Dragon's Den couple put their idyllic Greystones home up for sale
Glenside House, Woodstock, Kilquade, near Greystones, Co Wicklow €1.195m
Located down a country road and almost opposite the gates of Druid's Glen Golf Club, Glenside House lies behind electric gates and at the end of a gravelled driveway that snakes up to the parking area to the front. There are manicured lawns with neat box hedging and properly mature trees, birdsong in the air and the babbling sound of the little river that marks the northern boundary of the site. It's an idyllic rural situation - and yet the Dart station in Greystones is a six-minute drive away, which makes commuting to schools and the city centre a breeze.
"When we moved in in 2004," says Aisling Power who lives here with her husband, Stephen, "our boys were five and three. We wanted them to have the best of both worlds - all the benefits of a country upbringing with none of the isolation, and the practicality of being within 20 minutes of Dundrum town centre and Dun Laoghaire so that it was easy for them to meet up with their friends."
And it's not just in terms of location that Glenside House is a best-of-both-worlds proposition.
Although the house has a Georgian look, it dates from 2002, when the late developer, Brian Rhatigan, built it as one of a pair of adjacent and identical houses for two family members. So it has the high ceilings and classical proportions at which the Georgians excelled, yet imposes none of the privations associated with living in an old house.
"It is, for all intents and purposes," says Stephen, "a split-level bungalow."
But he's being disingenuous, because Glenside House is not, by any stretch of the imagination, your average Wicklow bungalow. Following on from a major revamp that the couple undertook five years ago, it's a modern family home that offers a high degree of comfort and luxury.
The front portion of the house is taken up with reception and living rooms - the more formal reception rooms and the study are to the left, while the open-plan kitchen, dining and family spaces are to the right. Up a few steps further back, behind a set of double doors, are the five bedrooms, all en-suite, which were re-tiled as part of the upgrading five years ago. A central hallway that runs all the way from the front door to the main bedroom suite at the back is the spine of the house.
"When we started on the revamp," says Stephen, "we focused on the kitchen and the family living areas, knocking down a wall and putting in skylights to flood the space with natural light."
In keeping with the rural sensibility of the house, the couple opted for a traditional-style kitchen made by a local cabinet-maker and to install an AGA, which they turn off only in the summer months, as well as a companion AGA.
The Powers like to entertain - "we are very social," says Aisling - and another priority when they revamped the house was to make a better connection between the kitchen and living space and the patio, which now abuts the side of the house and is a terrific space for barbecuing and outdoor eating, a proper outdoor room.
When it comes to their respective areas of responsibility at Glenside House, Aisling takes charge of the interiors, while Stephen looks after the garden - all 1.2 acres of it.
If Stephen and Aisling look familiar, that's because they appeared on Dragon's Den with their business, The Devil's Edge, which makes bespoke shirts and suits, and secured investment from dragon Eamonn Quinn.
The couple continue to run the successful business from the house, which is why the separation of the public areas from the bedrooms is so important to them.
Stephen is a keen golfer and has enjoyed the proximity to Druid's Glen, said to be the finest parkland course in Ireland and often referred to as our Augusta. "Even if you don't play golf, it's a beautiful place just to walk around," he says. "But it's fantastic to play."
Being so close to Greystones with all its shops and restaurants is another big advantage, says Stephen, although it's not just The Happy Pear - luring healthy eaters in their droves - that is the village's main attraction on the food front.
"Both Aisling and I spent time in the UK and we developed a fondness for Indian food. So to have Chakra, Daata and Sunil Ghai's Tiffin takeaway means that we are spoiled for choice."
After 14 years at Glenside House, the Powers say that they enjoyed the process of the revamp so much that they are keen to embark on a new project. They have their eyes on a site not a million miles away where they hope to build from scratch.
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 286 6630
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