Lit­er­ary links with dap­per flair

32 Synge St wears the hall­marks of an era when GB Shaw lived next door, but it has since em­braced modern func­tion­al­ity

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - The Market - ROSE DOYLE

De­scrip­tion: Re­fur­bished 19th cen­tury two storey over base­ment with three bed­rooms and en­closed rear gar­den Agent: Owen Reilly Ge­orge Bernard Shaw was born in Synge Street in 1856, and spent a fa­mously un­happy child­hood there. “Rich only in dreams, fright­ful and love­less in re­al­ity” was how he de­scribed it. A life lived in to­day’s Synge Street might pro­vide him with a brighter re­al­ity, how­ever, es­pe­cially if the orig­i­nal Shaw fam­ily home were to take on the sub­dued flair and easy liv­ing style of its next door neigh­bour, Num­ber 32 Synge Street.

Built in the 1830s, mak­ing it some 185 years old, Num­ber 32 has a won­der­fully cool bravura that nicely catches its pe­riod while ac­com­mo­dat­ing com­fort­able func­tion­al­ity. Khaki, in var­i­ous shades, is the colour of choice (to­gether with white), wood every­where (floors, ban­is­ters, stair treads, fur­ni­ture) is dark and darkly pol­ished, win­dows are orig­i­nal but in­su­lated, orig­i­nal plas­ter­work is pre­served, fire­places and their gor­geous tiles re­stored.

All of this hap­pened un­der the su­per­vi­sory eye of a con­ser­va­tion ar­chi­tect. There is no clut­ter, no dis­trac­tion from clean good looks.

Agent Owen Reilly is seek­ing ¤950,000 for the house with a floor space of 147sq m (1,582sq ft). The ven­dors have lived there since 2003, en­joyed the Synge Street street-party ev­ery July, and the plea­sures of a close com­mu­nity.

For­mal re­cep­tion

Long pan­elled double doors be­tween the for­mal re­cep­tion rooms fold back. A black mar­ble fire­place in the draw­ingroom has fruit mo­tif tiles, plas­ter­work is sim­ple.

The hall­way has an arch mid­way, fine ceil­ing rose, front door fan­light and dark khaki walls. An 8ft high arched win­dow on the turn of the stairs is a high­light in ev­ery way; hand­some to look at and throw­ing its light over ev­ery­thing.

A fam­ily bath­room on the lower re­turn is a def­i­nite talk­ing-point. It has a free-stand­ing bath and sash win­dow over­look­ing ivy creep­ing over the wall from the next-door Shaw house.

The gar­den level kitchen/fam­ily area has par­quet floor­ing, any amount of stor­age and French win­dows from its din­ing area to the east-fac­ing gar­den where 14ft high orig­i­nal brick bound­ary walls en­sure pri­vacy.

The main bed­room, to the front on the first floor, takes up the width of the house and has two sash win­dows. A cast-iron fire­place has ex­quis­ite in­set tiles and the dis­creet en suite has dark wood fit­tings. A sec­ond, rear bed­room has gar­den views and built-in wardrobes. The third bed­room, a double, is to the front at gar­den level.

Agent Owen Reilly says prices in the area have been strong of late. An end-of-ter­race in Gran­tham Street (to­tally re­fur­bished) sold for over ¤1 mil­lion ear­lier in the year, while a “wreck” in eight flats on the South Cir­cu­lar Road sold re­cently for ¤800,000.

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