In Pictures: Killiney home with New England vibes is on the market for €1.95m
Extended, refurbished home a haven of relaxation
Anstice Lodge dates from 1895, and was originally the coach house to neigh bouring Ashurst, the home of MP William Dobbs in the 1860s, and later to Archbishop John Charles McQuaid.
If ever a house merited the description of a gothic pile, then it is Ashurst, with its seven-storey bell tower and imposingly solid façade. It sold in 2015 for €4.065m and has since been the subject of a lavish refurbishment.
At some point, ownership of its lodge was transferred to the next-door neighbours, the Holy Child nuns, who are thought to have named it Anstice Lodge after Anastasia, the daughter of the last coachman to live there. The family's accommodation would have been on the first floor, with the coaches and tack stored below.
The current owners of Anstice Lodge bought it in 2004, some years after it had been sold on by the nuns, whose secondary school for girls occupies the site next door. They brought in architect Peter Oakes to extend and refurbish the house, and have occupied this stylish family home with more than a touch of New England about it ever since. Having put their tasteful creative stamp on the house and enjoyed it for more than a decade, they are now on the hunt for another project, perhaps in a more rural location.
Anstice Lodge is located behind electric gates and has off-street parking for three cars. To the front there's an attractive detached home office in what was once a potting shed, and a shed that accommodates sports equipment.
At a time when so many houses are staged for sale, and utterly devoid of personality, the interior of Anstice Lodge is refreshingly different. The layout is more interesting than that of a standard modern home, with all sorts of twists and turns and nooks and crannies, whilst still ticking all the boxes for contemporary family life in terms of convenience and function.
The owners say they fell in love with the quirkiness of the property and that, with 3228 sq ft of living space, not including the attic, there's plenty of room for everyone to find a quiet place of their own in which to read, play music or study.
The double-height entrance hall leads to a drawing room with a black cast iron fireplace and painted timber floors that's decorated in subtle paisleys and has the look of a room that's seen plenty of serious relaxation. In the summer, say the owners, they leave the French doors open and listen to the birdsong.
A practical boot room and laundry room are also located off the hall, as is the fourth bedroom, and a spacious wet room.
In the new part of the house, a large, light-filled fully-fitted kitchen with olive green cabinets has swish Fischer and Paykel twin dishwashers and an integrated American-style Liebherr fridge freezer.
This leads to the open-plan dining/sitting room with dual access French doors opening out onto the deck and terrace. The space is, by all accounts, conducive to stress-free entertaining, with an easy flow of movement from inside to the outside.
The gardens extend to 0.26 of an acre and are south-facing, mature and private, with as many interesting twists and turns as the house, and a separate pedestrian entrance.
There are several areas for outdoor cooking and eating, and a thriving olive tree is testament to the micro-climate in these parts, which, say the owners, never see frost.
At one time the Holy Child sisters used Anstice Lodge to house the junior department of the school, and it was also put into service for the teaching of science and home economics. One especially poor student of the domestic arts remembers being told to stay away from the sewing machines in case she broke them, and it being suggested to her that her time would be better spent picking up the dropped pins from the floor. That particular pupil recalls the speckled terrazzo staircase with its distinctive border pattern that leads up from the ground floor to the first, and which remains in situ.
Upstairs are three bedrooms and a family bathroom. The master bedroom is en suite and has a good walk-in wardrobe, and a pretty Juliet balcony with views out over the garden. A spiral staircase leads to an attic room that could be used for any number of purposes, and from where the views over Killiney Bay to Bray Head are magnificent.
Also on the first floor are a den, and a glazed study that benefits from the heat of the sun even on a chilly winter's day and more of those spectacular views. It is, say the owners, the perfect escape room, and a lovely place in which to work or simply hide away with a good book.
Anstice Lodge is five minutes' walk from the DART station at Killiney, and the same distance from Killiney beach. The M50 is a five-minute drive away.
Originally put on the market in April 2016 with a different agent for €2.2m, the asking price is now €1.95m.
Military Road, Killiney, Co. Dublin
Asking price: €1.95m
Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald, (01) 275 1000