House of the Week: RTÉ’s Franc bids farewell to his eye-catching bolthole in rural Cork

The well-known wedding planner and star of various TV series is selling Woodview House in Fermoy for €720,000

Woodview House on Duntahane Road in Fermoy, Co Cork: currently owned by Peter ‘Franc’ Kelly of RTÉ wedding series fame

House-hunting for “the one” is never straightforward, but buyers could well find that it’s love at first sight for this handsome property in Fermoy, Co Cork.

Woodview House, a restored Victorian farmhouse and cottage on circa 0.5 of an acre, have been tastefully restored by owners Peter Kelly and Éadaoin Morrish into a dream home with a magical garden to match.

Peter, aka Franc, is no stranger to making dreams come true as the wedding planner extraordinaire and host of the Irish version of hit reality television show Say Yes to the Dress.

The couple moved to the stone-built farmhouse just over two decades ago, and set out on what was a labour of love to restore the 1902 property to a family home, while also creating a base for their internationally renowned business.

The restoration project included building an extension that adds two wings to the original structure, while also planting a garden as charming as the house it surrounds. A commitment was made from the start to retain as much of the heritage of the property as possible and architectural salvage was sourced for authentic replacements where needed.

The overall result is a five-bedroom home which preserves the architectural features that give the house its unique character but with a sympathetic modernisation in keeping with the needs of a family of six.

That updating is most evident in the large, dual-aspect kitchen which opens directly to the garden. It’s the sort of kitchen a dedicated cook would love, and it doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that both Kelly and Morrish are professionally trained chefs, having first met as students at what was then the Cork Institute of Technology.

Woodview extends to circa 266 square metres. The bright porch opens through double doors to the reception hall with wood panelling, dado rail, cast iron radiator and the restored original floor tiles.

On either side of the hall are two reception rooms, both of which retain original oak floors, ceiling cornices, centre roses and Victorian fireplaces with inset tiles.

The new extension, constructed in 2006, houses the bright open plan kitchen/dining room with wraparound views of the garden. Carpentry by local craftsman Eamon Ahern, includes the central island with quartz worktop and the window seats with presses either side.

Other features include tall larders, an American-style fridge freezer, a wine rack, a Rangemaster cooker and double-bowl Belfast sink fitted with Co2 filter tap. The floor is salvaged oak from Kilkenny. French doors lead out on the patio.

The original kitchen, now a modern-day pantry, is accessed through an oak panelled arch and has solid maple storage presses, sink, exposed brick wall and new floor tiles.

A guest bedroom with en suite and French doors to the patio is located off the main hall, forming part of the modern extension of the house.

A guest WC completes the rooms at ground floor level.

Off the upstairs landing are four double bedrooms, two en suite. The main suite is a large L- shaped, dual aspect space filled with natural light from five Velux windows. It has a spacious en suite which includes a period style roll top slipper bath.

The family bathroom has a Jacuzzi bath and separate shower. There’s also a laundry room and a drying area with a tumble dryer at this level.

A spiral staircase on the landing leads to a chill out zone, currently furnished with bean bags and a telescope for a spot of star gazing through the roof light.

The separate cottage, originally the dairy parlour, has been restored and is now a charming work studio with 97 square metres of space incorporating an office, boardroom, kitchen/dining room and WC.

Both properties have excellent broadband connectivity, gas fired central heating and a C2 BER.

The extensive garden at Woodview House is a veritable Eden, its design a collaboration with Town and Country Gardens which has matured over the past two decades and includes a treehouse built by Kellly himself.

The family are now starting to spread their wings, planning the transformation of the former Mercy Convent in Rosscarbery which they bought two years ago.

Woodview House and cottage is currently for sale with an asking price of €720,000, through Patricia Stokes Auctioneers and Valuers at 086-2482737.