Happy home in leafy Terenure
36 Parkmore Drive, Terenure, Dublin 6W €995,000
It's fascinating to compare the photos of 36 Parkmore Drive when it was last on the market with the house it is now - a textbook example of the potential of a modest 1930s semi-detached house.
Owners Ciara and John Kennedy bought the three-bedroom semi with garage to the side back in 2003, and immediately undertook a major extension and renovation project.
Working with architect Liam Brennan of Extend, they demolished the garage and replicated the bay to the right of the front door over two storeys, creating a double-fronted property. At the same time, they went up into the attic to make a further, flexible space.
"A year later we added on a sun room to make the most of the westerly aspect," says Ciara, "and then in 2010 we took out the chimney breast between the kitchen and dining room, to give us a more contemporary, open-plan layout. The house has grown and evolved as the needs of our family changed; it's a very practical house."
Ciara says that she knew that No 36 would be a happy home from the moment they first walked in. "There was just something about it," she says.
On the ground floor, the entrance hall leads to that open-plan kitchen/dining room and the sun room which opens out to the rear garden. Off the kitchen are a utility room and guest lavatory, while to the front of the house, on either side of the hall, are a drawing room and a family sitting room.
On the first floor there are four double bedrooms and a large family bathroom. The main bedroom is en suite and has a walk-in wardrobe. Upstairs, the attic room could be used as a study or home office. The house is in immaculate decorative condition throughout.
Now the Kennedys plan to move to Rathgar, to be closer to Ciara's mother.
What will Ciara miss most about No 36? Probably the lovely 31-metre garden, where the family plays badminton and has a trampoline, climbing frame and outdoor table-tennis table, and cooks outside all-year round on a barbecue that's connected to the gas mains. The Kennedys even brought in a 12-metre inflatable slide and obstacle course for two parties just days before the house went on the market.
But she's also going to be very sorry to say goodbye to the laundry chute.
"That laundry chute is the best thing I ever did," she says. "It's my piece de resistance. It starts inside the walk-through wardrobe in the main bedroom suite and comes out into a cupboard downstairs in the utility room, where I can sort it. Regrettably it doesn't actually do the washing and bring it back upstairs."
She says that she'll miss the immediate area too, even though the family is not going far.
"There's a lovely sense of community around here," says Ciara. "The neighbours are friendly - but not overly so - and if you're a golfer there are golf outings to join in. There's a children's soccer tournament that happens every summer, and we have Bushy Park just down the road. I love being so close to the Dublin Mountains."
As for access to schools, Terenure is well-served for both primary and secondary options and there's a good choice of supermarkets, while The Brown Pig is a new independent butcher selling dry-aged free-range and organic meat.
"We are spoiled for choice in terms of restaurants," says Ciara. "Usually we just walk down to the village and decide then where we want to go."
For family meals out the Kennedys favour the traditional Italian fare on offer at Mario's, but new owners will want to try Circa, which is causing something of a stir in gastronomic circles, having received several excellent reviews since it opened just a couple of months ago.
Size: 186 sqm
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Terenure (01) 490 7433
Viewing: By appointment