Arts and Crafts gem in leafy Rathgar
32 Orwell Park, Rathgar, Dublin 6 €3.2m
Built in the early 1900s, 32 Orwell Park stands on one of the leafiest of the many leafy roads in genteel Rathgar, considered by some to be as much a state of mind as it is an address. Certainly, to paraphrase what Holly Golightly said of Tiffany's, it does not look as if anything bad could ever happen in these parts.
On a sunny morning in early autumn, the road is busy with the white vans of builders, tradesmen and gardeners, and it appears as if there is not a house on the road that isn't having some primping done. It's just as well the houses have off-street parking because space is at a premium.
The owner of number 32 is mowing his back garden - a not insignificant task given that the house sits on a generous site that extends to over a quarter of an acre. Currently it is laid out mainly in lawn and because it is so large it gets sun all day long. Most of the houses on the road are occupied by families, having been sold on to a new generation over the past decade or so, and number 32 too is likely to be bought by a young family, albeit one with deep pockets. The large garden will be enormously attractive, offering the potential for all sorts of wholesome outdoor play.
The current owners have had the house for about 10 years but it has been rented out for most of that time and was looking a little tired. Prior to putting it on the market, they have done some refurbishment work, including installing a new Christoff kitchen and a spacious en suite bathroom to the master bedroom. With such a large site at their disposal, new owners would have the opportunity to extend and further renovate the property, subject to planning permission, perhaps adding up to two or three thousand square feet of living space.
Number 32 was built in the Arts and Crafts style that showcased traditional craftsmanship using simple forms, associated with the architect Augustus Pugin and the artist William Morris. It's a movement of which there are more examples in the UK than in Ireland, and is primarily thought of as a reaction against the impoverished state of the decorative arts and the creep of industrial production methods.
The owners do not have a comprehensive history of the house, but they purchased it from a member of the family of the Republican politician, Oscar Traynor, who held several government ministries and was a sometime president of the Football Association of Ireland. They understand that Traynor lived in the house at one time.
With just over 302 sqm of living space, number 32 is a good-sized house, but does not feel over-large or unmanageable. On the ground floor the drawing room is located to the right of the entrance hall and occupies two of the square bays overlooking the front garden. The owners says that it is a lovely room in which to sit and read the paper in the morning. Also on the righthand side of the house is a small dining room, off the smart new kitchen which has a central island unit, integrated appliances and French doors that open out onto the raised deck and terrace overlooking the back garden. There is a separate utility room.
Also on the ground floor, to the left of the entrance hall, is a study to the front and a family room to the back. There is a panelled guest lavatory too.
Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, of which just one is en suite. The master bedroom occupies the front bay above the drawing room and has benefited from some serious recent attention in that it now has a very spacious walk-in closet, with plenty of room to accommodate the wardrobes of two fashion-loving individuals, as well as a generous bathroom with a free-standing claw-foot bath, a large corner shower and two wash hand basins. The remaining three bedrooms are all doubles and there is a family bathroom to be shared between these.
Some period features remain intact, and these include a lovely parquet floor in the entrance hall and period ovoid brass handles on many of the internal doors.
Outside, there is off-street parking behind electric gates for several cars, and there is a drive-through garage, handy if work is being done in the garden, as well as dual side access for pedestrians. Families living in the area have an excellent choice of schools, including Gonzaga, St Mary's, Sandford Park and Alexandra College.
Size: 303 sqm
Agent: Stokes Property Consultants, (01) 647 2961
Viewing: Strictly by appointment