It may be the smallest county in Ireland, but Louth has a coastline to rival many others. With 90km of rugged shoreline stretching from the Boyne Estuary at Mornington to Carlingford Lough, Termonfeckin is one of the finer spots with its soft, unspoilt sands.
Located a 10-minute walk from the sea at Termonfeckin is Strand House, a contemporary home which is a great example of what a good architect can achieve by transforming a run-of-the-mill bungalow.
The family who reside here used to live up the road and would pass the site of their now home on daily trips to the beach for year-round swims: “At the time we wanted something to put our own stamp on. The bungalow here [built in 2001] came up for sale in 2006 and we were absolutely blown away by the elevated site and the views,” say the owners, who are now right-sizing with the advent of an empty nest.
They engaged McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects to transform the bungalow into their dream home: “We had lived in the Netherlands and had been very much inspired by modern architecture, so wanted something contemporary. It was just before the crash and everyone was so busy with development, so it was hard to get an architect, but when they came and saw the site, I think they were smitten too.”
One of the owners is a qualified garden designer, so the south- and west-facing aspects were developed to maximise the views and light.
Extending to a considerable 340sq m (3,660sq ft), the property lies in the heart of the village, but its elevated site makes it feel like you are surrounded by nature – so it really is the best of both worlds.
It has five bedrooms – the principal of which lies upstairs, with great views from a glazed balcony. Downstairs is a large open-plan kitchen/breakfastroom with a living area where light and verdant garden views flow in from oversized picture windows. There is also a home office (in the fifth bedroom), a music/hobby room and a good sized utility.
It is quite incredible the way the gardens feel part of the interior, thanks to a design collaboration between the owner and the multi-award winning landscaper Andrew Christopher Dunne, who has numerous gold medals from Bloom.
Executed in 2009, the gardens are now mature, with a variety of specimen planting, a working garden and a large reflective pond, purposely designed to mirror the sun.
The site and views give peace and tranquillity, and the only traffic passing the house is recreational, such as people on their way for a walk, swim or to play a round of golf. “We didn’t want a house where we were yearning to go abroad, so it became our happy place – and it really is a happy place to live,” say the owners.
The village itself is also lovely, where you can buy a selection of locally grown produce at the Forge Field Farm Shop and Café, while An Grianán, a stately 18th-century house owned by the Irish Countrywomen’s Association, hosts lots of local activities and is home to a garden centre.
Located just over an hour from the capital, Strand House, with a Ber of B3, is now on the market through REA O’Brien Collins seeking €875,000.