Have a taste of Dalkey's high life for €1.25m
Coolbawn Railway Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin €1.25m
The pretty village of Dalkey in south county Dublin features in many a legend - it's an early Christian site dotted with churches and castles, it was an important Viking settlement, it was the birthplace of George Bernard Shaw and appeared in Flann O'Brien's novel The Dalkey Archive. More recently, of course, it has become home to the Dalkey Book Festival, the brainchild of economist David McWilliams and his partner Sian Smyth who have lured homegrown and foreign talents as diverse as Salman Rushdie and Roddy Doyle, illustrator Chris Judge and rugby pundit Tony Ward.
And plenty more legends live there - including U2's Bono, filmmaker Neil Jordan, writer Joseph O'Connor and broadcaster Pat Kenny. No doubt they're drawn by the stretch of Vico Road that - as the cliché goes - rivals the Bay of Naples for beauty. Or the quaint serpentine main street with its hotchpotch of cafes, restaurants, bookshops, and pubs, and its strong sense of community. And all just half an hour from the city centre.
Property here goes for a premium and, if you can afford it, there is a choice of everything from fine period houses to cutting-edge modern design. Coolbawn on Railway Road combines both. Built around 1910, the current owners purchased it in 2010 for close to €500,000, says selling agent Vincent Finnegan, and with architect Johnny Bennett of extend.ie gave it a radical redesign. Earlier this year, it was on the market briefly at €1.35m and withdrawn. The vendors have now come back to the market with a revised price of €1.25m, again with agent Vincent Finnegan.
A flight of granite steps leads up to the original front door of this terraced villa. The main door, however, has been repositioned downstairs in what was once the basement. This leads you straight into the open plan, large, airy space with an unusual glassed courtyard in the centre that serves as both a room divider and a lightwell. Along the lefthand side, where one would expect a house of this period to have had a door and entrance hallway, there is instead a cleverly designed curving wall that hides a smartly-decked out guest WC, a sink and laundry area, floor-to-ceiling cupboards, and all the wires and wizardry of a surround sound system.
Towards the rear of the ground floor a built-in kitchen has white high-gloss units curved at one end, and all the high-end kitchenware that makes playing host a doddle, including a five-ring gas Smeg hob, Neff appliances, a good-sized island-cum-breakfast bar with wooden countertops and instant boiling water via a Quooker tap.
Perhaps the most appealing feature of the ground floor is the way in which concertina glass doors fold completely away to either side of the house so the living area extends out onto the limestone patio. West facing and private, this sunken terrace would be ideal for BBQs or a spot of sunbathing. The garden itself is charming with a modernist water feature, topiary box and lavender, and a good spread of lawn. A back gate leads to the shops on Dalkey main street.
Oak floors run throughout most of the house with underfloor heating on the ground floor and upstairs bathrooms. A glass-sided staircase leads to three double bedrooms on the first floor, a guest bedroom to the front with large built-in wardrobe, the master bedroom with en suite, and a double-aspect rear bedroom that overlooks the back garden. The family bathroom has a free-standing bath and shower.
Coolbawn would suit someone wishing to downsize from a larger property, or a professional who appreciates the fact that the house is a stone's throw from the Dart station and Finnegan's pub where you might just rub shoulders with a local celebrity over a pint of plain.
Era: Approx 1910
Size: 186 sqm
Agent: Vincent Finnegan (01) 298 4695
Viewing: By appointment only