Quite apart from the property mantra of "location, location, location", 5 Maretimo Villas has a great deal going for it. There is a gentle, homemaker's appeal in liveable spaces with stripped floorboards and in a lay-out that has a kitchen/family space overlooking a dramatic Cordyline in a courtyard garden.
As for location: a corner house in a terrace of 1930s houses with a sheltered kitchen garden to the front, number 5 is just minutes from Blackrock’s old village centre, the sea and early morning dips.
The owner is downsizing after almost 20 years in a house that, she says, “has always been a home for children to run about in”. She has had a long career in the fashion industry and intends spending time “enjoying West Cork’s pace and civilisation”.
There is nothing of the fashionista about her home. Number 5’s style is comfortably individual and efficiently contemporary and comes with the definite cachet of a rear, own entrance studio/apartment that could be a home office or provide rental income. The owner bought for €295, 000 in 1999 and since then has put work and heart into making a home with a difference.
Agent Tom O’Higgins is seeking €795,000. The floor area covers 104sq m (1,120sq ft) with three bedrooms, kitchen/family/diningroom, attic room and family bathroom. The studio/apartment, once a stables to the rear of the courtyard garden, has its own kitchen, bathroom and private entrance and measures 31sq m (333sq ft).
Built in 1934, no 5 was “the bare bones of a house” when the vendor moved in, “the windows rotten and the rear garden a stables and garage”. She redesigned and upgraded between 2005-2006, “sticking to the original footprint, putting in a semi-open kitchen/family/dining space where there had been a lean-to, and converting the attic.”
The remade house retains period features, included three Victorian fireplaces (two of them marble) installed by the original owners. Because light is important to the vendor the ground level has pale, limed oak flooring, and several velux and wall-to-wall windows. The main, first-floor bedroom has a bay window that mirrors that in the ground-floor living room. A family bathroom also has natural light, along with an original, free-standing claw foot bath and separate shower.
The attic room has a pitched, pine ceiling, more velux windows and eaves storage. There is a shed, ferns, healthy Camellia and shady Zen area in the courtyard/garden.