It was never going to be a run-of-the-mill home for builder Des Morris. Originally from Douglas, the Cork man, who says “my birth cert is telling me to slow down”, has had quite an unusual property portfolio over the years.
From a converted water mill in Drinan, a seven-storey silo he turned into apartments, to a beachside chalet in Owenahincha which he later sold to Canadian/Ukrainian model Daria Werbowy, his home at the water’s edge in Glengarriff is also something out of the ordinary.
The top floor of this three bedroom home perched on an elevated site with 30m of private shoreline, was a hospitality suite in a former life. “It was actually a suite designed by O’Mahony Pike Architects in Cork for a large complex that was being built by Pierse Construction, who were building 300 apartments. It was a place where all the drawings, meetings and viewings were held.”
Morris kept the frame and wood of the modular steel unit and added new windows and walls. In addition, he applied for and secured permission to construct a downstairs to the build, to give a superb split-level house that appears to float as it is secured to the underlying bedrock.
Initially, he wanted bigger windows – to maximise the views from rooms to the front: “But we were limited to just over two metres in height, as we could not get a crane to fit down the lane,” he recalls. Despite this, they are still of generous size and give views that even on a dull day are food for the soul.
His double garage with bi-fold doors has room for two cars and his boat. A mooring lies off the tidal shore, which he reaches by kayak to hop on his boat (access to the water to launch a boat is about 250m away in the village). Waters here are teeming with fish for seaside suppers, and out just a bit further lie moorings deep enough for sailing boats.
The fact that Garnish Island – one of the most significant gardens in Europe – lies offshore to the front, means it acts a shelter for prevailing southwesterly winds. It is also an area that has a unique microclimate due to its sheltered position and the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. This means that the possibilities in the 0.75 acre gardens are endless, and for new owners a trip to Garnish Island is a must for inspiration.
Interiors, as the photographs show are high-end and all about the views, and the 180sq m (1,937sq ft) property is incredibly bright as it benefits from a southerly aspect.
Two double bedrooms lie upstairs, as does a contemporary Siematic kitchen and living room. Here all rooms facing the water have floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors for direct aspect to a balcony sheltered by a long glass balustrade. Downstairs lies a further bedroom suite and a spacious lounge, which could become a fourth bedroom if needed.
The striking waterfront home, which has a BER of B2, is now on the market through Engels & Volkers seeking €1.1 million.