Monday 18 November 2019

1930s family home in Clontarf for €655,000


Living room
Living room
Doors leading into the garden
Seating area in the garden
Mark and Leah Dunleavy and their children

Gabrielle Monaghan

Mark and Leah Dunleavy not only restored, renovated and extended their 1930s Clontarf redbrick, but then went ahead and built a new contemporary version of the older house in their rear garden.

The couple purchased their three-bed semi-detached home at 130 Dunluce Road, just off Vernon Avenue, back in 2006. The décor was dated, so the Dunleavys threw the bathroom and kitchen units into a skip and set about stripping back the walls, putting in new plasterboard, replumbing and rewiring.

Their pièce de résistance, however, was opening up the back of the house to provide a large kitchen/diner extension with two sets of Rationel floor-to-ceiling glass double doors that open onto a patio, thereby connecting the new indoor living space with the outdoors. They completed the 400-sq ft rear extension in 2007, moving in with just three days to spare before the birth of their first child.

As their family grew and two more little ones arrived, Mark began thinking about a larger project - the idea of building a four-bed, two-storey detached property in the side garden. Even though he had renovated a couple of homes, the boss of MD Property, which manages 4,500 homes across 75 developments, he wanted to try his hand at developing.

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The result, 130a Dunluce Road, is a modern take on the original, with its redbrick façade and white frames to the alu-clad windows mirroring the exterior of the 1930s version. The infill house was designed by Keenan Lynch Architects and was built in 2017.

Just as she had at 130 Dunluce Road, Leah took charge of the interior design at the new-build, choosing contemporary features such as the Dik Geurts wood-burning stove in the living area of the open-plan kitchen/dining/family room to the rear and selecting the 15-light pendant Hicken Lighting fixture that hangs from the upstairs landing.

The family moved into the new 1,690-sq ft property when it was finished. But as the children got older and began to go to school on the southside, the Dunleavys decided that an even larger home was required and they're moving again. So they put 130a Dunluce Road on the market and it's now gone sale agreed.

Doors leading into the garden

Now the original house is on the market. Despite undergoing extensive renovations, the 1,350-sq ft home hasn't lost any of its 1930s character. The front garden was landscaped with flower beds and box hedging to the borders and Ballylusk gravel to the off-street parking by Paul Doyle, who earned his reputation by designing the gardens of period redbricks in South County Dublin. Doyle to laid out a patio large enough for an alfresco dinner party, planters, and a small lawn. The entire space is enclosed by ivy-clad fencing and block walls, and there is rear pedestrian access.

The glazed extension allows light to flow through the house to the entrance hall. During the renovation, the vendors brought in the Smart Storage Company to build in some practical storage underneath the stairs. The oak wooden floors to the hall run right through to the two interconnecting reception rooms on the left and straight onto the utility room and guest lavatory.

The first reception room overlooks the front garden and there is an open fire in the cast-iron fireplace, which has a wooden surround. This living room has been painted in a fashionable light navy and has white built-in shelving in the alcoves either side of the chimney breast. Double doors open from this space to the second reception room, which has another wood and cast-iron fireplace, albeit with a gas fire. White walls brighten this space, which opens directly on the open-plan extension.

Three southwest-facing Velux windows in the raised roof bathe the kitchen/diner in light, which - in turn - reflects off the white porcelain tiles to the floor. The white kitchen units and separate breakfast bar were hand-made in solid teak by Dowd Furniture.


There are Silestone quartz countertops to the main kitchen and a solid wood worktop to the breakfast bar. The kitchen was also fitted with a wine fridge, a five-ring gas hob, a double Rangemaster oven, and an integrated Miele dishwasher.

In the adjoining utility room, there is built-in storage and further appliances such as a washing machine, a Miele tumble-dryer, and a tall Fisher & Paykel fridge-freezer. The CCTV system is also stored in this room.

Upstairs, there are two double bedrooms, one single bedroom, and a large family bathroom. Underfloor heating was added to the bathroom and to the extension during the 2007 renovation, helping to bring the property's BER to a D2.

There is a Stira stairs to the attic, which is partially floored and fitted with a Velux. The Dunleavys were able to walk their children to primary school in the area, and the Killester Dart station is also within walking distance. In addition, there are quality bus corridors along the Howth Road and the Clontarf Road, with the bus journey to Dublin city centre taking 20 minutes during off-peak times. The M50 and Dublin Airport are also within a short drive.

Seating area in the garden

130 DunlUce RoaD Clontarf, Dublin 3 Asking price: €655,000 Agent: REA Grimes (01) 8530630

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