Contemporary twist on a classic coach house
25a Leinster Square Rathmines, Dublin 6 €795,000
One of the perennial complaints of the would-be downsizer is the lack of properties which suit their needs. Top of the wish list, for many, is to remain in the same area where they have built up a community of friends and neighbours, favourite shops, church and restaurants. But in Dublin 6, known for its roomy old red-bricks, there are precious few smaller homes which fit the bill.
As a result, it comes as no surprise to hear that when 25a Leinster Square in Rathmines hit the market two weeks ago, its first viewing attracted 27 interested parties - well over the norm, even allowing for those visiting out of curiosity alone.
The location of No 25a is ideal for the downsizer, though it could also suit a professional couple. It sits in a quiet mews lane to the rear of a Victorian terrace that runs parallel to - but set back from - Rathmines Road. As a result, it is close to all the amenities of the area - but suffers none of the traffic and hubbub of the busy main road.
On top of that, the smart redesign of the original coach house has resulted in a compact but airy two-storey, three-bedroom house which ticks a lot of boxes for the 'right-sizing' market.
Set on a corner site, the coach house was re-imagined by artist Donagh Carey in 2007. It is an upside-down house, with the three double bedrooms, one of which is en suite, on the ground level. One bedroom is currently used as a study. All the bedrooms have built-in wardrobes, and there is an additional wall of storage in the hallway which tucks away the washing machine and dryer.
The family bathroom is on ground-floor level too and has limestone tiled walls, underfloor heating, bath with shower attached, as well as a separate shower cubicle with drop-head rainfall shower. There are also nice design touches - the wall alongside the staircase has been left without plaster to expose the original stone, while the floating staircase is glass-sided and lends a sense of space.
The living quarters are upstairs where, apart from a guest WC, the entire floor is an open plan kitchen/dining/sitting room which opens with bi-folding glass doors leading onto a large west-facing terrace. The terrace is bounded by opaque glass and steel railings which would afford a good level of privacy to al fresco diners or sun worshippers. And no doubt the space gets daily use in summer.
At one end, the built-in Italian Arrital kitchen is by Dee Design, and comprises a breakfast bar, marble counter-tops, built-in units, Fisher & Paykel hob with a stainless steel splashback, Siemens dishwasher and American-style integrated fridge/freezer.
A wall-sized mirror bounces light back to give the illusion of a larger space. It is a place designed for entertaining - dirty pots and pans can be hidden away after dinner - and is served by a sliding door which divides the open plan space. The kitchen zone is floored in Travertine tiles, while the living/dining area is in Canadian oak.
Off the kitchen, and south facing, is another smaller terrace ideal for a morning sit-down with a coffee and the papers. Beneath it, at ground-floor level is a car port, allowing off-street parking. A new vendor could, subject to planning permission and the depth of their wallet, redesign the space to incorporate the carport into the house as additional accommodation or a further bathroom.
There is room for car parking on the street, though residents also have access to permit parking on Leinster Square.
Rathmines has gone upmarket recently, with the arrival of boutique cinema The Stella and restaurants such as Elephant & Castle, Fallon & Byrne and Voici Creperie all in walking distance.
Era: 19th century, renovated in 2007
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 237 6309
Viewing: By appointment
Sunday Indo Business