Video: A thoroughly modern Georgian mansion for €1.3m in Kildare
For reluctant city-dwellers, the prospect of decamping to a Georgian pile down the country and spending one's time indulging in all manner of country pursuits is seductive.
But the reality of living in an old house is often very different to the fantasy, and unless one has a fleet of outdoor and indoor staff at one's disposal, life can become consumed with dreary maintenance, and the constant battle to keep the natural world, in all its many forms, on the outside.
The owners of Milden - "an old Naas family", according to Richard Brophy of Goffs, joint selling agent with Jordan Town and Country - are clearly pragmatic people and, in the late 1990s, decided that, rather than commit themselves to years of indentured servitude to a crumbling old house, they would build themselves a modern house in the Georgian style, keep a couple of horses, and enjoy the best of country life while dispensing with much of the hassle.
The Georgians knew a thing or two when it came to building houses - they kept their lines straight, their proportions generous, and their ceilings high - and the principles of good design that prevailed in the 18th and 19th centuries are as valid today as they were back then.
So even though, at first glance, Milden, set on 24 acres of lush Kildare grassland at Osberstown, near Naas, has the look of a Georgian country house, it is in fact a modern, two-storey family home kitted out to facilitate contemporary family life but with a degree of comfort of which the Georgians could have only dreamed.
Take underfloor heating, for instance. What would the Georgians have made of that? Or of en suite bathrooms, for that matter. Or recessed lighting inside and external security lighting outside.
Now that their three children have grown up and flown the nest, though, it is time for the owners to downsize.
"It's a great family home," says Brophy, "and it needs a new family now."
Well set back from the road, behind electric gates, and approached via a gravelled driveway with tarmac avenue between railed paddocks, Milden has 465 sqm of living space and offers plenty of room for a growing family.
The main entrance hall is a large and elegant space with a flagstone floor, while the drawing room is spacious and light-filled, with a large bay window.
There is an attractive Italian marble fireplace and access directly out to the side patio. The formal dining room is handily positioned off the kitchen, the main focus of family life.
The floor here too is flagstone, and the country-style kitchen units are painted cream and topped with granite. A four-oven Aga is included in the sale, and the kitchen's other features include an island unit and separate larder.
A door leads from the kitchen to the family room, with a feature fireplace, which in turn leads on to a large office. Other rooms on the ground floor include a back hall with flagstone floor, a utility room, and a boot room for all those muddy riding boots.
Up the feature staircase there's a spacious landing with comfortable armchairs that looks as if it gets good use as a place of retreat, for reading and watching DVDs.
The master bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe and an en suite shower room with a large shower and his- and-hers wash hand basins. There are four further double bedrooms, three with en suite bath or shower rooms, plus an additional family bathroom. Two of these bedrooms also have walk-in wardrobes.
Milden will appeal primarily to young families, particularly those with an interest in equestrian pursuits, as the location is slap bang in the middle of horse country.
Hunting with both the Kildares and South Counties is convenient, while the race courses of Naas, the Curragh and Punchestown are all within easy reach for those who prefer a flutter to getting on a horse themselves.
The acreage is set out in two large paddocks, and there are already two stables with space for more, if required, plus an adjacent garage and storage space.
And for those with little interest in matters equestrian, the 300 yards of river frontage onto the River Liffey offer the alluring prospect of quiet hours spent in pursuit of salmon and trout from a position on one's very own river bank. Failing that, the area boasts no fewer than five golf courses, including the K Club, Naas, Palmerstown, Craddockstown and Millicent.
Local secondary schools include St Mary's and CBS in Naas, with Newbridge College also convenient.
Milden is located 4km from Naas, 3km from Sallins, where the new Two Cooks restaurant has been an instant hit with locals, and 50km from Dublin Airport. The Arrow commuter service from Sallins goes to Heuston station.
Milden, Osberstown, Naas, Co Kildare
Size: 465 sqm
Era: 2000 Joint agents: Goffs Property (045) 981048 / Jordan Town and Country (045) 433550
Viewing: Strictly by appointment