Ann Bailey wasn't looking for a Little House on the Prairie-type of home when she bought a log house in Meath in 2018. She just wanted to live near family, and the Log House in Kilmessan was in the right location. "My cousins persuaded me to look at it because of the fabulous garden," she says. Inside the rustic exterior is a thoroughly modern house, "and the wood is very cosy. It's delightful".
The Log House was built in 1992 by a couple who had always dreamed of living in a wooden house; they imported the house in kit form from Finland and built it over 13 weeks, they told Irish Homes magazine when it featured in 1993. The house was renovated and extended in 2010 and now it’s a 378sq m (4,068sq ft) five-bed house with a B3 BER rating on 3.6 acres.
Good broadband and its location – 15 minutes' drive from Trim and Dunshaughlin, Co Meath, with easy access to the airport and port – were key attractions for Ann, who travelled once a month back to Oxford to see family and friends. She is leaving "reluctantly, because I love Ireland and Co Meath. But I'm not prepared to gamble on a return to easy travel." The Log House is now for sale through Savills for €950,000.
Pictures of the Log House show a slightly unusually shaped building in the middle of a landscaped garden surrounded by trees; inside, it has the look of a Canadian or Scandinavian ski chalet, with exposed timber walls and ceilings. Accommodation is all at one level, with a large open-plan livingroom-diningroom at the heart of the house, divided by a double-sided fireplace with an exposed stone chimneybreast. This space opens onto a wooden terrace looking over the gardens.
There is an office and a study-playroom at the very front of the house. The kitchen, at the back, has a tiled floor, quartz-topped island and smart grey units. There are three bedrooms, a sauna and a laundry room at one side of the house and a large en suite main bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe at the back. Double doors open onto a terrace from here.
There is a self-contained garden-level accommodation with an office-workroom, utility room and an apartment with a livingroom-kitchen, double bedroom and en suite shower room.
Ann is “a mad keen gardener” and there’s plenty of scope at the Log House for gardening on its 3.6 acres. There are terraces, lawned areas, paths winding through the gardens, a tree house and a two-acre fenced paddock where a neighbour keeps horses. There’s also a log cabin-style double garage near the house.