A few of our favourite homes in 2018

A Hol­ly­wood-style beach house in Meath, a rare Grafton ar­chi­tect cot­tage in Clare, a swanky Balls­bridge apart­ment and the Ranelagh sale that led to love

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Front Page - – MADELEINE LYONS – MADELEINE LYONS – EL­IZ­A­BETH BIRDTHISTLE – EL­IZ­A­BETH BIRDTHISTLE – ALANNA GAL­LAGHER – BER­NICE HAR­RI­SON – BER­NICE HAR­RI­SON – FRANCES O’ROURKE

Sta­tus: Came to mar­ket in May seek­ing ¤9.95 mil­lion, re­mains un­sold Agent: Sherry FitzGer­ald Coun­try Homes Seafield House in Don­abate was quite the sur­prise this year. Just a half hour by car from the city cen­tre, the Pal­la­dian ex­trav­a­ganza at the end of the tree-lined av­enue is a world apart in time and place.

Built 300 years ago by Ed­ward Lovett Pearce for the high Sher­iff of Dublin, and lived in more re­cently by high so­ci­ety cou­ple Sir Robert and Lady Shee­lagh Goff, it was pur­chased for £1 mil­lion in 1996 by the cur­rent own­ers, Liam and Kaye Cronin. They have since in­vested heav­ily in its up­grade, in­clud­ing restor­ing the gal­leried grand hall and for­mal re­cep­tion rooms with their strik­ing fire­places.

An ad­di­tional 600 trees have been planted on its 80 acres of park­land, but the piece de re­sis­tance is an Ital­ian foun­tain to the front of the prop­erty clev­erly con­nect­ing the house with wa­ter and fine views across the es­tu­ary to Malahide. On the mar­ket through Sherry FitzGer­ald for ¤9.95 mil­lion. Sta­tus: Came to mar­ket in April seek­ing ¤9.25 mil­lion, re­mains un­sold Agent: Knight Frank In terms of his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant built her­itage, St Ge­orges in Killiney took the prize this year. A tow­ered and gabled Gothic Re­vival man­sion, it was built in the late 1870s by its ar­chi­tect owner Ge­orge Cop­pinger Ash­lin for his new bride, Mary, and in trib­ute to the legacy of her fa­ther, the in­flu­en­tial Gothic Re­vival ar­chi­tect Au­gus­tus Pu­gin.

Ash­lin went on to build scores of prom­i­nent re­li­gious prop­er­ties in Ire­land. St Ge­orges – which even has its own chapel – is a very par­tic­u­lar prop­erty that would have lim­ited ap­peal ow­ing to its dark wood-laden in­te­rior. But for fans of Gothic or Arts and Crafts de­sign this is surely a small Mecca hav­ing been faith­fully and metic­u­lously pre­served true to the era by its own­ers Robert and Jane Mc­Quil­lan. To visit was both a de­light and an ed­u­ca­tion.

They are only the fourth own­ers in the house’s 150 year his­tory. On the mar­ket with Knight Frank seek­ing ¤9.25 mil­lion. Sta­tus: Came to mar­ket in May seek­ing ¤3.5 mil­lion, re­mains un­sold Agent: Knight Frank and Jor­dan Auc­tion­eers It wasn’t so much the im­pos­ing pe­riod res­i­dence on 341 acres, or that it was home to one of the most im­por­tant col­lec­tions of rhodo­den­dron in Ire­land, or that some of the trees are listed on the Tree Coun­cil of Ire­land’s reg­is­ter.

It was the sheer his­tory of the place – re­counted by Mark Shirley-Bea­van, son-in-law of the late Piers Den­nis whose fam­ily have lived here since the house was built in the early 1700’s – that made this 11 bed­room stately home so in­ter­est­ing.

Walk­ing around it felt like a pri­vate mu­seum filled with so many arte­facts from the Den­nis fam­ily – from Col Meade Den­nis and his buf­falo heads hang­ing in the hall to his Den­nis De­tec­tor in the base­ment – a pro­to­type of a ma­chine used to de­tect sub­marines.

The fam­ily’s links with John Dry­den and Jonathan Swift, dot­ted in paint­ings along the walls of the in­ner hall, meant that this home, steeped in so much his­tory, is wor­thy of a tome.

Sell­ing agents Knight Frank and Jor­dan are in ne­go­ti­a­tion with a po­ten­tial buyer, one who we can only hope will do their re­search and cat­a­logue all the in­ter­est­ing res­i­dents who have called Fort­gran­ite home. Sta­tus: Came to mar­ket in July seek­ing ¤1.5 mil­lion, sold for ¤1.525,000 Agent: Sav­ills The lo­ca­tion along a sandy beach with a spe­cial key­pad to just hop from the house to the long stretch of coast­line, in con­junc­tion with the Bauhaus-style in­te­ri­ors was what made this prop­erty get un­der my skin.

