Hip to be Square in traditional Rathmines redbrick
Traditional Rathmines redbrick facade belies a thoroughly modern interior
Rathmines used to be known for its flatlands, with much of its period housing stock divided up and given over to providing rented accommodation to newly-arrived-from-the-sticks junior civil servants and students from outside the Pale. There has long been a lively but down-at-heel air about the place, despite its proximity to the city centre and general convenience.
There are still plenty of flats in Rathmines, but times are changing and some older houses are being reimagined as family homes once again. Dublin 6 has a great selection of schools, both primary and secondary, as well as sporting and leisure facilities. And the fact that locals can walk or cycle into the city centre in less than half an hour is a real boon as rush-hour traffic threatens to return to the levels of a decade ago. There's a definite sense that Rathmines is a suburb on the up and prices reflect this.
The Swan Centre has been the subject of major investment over the past couple of years, and the Dunnes flagship store there is pretty swanky these days, with an in-house James Whelan artisan butcher, a Sheridan's cheese counter, and a section dedicated to the upmarket Simply Better food range.
The excitement in D6 will be mighty when the long-promised Fallon & Byrne food hall and casual restaurant (complete with a south-facing terrace to match) opens in the coming months, and it will be off-the-scale when Paddy McKillen Jnr's Press Up group launches the revitalised Stella Cinema sometime next year. That development is expected to include both food and entertainment components. For the time being, though, Rathmines residents have to make do with the original branch of Jo'Burger, still pulling in the crowds at the city end of the Rathmines Road - not a hardship, it has to be said.
The Maxwell Square development is at the southern end of Rathmines, midway between Rathmines and Rathgar, tucked away behind an excellent stretch of shops that is home to Lawlor's butchers, Fresh & Wild, Fothergill's and Connolly's Fish Shop, which has one of the best fresh fish counters in Dublin. There's also a Tesco for more prosaic requirements, and an O'Brien's for wine.
No 18 Maxwell Road is one of only two of its type in the development, built as a continuation of an existing period terrace, and fits in well with the original Victorian red bricks on this tree-lined, mature road. Its traditional brick-fronted, four-storey exterior contrasts with and complements a contemporary interior with a high spec finish. The 2,034 sq ft house has a decent-sized, private, south-facing rear garden and desirable off-street parking to the front.
Built in 2015, and designed by Extend architects, the brief from the developers of Maxwell Square - a development of just 14 houses - was to integrate modern technology with the best in contemporary design whilst maximising light and space in a functional way.
So, whilst the exterior is in harmony with the traditional architecture of its immediate surrounds, the interior features sleek modern fittings, evident in the kitchen and bathrooms in particular, with some traditional details such as ceiling mouldings and a fan light over the front door.
What 18 Maxwell Road does have that prospective purchasers are unlikely to find in any period house in the area is an A3 energy-rating, heat recovery ventilation, and a Homebond 10 Year Structural Guarantee.
On the entrance level there's a television room to the front, with a bay window and a cast iron fireplace, a guest lavatory, and a kitchen/dining room with hand-painted, bespoke wall and floor units. Integrated appliances - a Neff oven, convection microwave, fridge and freezer, Whirlpool dishwasher, sink unit, induction hob and extractor fan - are included in the sale. A sliding door leads to the rear garden, and there's a separate utility room.
The principal living room is on the first floor and spans the width of the house to the front, taking in the bay window. There's a fireplace with a solid fuel stove. Also at this level is a double bedroom and a subway-tiled family bathroom.
The master bedroom is on the second floor, and occupies the room directly above the living room. It too spans the width of the house and has a feature bay window, fitted wardrobes and rooftop views. The en-suite shower room has a large shower with power shower. A third double bedroom is to the rear, overlooking the back garden. It too has fitted wardrobes.
The fourth bedroom is up on the third floor. This has its own en-suite shower room and its small balcony has views all the way to Howth, the Aviva Stadium and the National Convention Centre. There's useful storage space in an attic room.
18 Maxwell Road is currently owner-occupied, in good decorative condition, and prospective purchasers will be able to move straight in without undertaking any work.
18 Maxwell Road
Rathmines, Dublin 6
Asking price: €995,000
Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald (01) 4966066