Check out the impressive interior of this red-brick in Harold's Cross on the market for €575k
8 Arbutus Avenue Harold's Cross, Dublin 6W: €575,000
'I remember going to see the house for the first time," says one of the current owners of 8 Arbutus Avenue in Harold's Cross, located just off Parnell Road on the banks of the Grand Canal, a quiet cul de sac of 20 red-brick houses.
"I was a reluctant participant - I hadn't thought that I was going to like it. But it was so tranquil and peaceful that I fell in love with it straight away. And the garden is not overlooked, which is rare for a house so close to the city."
That was back in 2005 and, although the house, needed work, the young couple decided to move in and live in it for a year before embarking on a refurbishment project. The experts say that this is the ideal way to approach a house renovation as it gives the occupants the opportunity to live through all the seasons and to see how the light moves through the house at different times of the day. It's also the best way to identify problems that may not have been picked up in a survey and plan how best to deal with them.
Once the owners had decided what needed to be done, they extended the kitchen, added on a utility room and put a downstairs lavatory in under the stairs. Part of the kitchen work involved raising its ceiling to bring in more light.
"We also sound-proofed the party walls, put in new old fireplaces as the originals were no longer in situ, re-modelled the bathroom and converted the attic." Once all the work was done, they moved back in.
The mid-terrace 1930s property now has 135sqm of living space laid out over three levels. At ground-floor level there are interconnecting dining and living rooms with period fireplaces, original floorboards, picture rails and ceiling coving. The kitchen extension to the rear has an island unit, granite worktops and a family seating area overlooking the west-facing garden, which is maintenance-free thanks to an artificial lawn, raised beds and a paved area for eating outdoors. The utility room is located off the kitchen.
At first-floor level there are three bedrooms - two doubles and one single - and the family bathroom. A staircase leads from the first-floor landing to the attic, which is currently used as a fourth bedroom and which has ample storage in the eaves.
One of the aspects of living at 8 Arbutus Avenue that the couple's three children (now aged 8, 6 and 4) have most enjoyed is the private, gated lane that runs behind the houses.
"We open the door out onto the lane and the kids just come and go between each other's houses; they have had so much freedom and they never get bored. So few children have this kind of freedom these days, it's made the house really special for them and they are going to miss it a lot.
"The house has been incredibly convenient," say the owners. "We are able to walk the children to school and St Stephen's Green is only 25 minutes away on foot. We jog along the canal and cycle to work so there's no need for a second car."
The current owners are not the only ones to have embraced the neighbourhood, which has become increasingly trendy during the years that they have lived there.
"We have loved living here," they say. Now that they have three children, however, they would prefer to have a bit more space and are hoping to buy a larger house with a bigger garden in the area. They are not ruling out another renovation project.
Size: 135 sqm
Agent: Youngs (01) 497 5581
Viewing: By appointment