11-metre swimming pool. There’s a very unique Barrisol stretched ceiling, an exposed Liscannor stone wall and a full bar and counter. Above this area, the fifth bedroom is located, which could also be suitable for security or domestic staff.

Such is the level of detail that all the plastic gutters have been replaced with zinc materials, and wood panelling is replicated outside the glass pod to make it appear as if it is a reflection.

The owners, an athletic fortysomething couple who look to be living the dream, are resigned to losing a significant amount of their €4 million investment on the property. They are moving overseas. “It will be impossible to replicate this anywhere,” says Delaney. “As it is now, it is absolutely perfect, not only the house, but also the view. When I saw it, I thought it was the best site in Cork.”