By the late 1990s, as the Celtic Tiger began to roar, the dormer bungalow had earned itself a questionable reputation as planners allowed sprawling super-dormers to dominate rural areas of beauty and scenic coastlines.
More recently, however, the dormer has been reinvented and reinvigorated and more understated and stylish versions are making a comeback in renovations of one-off houses.
This is also happening in new developments, such as Ballinahinch Wood in the Co Wicklow village of Ashford and Glenheron in Greystones. All in a bid to cater for suitable home starved down-traders.
Dormer windows have been used to a more sophisticated effect in vernacular architecture for centuries. On Carrickbrack Road, where Sutton meets Howth, two exotically named older dormer-style bungalows called Gypsy's Acre and Casablanca used to sandwich an early 20th century single-storey cottage. This cottage has been reduced to its shell and transformed into a contemporary-style version of a dormer.
Apart from its one wall, little remains of the cottage originally in situ. The builders replaced its rear extension with a dual-aspect structure, and added a raised roof with a front dormer window for a master bedroom suite.
Cooltray, as the revamped home is now called, is located on the southern side of Carrickbrack Road, about 1km from Sutton Cross, the main village centre for Sutton, the narrow strip of land connecting Dublin with Howth, which used to be an island.
The modernised cottage, which has just gone on the market, is a mere 100m from Sutton Strand, which faces Bull Island and the city.
According to selling agent Conor Gallagher, the original property was likely a railway cottage for the Hill of Howth tramway, which ran from Sutton station to Howth summit via Carrickbrack Road between 1901 and 1959 and was designed to attract more tourists to the harbour village and the circuitous cliff walks of Howth Head.
Alternatively, Gallagher says, Cooltray may either have served as a workman's lodge for the Howth Castle estate, which was owned by the St Lawrence family from 1180 until earlier this year, when it was sold off to Irish investment group Tetrarch Capital.
After the cottage's last owner died, the house was bought by a developer who obtained planning permission to rebuild it and construct a detached four-bed dormer bungalow on a neighbouring site.
The latter site was sold for about €400,000 and an investor financed the rebuilding of Cooltray itself.
The transformed cottage now has 1,484 sq ft of living space and three bedrooms. Munster Joinery supplied the triple-glazed windows throughout.
The front walls of Cooltray are wired for an electric sliding gate and there is plenty of space for parking in its front gravelled driveway. To the rear is a sheltered, sunny, south-facing patio that's been landscaped with shrubs and is enclosed by walls.
The flat roof of the single-storey rear extension has a layer of sedum on top; this succulent plant creates a living green roof that can absorb and filter rainwater, thereby reducing the amount of overflow to the sewage system, is pollinator friendly for bees, and can sequester carbon dioxide.
The ground floor is home to a family bathroom with a free-standing bath on a raised platform. Off the bathroom and utility are two downstairs bedrooms, a layout that would suit downsizers seeking a low-maintenance house that can take them through to old age.
The large open-plan kitchen/dining/living room to the back of the dormer bungalow spans a generous 555 sq ft.
Off the first-floor landing is the master bedroom, which comes with fitted wardrobes and an ensuite shower room with white sanitaryware and Carrera tiles to the floors and walls.
For commuters, there is a bus stop outside that serves a feeder bus to Sutton Dart Station, or they can spend just ten minutes walking to the station.
Viewings are by appointment.