Wanted: nice family for good home; suit country living, lots of space, contemporary design, fondness for horses an advantage.
Mountain Springs, just outside Ashford, has been extended, refurbished and landscaped, but is back on the market just over a year after it last changed hands (in December 2013 for €1.15 million). Now what it really needs is new owners for the long haul.
In 2008, another set of owners spent what looks like far more than the current asking price – €1.3 million with Colliers – on upgrading and extending the existing split level bungalow to create a 558sq m (6,000sq ft) house with an impressively tall entrance atrium with floor-to-ceiling windows and a sweeping cantilevered ash staircase.
There is also a vast kitchen, snooker room, library, drawingroom and four bedrooms, three of which have direct garden access. The current owners are relocating to the UK.
Outside, the six acres of grounds are a mixture of landscaped gardens, with a stream winding through them, crossed by picturesque bridges, and two paddocks. There is a stable block with three loose boxes, plus a timberframe play house, and two guest cottages. If horses are your thing, it’s just down the road from the Boswell Equestrian Centre. You’re also five minutes from the N11, so it’s in the middle of the countryside but without being isolated.
If the designers went to town on the staircase and atrium, they really let rip in the kitchen where there are two of everything: dishwashers, ovens, warming trays, barbecue grills, gas hobs and wine fridges.
This means you can either cook like a Masterchef professional or sustain very long arguments with your partner as each of you can have your own facilities with no need to share or compromise.
It is also a house conducive to happiness. A veranda runs around the lower level, heated with electric heaters as well as a solid fuel stove, so you can curl up in the warmth, whatever the weather, sip your chilled white wine and eat snacks from a different cooking mechanism every day of the week.