To infinity and beyond:Stillorgan semi-D with sound studio
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Merville Avenue is one of those Stillorgan roads that have grown quietly green, leafy and likable in the years since they were built in the 1950s.
Vendors Gavin and Corinna Little have lived in 10 Merville Avenue for 11 years, put a great deal of work and imagination into a soaring reinvention/ extension and along the way reared a family of five children. “We love it here,” Gavin admits, “but we don’t fit in this house anymore. We’re hoping to move to a bigger house in the neighbourhood.”
Hoping too that they will find a house to accommodate Gavin’s work as a sound designer. He creates audio for film trailers, films and more in a cool, custom-made studio at the front of the house; this is where the music for trailers for films such as Gravity, Star Wars, Blade Runner and Inter- stellar was made. Gavin spends one of every six weeks in Hollywood, says his producer/bosses are impressed he can do what he does from a Dublin suburb, and insists he’s been lucky. “We were one of the first places to get high-speed fibre-optic when Microsoft opened in Sandyford. Means you can do international work from here.”
Gavin’s ideas for the extension/redesign, given life by architect Shane Aherne, included a third upstairs bed- Agent: Set off the busy Mount Pleasant Avenue in Rathmines lies Gulistan Terrace, which is said to take its name from the epic work of the 13th century Persian poet Saadi.
It translates as “The Rose Garden” and the well-known aphorism – of one being sad about having no shoes until one meets the man who has no feet – is taken from this landmark of Persian literature.
The area was known as “part of Cullenswood” until 1842 when it was changed to Gulistan. Beyond the terrace are quaint cottages dating from the room, the studio, under-stair utility room, the addition of a family/TV room to the kitchen – giving it an L shape and leading on to a decking area, eliminating part of the attic and opening an atrium-like column of space for the stairs. “We did things everywhere,” he says, “it was almost like knocking down and rebuilding.”
The south-facing open kitchen/breakfast/family room has darkly shining mahogany Tembec flooring and, in a nice contrast, bespoke white Spendlove wall and floor units. A black cast-iron period fireplace in a deep red wall adds a nice touch. Gavin credits Greenwood Joinery in Wicklow for their work on the hardwood floors, decking and windows.
They perked up but kept the more traditional sitting/diningroom much as it was – “it’s where we like to come and sit in the evenings.” Two windows face the front, an open fire has a marble surround and the chimney breast is a charcoal colour.
The main bedroom was en- larged by taking in a section of the attic. It has an angled window filling one wall, Skon slide-robes and an interesting narrow feature window over the bed. A rear bedroom overlooks neighbourhood greenery and the third bedroom is to the front.
The good-sized family bathroom is made splendid by palest green mosaic glass tiles, a wraparound window, marble top vanity unit and large power shower. Storage has been cleverly allowed for throughout the house.