‘Dream home’ looking over the Atlantic, by the strand at Mullaghmore, for sale for €2m

This four-bed, four-bath Co Sligo house on a seven-acre plot was built in 2008 to the owners’ ideal design

Address: Beltichburne, Mounttemple, Moneygold, Grange, Co Sligo
Price: €2,000,000
Agent: Savills
View this property on MyHome.ie

Dernish Island, Slieve League, Benbulben, Classiebawn and the Dartry mountains: these are among the features Noelle can see from her unique home in Co Sligo. To build one’s own house is a rare privilege; to find the ideal “hidden gem” on which to configure a dream home that she carried in her head for years enabled her to make “a sacred contract with this place”.

To satisfy a deep-rooted urge to leave Dublin city with their five children in the early 2000s, Noelle’s husband spent weekends travelling the Wild Atlantic Way on his motorbike. Meanwhile she, a fashion and textile designer, drew the plan of a beach house that she had seen in Brazil some years before, with endless views through walls of glass. When they found their perfect site, a seven-acre plot on the seaward side of the road a few kilometres south of Mullaghmore, it was not surprising that it was in high demand; the auction price climbed from a guide of €200,000 to an under-the-hammer of €405,000 (plus tax).

There followed a process of finding a local architect with whom to realise her exacting design (they chose OKM in Sligo), securing planning permission in 2006, organising groundworks to tier the land towards the strand and tuck the house in, and working out the dimensions of the furniture they would need for a four-bedroom, four-bathroom, single-storey house of 390sq m (4,198sq ft).

From the gravelled drive, the structure appears almost to float above a curving plinth of poured concrete, which Noelle researched and configured with Kieran Davey of KD Groundworks. To emulate the colour and texture of the beloved beach, she adjusted the elements, dyeing the mixture and adding rock salt before it cured, with some embedded as a sparkling grain and some washing off to leave pitted pockmarks. The same material was used in the rear steps that lead across the garden through a pyracantha hedge. In two years, she says, a woven wall of agapanthus will burst into purple bloom; the driveway is bordered by a bank made of 6,000-plus corms of fiery Crocosmia Lucifer.

The kitchen/diningroom and the sittingroom are divided and connected by sliding doors, and both have glass walls aligned so that from the front, which is partially clad in Donegal sandstone, you can see the ocean. The clerestory windows in these rooms and in the hall are motorised, and the acoustics were planned for parties. Other modern comforts include underfloor heating, and the Ber is B1.

Three of the four double bedrooms face the sea; some windows wrap around corners as in the main suite, which has a glossy dressing area and a luxurious ensuite. Throughout the house are well-considered fixtures and fittings by Laufen, Zucchetti and Norman Foster, and design details include LED-lit, custom-built shelves.

A sunken sitting area inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright amplifies the feeling of being nestled into nature, and in the other sittingroom Noelle brings her designer touch to the connection between a curved Roche Bobois sofa, a circular mirror and a round rug. In addition to these rooms there is a playroom that could be a fifth bedroom, as well as a study, a workshop and an integrated garage.

For sailing, swimming and fishing with friends, the family favour Mullaghmore, to which you can walk across the strand in 40 minutes or cycle in 15; for schools, shops and fuel they travel a little farther, to Grange. Gleniff horseshoe walk is a must-do for visitors, says Noelle, before describing her current view of 20 seals lolloping around on a sandbank within sight of her sittingroom.

Having reared their children, she and her husband are handing over the role of being “keepers of this place”, and are seeking a smaller home into which to weave themselves. Beltichburne, at Mounttemple, Moneygold, Grange, Co Sligo, is for sale through Savills with an asking price of €2 million.

Joyce Hickey

Joyce Hickey

Joyce Hickey, an Irish Times journalist, writes about homes and property