Per­haps the dream of be­ing so close to wa­ter, with sounds of crash­ing waves and un­in­ter­rupted sun­sets – not to men­tion evening swims in warm weather – were the sell­ing points. But, it was also the value.

Hav­ing lain idle for a decade, the Beach Haus was the crashed dream of a de­vel­oper, but fin­ished by a cou­ple who con­tin­ued the high end in­te­ri­ors. The price at ¤1.5 mil­lion for a 929sq m ( 1 0, 000sq ft) state-of-the-art beach­front house seemed like good value.

The views from the bed­rooms and re­cep­tion rooms are spec­tac­u­lar, and if this prop­erty was on Dublin’s south side – with a sim­i­lar water­front lo­ca­tion – you could add an ex­tra zero to the ask­ing price.

The prop­erty sold through Sav­ills, for ¤1.525 mil­lion – not bad for what is re­ally three prop­er­ties in one. Here’s hop­ing that the buy­ers get sim­i­lar sum­mers to the one we just had from which to en­joy their con­tem­po­rary beach­front home. Sta­tus: Came to mar­ket seek­ing ¤950,000 in May, sold for ¤1.21 mil­lion in Au­gust Agent: Janet Car­roll An ex­er­cise in a sim­ple but re­ally well-ex­e­cuted up­grad­ing of a stan­dard three-bed 1950s semi to suit mod­ern life. The house (sold through Janet Car­roll) had un­der­floor heat­ing, en­suite bath­rooms and 256 sq m/2759sq ft sq feet of space thanks to the con­ver­sion of the garage and at­tic but it is the add-ons, the sun-filled yet ut­terly pri­vate court­yard gar­den and the sep­a­rate stu­dio cum work­shop to the back that re­ally made this stand out.

It just worked re­ally well as a fam­ily home hav­ing a large open plan L-shaped room to the rear, a sep­a­rate for­mal liv­ing room to the front and a third space at ground level for a kids’ es­cape. Sta­tus: Came to mar­ket in July seek­ing ¤550,000, taken off the mar­ket in Septem­ber Agent: Sherry FitzGer­ald This ar­chi­tect-de­signed, two-bed, end-of-ter­race house was ready to walk into. In a cen­tral lo­ca­tion known for its tiny abodes it had one added ad­van­tage, a de­cent-sized, south-fac­ing yard com­plete with sooth­ing wa­ter fea­ture.

Its owner, Scot­tish ar­chi­tect De­nis Gil­bert, who trained at the Charles Ren­nie Mack­in­tosh-de­signed Glas­gow School of Art, put the house on the mar­ket with Sher­ryFitzGer­ald in July and when he told one of his neigh­bours he was sell­ing the house and po­ten­tially mov­ing to Spain they got talk­ing and ro­mance blos­somed.

Now she’s mov­ing into his fine house and re­fur­bish­ing her own, within view of this prop­erty. He bought the tiny end of ter­race two bed just 40 sq m (430sq ft), in 1997, pay­ing £54,000 for it and com­pletely re­con­fig­ured it, turn­ing it into a bright free-flow­ing home of 64sq m (690sq ft) by adding glaz­ing and well-po­si­tioned roof lights.

Came to mar­ket in June seek­ing ¤365,000, sold for ¤370,000

Lo­ca­tion, Lo­ca­tion When The Doolin House in Co Clare came on the mar­ket in June, it stood out for many rea­sons not least that it was de­signed by renowned ar­chi­tect Shel­ley Mc­Na­mara, part­ner with Yvonne Far­rell in Grafton Ar­chi­tects, cu­ra­tors of the great ar­chi­tec­ture bi­en­alle in Venice this year. It’s also an award-win­ning house. In 1995 it won an RIAI prize, with one of the as­ses­sors not­ing, “I be­lieve this is the best of the houses in a ru­ral land­scape”.

The de­sign won plau­dits for its mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the tra­di­tional Ir­ish long­house and the “sim­ple aes­thet­ics”. The four bed­room house fea­tures el­e­ments that are now com­mon­place in high-end res­i­den­tial de­sign – a dou­ble-height liv­ing space, full-height glaz­ing in the open plan liv­ing area with ac­cess to a screened court­yard, steel handrails (on the be­spoke ash stair­case), en­gi­neered oak floor­ing and float­ing shelves (in the solid wood kitchen built by a lo­cal crafts­man).

