Dalkey does la dolce vita: This spaceship home is wired for everything you could imagine
Scopello Ulverton Road Dalkey, Co Dublin
Asking price: €1.795m
Agent: Quillsen (01) 2801719
Dalkey, stomping ground of local luminaries such as Bono, film director Neil Jordan, broadcaster Pat Kenny and celebrity economist David McWilliams, is a thriving town with an eclectic mix of cafés, bars, restaurants and artisan food shops. There's also a penchant for Italian place names. Victorians returning from their Grand Tour believed the sea views here resembled the Bay of Naples. Hence Sorrento and Vico Roads and an array of Italianate housenames.
Locals here actively protect Dalkey's designation as a heritage town. When American coffee chain Starbucks opened in 2008, residents boycotted it and it closed just over a year later.
On a Saturday afternoon, Castle Street is buzzing with people sipping skinny lattes in Mugs and the Corner Note cafés, lunching at the Queens, DeVille's and any number of other eateries, or simply strolling the streets with their dogs. There's a queue in Roberts fresh seafood and artisan food market, while the aroma of freshly baked bread wafts from the nearby Thyme Out bakery. Wine buffs match the latest vintages with tasty morsels in the Grapevine and smoothie, veggie-loving hipsters go organic in Select Stores wholefood deli-café.
At the Gutter Bookshop people are chewing on the upcoming Dalkey Book Festival, the annual chinwag that brings together some of the world's best known writers and storytellers to discuss everything from the meaning of life to movies and books. It's on from June 13-19.
Across the road is Finnegan's Pub, Bono's local, on the corner of Sorrento Road. Less than 400m from the village centre, a new house on Ulverton Road continues in the Italianate naming tradition. One of three properties built by BCG Homes. Scopello might sound like the name of a James Bond villain, but it is in fact named after a town in Sicily. From the outside, the double-fronted detached house looks like a classic Edwardian design, with its painted-plaster and brick front and traditional red clay roof tiles. Inside, the era is also reflected in features such as extra-high ceilings and custom-made coving, but there the similarity ends.
The period features in this modern home come without the creaks and leaks of the real thing. A spaceship in disguise, it's got all the latest high-tech gadgets known to modern architecture, including an energy-efficient Daikin air-to-water heating system, underfloor heating, recessed LED lighting, motion sensitive lighting to the side passageways and triple-glazed alu-clad windows.
The A-rated home is wired for things never imagined possible in the early 20th century - CCTV, an electric car charging point, Sky, Eir, and electric gates with video intercom set into the granite front wall.
At 2,690 square feet, with four double bedrooms and a good-sized south-facing rear garden, Scopello is likely to appeal equally to families trading up or returning expats. Set back from the road with parking for several cars on its gravelled driveway, the property is just a couple of minutes' walk to Castle Park School, the closest of a wide selection of local schools.
The front door opens to a wide entrance hall with a family room/study to the right, currently fitted out as a dining room, and a living room to the left with a bespoke marble fireplace with built-in Gazco fire. Also on this level are a guest wc, a control room for the heating system and in front of that, a space to hang coats and take off mucky shoes.
The garden is visible from the hall, but if you want to block it off, there's a concealed, custom-built sliding door on two rail and oak steps leading down to a big open-plan kitchen/diner/living area spanning the width of the house. Along one wall are jade-coloured handcrafted kitchen units with quartz countertops and concealed LED lighting, and in front, an island breakfast bar with more storage. On another wall is a coffee station with retractable doors.
Off the kitchen, a roomy utility room features a Neff washer and dryer, sink and storage units and a door giving access to one of the side passageways. Across from the kitchen, an L-shaped sofa faces a redbrick fireplace with wood-burning stove and a dramatic floor-to-ceiling surround. There's a dining table for six and plenty of room left over for kids to run around.
Light floods into this space with a long Velux roof window and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, leading on to a patio from where you step down to a south-east facing lawned garden with a view of the sea.
An oak staircase made by Anthony Roche Joinery leads upstairs to a landing, with a hot press/linen room. The master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom with walk-in shower, a boat-shaped freestanding bath, wc, whb and heated towel rail, and walk-in wardrobes tucked away behind one wall. There are three further double bedrooms, two ensuite, and a family bathroom. All the wardrobes, bathrooms and kitchen units were custom designed by interior design whizz Suzie McAdam and manufactured by Michael Farrell Furniture.
Ulverton Road leads from Dalkey to Sandycove and on to Dún Laoghaire, with a turn for Bulloch Harbour on the way. The city centre is 35 minutes away on the Dart. The house next door is Praiano, named after a town on the Amalfi coast. Whoever buys Scopello can look forward to a taste of Dalkey's La Dolce Vita.