Breathing new life into terraced city pad
No 1 Richmond Crescent Dublin 1
Asking price: €325,000
Agent: Move Home Estate Agents (01) 884 4690
When owners Linda and Keith bought No 1 Richmond Crescent in 2006, everyone thought they were mad. It was the height of the boom though, and like to many other house hunters, they were looking for something with potential that wouldn't cost them the earth. While those around them failed to see exactly where that potential lay, they saw a house with character that they could tear apart and make great again. So, with this vision in mind, they ignored the surveyor who said it was 'uninhabitable' because of the no running water or electrics, and put their heads down and got to work.
"The house hadn't been lived in in years," said Linda, "so it was in some state. We had to peel layers and layers of wallpaper off the walls, and Keith had to sort out all the electrics and plumbing."
The heavy work started with the removal of the first floor and back wall because they were beyond repair. The couple then doubled the floor area of the house with a two-storey extension to the rear.
"We did all the work ourselves over about two years," said Linda. "The entire project was fun to do. Keith did all the hard, heavy work, and I looked after the design. It's a great house now, I have to say."
The location will appeal to couples who work in the city. Down a quiet cul-de-sac between Drumcondra and town, the house is only a 10-minute walk from O'Connell Street.
"Considering it's so close to town, it's a very quiet road," Linda is keen to point out. "You wouldn't even know the road it here. It's a little hidden gem, with really nice neighbours. There are only about 20 houses on the road."
The couple recently made the move back to the country with their young children, so they can be closer to family. They had, however, applied to schools in the area before they decided to move back home. The new Educate Together on Grace Park Road is within walking distance of the house, as is Gaelscoil Cholaiste Mhuire on Parnell Square. There is also a number of secondary schools up on Griffith Avenue, which would be an easy cycle for teenagers.
The proximity to Croke Park might be something that would worry prospective buyers, but the vendors said it was never an issue for them and have enjoyed a few free gigs from their back garden.
"The music is crystal clear," laughs Linda, "but you can't hear any of the noise from the crowd. There are only a handful of concerts every year, so I don't know why it's such a big deal. Nobody even parks here on match days because the road is so secluded that nobody knows it's here."
The two-bed house is at the end of a terrace, with another terrace starting on the other side of the white wall beside it. The front door opens straight into the living space. Downstairs is all open plan so one area flows into the next. A bright engineered wood floor starts at the door and continues through past the dining area, then the kitchen is floored with travertine flagstones.
The house is contemporary in style and despite its small size, it doesn't feel cramped because of the high ceilings and light coming in from the back. There are nice touches throughout like the exposed brick wall and the original fireplace in the living room, which was a bit of a labour of love for the owners because they had to strip away the white paint that covered it to bring it back to black. The custom-built staircase was built with oak and steel.
The kitchen is fully fitted with white units and a solid timber worktop and shelving. There is a breakfast bar between the dining and kitchen area with seating for two.
Double doors lead out to a small but functional garden, that is surprisingly private for a city pad. On a sunny morning, the deck would be a perfect spot for a coffee, or even to have a few friends over for the next big gig in Croker. There is a square of grass up a couple of steps, border plants and a shed.
Upstairs, there are two double bedrooms and a large bathroom. "My favourite place is our bedroom at the back of the house," says Linda. "I love the double-height windows overlooking the trees."
The second bedroom is also a double and has fitted wardrobes and shutters on the sash window. The bathroom has a shower and bath and is stylishly kitted out with a distressed unit, drop lighting and tasteful wallpaper. For more storage, the attic space can be accessed from the landing.
The 753 sq ft (70m2) house has underfloor heating throughout the ground floor.
For the owners, they loved city living, without any of its obvious stresses. "I think the biggest plus about the house is the location," Linda concludes. "You're living in the capital, but you don't ever have to worry about traffic."
There is an open viewing tomorrow from 2pm to 2.30pm.