It is sim­ple and solid and ev­ery­thing about its ex­te­rior is dis­crete, sit­ting into its land­scape in an un­ob­tru­sive way. It has 183.9 sq m (1,980sq ft), with the en­closed court­yard al­most equal to the foot­print of the house. It sold quickly through lo­cal agent Lo­ca­tion, Lo­ca­tion, for ¤5,000 over its ¤365,000 ask­ing price. Sta­tus: Came to mar­ket in Oc­to­ber seek­ing ¤795,000, still for sale Agent: Lis­ney In 1932, an am­bi­tious young de­vel­oper called Ge­orge Linzell got plan­ning ap­proval to build a large scheme of houses in Glas­nevin, called Hamp­sted Hill and The Rise.

He was a son-in-law of Alexan­der Strain, a pop­u­lar and pro­lific de­vel­oper in Dublin known for his qual­ity and de­tail, and not to be out­done Linzell com­mis­sioned Lon­don ar­chi­tect Harold Green­wood, who worked in the of­fice of Ed­win Lu­tyens to de­sign his new houses.

On the fringes of the de­vel­op­ment – on Bal­ly­mun Road – he built the largest houses and by far the most strik­ing is num­ber 114. The de­tached two storey house – a lo- cal land­mark – with its im­pos­ing white painted front el­e­va­tion and strik­ing green roof came on the mar­ket in Oc­to­ber for the first time in many decades.

An ex­ecu­tor’s sale its own­ers, two sis­ters who had lived there nearly all their lives, took im­mense care of the house, mak­ing it com­fort­able and up-to-date in terms of heat­ing, plumb­ing and the rest, but kept its lay­out and many of its orig­i­nal dec­o­ra­tive in­te­rior fea­tures in­tact.

Built on a quar­ter-acre site the gar­dens front and back are ma­ture and the pri­vate rear gar­den is not over­looked, with a de­tached garage open­ing onto Hamp­stead Av­enue. It came on the mar­ket in Oc­to­ber, ask­ing ¤795,000 through Lis­ney. Sta­tus: Came to mar­ket in July seek­ing ¤895,000, since re­duced to ¤795,000 Agent: Sav­ills A blue door near the end of a small ter­race opened into per­haps one of the most sur­pris­ing prop­er­ties of 2018.

In­side, the own­ers had com­pletely re­built 9 St Paul’s Ter­race – a nar­row cul-de-sac off Ade­laide Road in a lo­ca­tion var­i­ously de­scribed as Glasthule, Gle­nageary and Sandy­cove – turn­ing it into an ul­tra-mod­ern home.

From the curved wal­nut win­dow seat in the front of the com­pletely open-plan par­quet-floored ground floor to the back gar­den with its hard­wood her­ring­bone deck, the Tardis-like house is full of clever ideas.

Stor­age was nearly the most strik­ing: util­i­ties in the white high gloss kitchen are con­cealed be­hind doors, as is a work sta­tion in the din­ing area; pull-out draw­ers on cas­tors are ev­ery­where, up­stairs and down. Two glazed doors at right an­gles at the back of the house slide back com­pletely, with no sup­port­ing col­umn to ob­struct the view of the gar­den, a real out­door room.

The 125sq m (1,350sq ft) two-bed with a third at­tic bed­room went on sale in July with Sav­ills seek­ing ¤895,000 and the price has since dropped to ¤795,000. The house is close to play­ing fields on Hud­son Road, now be­ing re­de­vel­oped by Dun Laoghaire-Rath­down County Coun­cil with sports pitches and a play­ground. Sta­tus: Came to mar­ket in June seek­ing ¤2.5 mil­lion-plus, just gone sale agreed Agent: Sotheby’s Noth­ing il­lus­trates the price di­vide be­tween town and coun­try bet­ter than a Ge­or­gian es­tate on 8.8 acres of beau­ti­ful gar­dens in Co Wick­low.

Prospect House, a 716 sq m (7,700 sq ft) metic­u­lously main­tained four bed with an ad­ja­cent but self-con­tained three-bed guest wing, staff apart­ment and a re­cently con­verted 460 sq m (4,956 sq ft) three-bed coach-house went on the mar­ket in June with Sotheby’s ask­ing ¤2.5 mil­lion-plus.

Sim­i­lar prices are be­ing sought for much smaller prop­er­ties with small gar­dens in some Dublin suburbs – and the house, a short drive from the N11, about 15 min­utes from the M50, isn’t even that far from Dublin.

Con­tin­ued on page 2

Beach Haus, Bet­tys­town, Co Meath Sta­tus: Agent:

114 Bal­ly­mun Road, Glas­nevin, Dublin 9

63 Gulis­tan Cot­tages, Rath­mines, Dublin 6

Seafield House, Kil­crea, Don­abate, Co Dublin

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