Fifty shades of grey in Dublin 18 for €1.3m
Monochrome layers with flashes of colour bring surreal elegance to D18's Granville
Ironically the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey movie came out at a time when layered multiple shades of grey really were becoming huge. The Scandi look has become all-pervasive in design circles and is likely to have legs left in it for another few years besides.
And rarely has it been used to such effect as at Granville, a refurbished cottage at Blackglen Road in Dublin's Sandyford where the layering is set off throughout the home with choice flashes of deep colour and mirrored reflections.
In preparing Granville for sale, the owners drafted in an interior designer, Yvonne Mulligan, who has supervised a makeover of the property in tasteful shades of grey, although perhaps not quite as many as fifty. The new laminate floors in an ash grey are both smart and, unlike some natural floors, hardwearing. The combination provides a surreal elegance that will make you look twice.
In the early eighties, the current owners of Granville bought a modest three-bedroom cottage dating back to 1939. The cottage was nothing special, but the site on the side of the mountain, a couple of hundred metres past Lamb Doyles on the Blackglen Road, was a very interesting prospect indeed with it's eagle eye swooping views down over all of Dublin and the sea beyond.
They set about creating a house that would take advantage of the intrinsic opportunities that the site presented, in terms of views out over the cityscape, and designed an upside-down residence. The living rooms are on the upper level, in a new storey with a mansard hip roof in black slate added to the existing structure, with the bedrooms below on the level of what was the original cottage.
Having raised their family in the house, the current owners are now downsizing from a home that has been both happy and sociable. It is, they say, a great house for a party. The first indication of this, as one passes through the electric gates and up the sloping driveway, is the amount of car parking space there is to the front of the house: plenty for a gang, and then some.
Steps lead up to the porch and front door, and the entrance atrium is suffused with light from above.
Five double bedrooms make up the accommodation at entrance level, but the only trace of the original cottage that remains is the fireplace enclosed in a pillar in the entrance hall, which is now fitted with an electric fire.
The master bedroom lies to the back of the house, with doors opening out onto the patio and garden. South-east facing, the room gets the morning light. The large en suite is newly installed, bright and luxurious, lit by high-level windows.
One of the other bedrooms is also en suite, while the remaining three share a family bathroom which has a double shower. A utility room at this level is accessed from the carport to the side of the house. It's handy for bringing in shopping, although the groceries do still have to be carried upstairs to the kitchen.
Upstairs, the living room, television and dining room are to the front of the house, with the kitchen and spacious pantry to the back. The eat-in kitchen has had a sharp refit, with matt grey units and an island unit.
The living room is where the party action happens - there's even a bar, as well as a wood-burning stove. To the rear, the south-facing sun-room is a wonderful, bright room - the best in the house - that looks out onto the slopes of Ticknock, vibrant with bright yellow gorse at this time of year. A pair (are they a brace whilst still alive?) of pheasants potter around, and the local deer population visits frequently. There is direct access from the garden onto the mountainside, an amenity that will appeal to dog owners.
The television room, positioned front and centre on the upper level, has spectacular views of the city and Dublin Bay. Although there are views from the living and dining rooms either side, particularly at night, when the expanse of the city twinkles below, more could be made of them.
The windows are small, and high. Walls of floor-to-ceiling glass would make the views truly magnificent, and the cost and planning implications of installing these is something that prospective purchasers will wish to factor into their considerations.
Outside, the garden wraps around the house and extends to three-quarters of an acre. To the front, the garden is mainly in lawn and a mountain stream runs along the boundary of the property. At the back, the main feature is a large pond, and there's a barbecue area positioned to catch the evening sun.
For buyers in search of a taste of the good life, there are vegetable beds already in position, with potatoes ready to be dug and rhubarb to be cut. Currant bushes, strawberry plants and an apple tree are in situ. A block-work shed, and a flat-roofed extension currently used as a storeroom, complete the accommodation and could be put to other uses.
The backdrop of the Dublin Mountains, with its walking paths, and running and mountain biking tracks, will be of interest to outdoor types. Sandyford is handy for access to the M50 and the airport, and also a good location for those in search of a property with a rural feel yet within easy reach of the city centre, and the distinctly non-rural amenity of Dundrum Town Centre with its plethora of shops, restaurants and cinemas.
Blackglen Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18
Asking price: €1.29m
Agent: OMD (01) 497 1004