Sunday 16 June 2019

Lived in and alive in Kimmage

A colourful Edwardian in D6W lets all the period character hang out

The living room of 325 Lower Kimmage Road
The living room of 325 Lower Kimmage Road
The hall and staircase
The hall with staircase joinery on full show
A bedroom with ornate tile inset fireplace
An expertly restored iron chimney piece
The upstairs landing
The red brick frontage
Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

Not all of us are convinced by those mushroom, cream and beige toned interiors that have somehow become Ireland's mainstream choice. And not everyone seeks out pristinely polished surfaces in bathrooms and kitchens that look like they just came straight out of the showroom wrapping. Some people would rather be shot than have their homes monotoned with 50 shades of grey.

Some, who appreciate period homes, don't feel the need to bring around crack teams of plasterers, dry liners and tilers to euthanise the hell out of its character, smooth out its personality and purge the calling signs of its past generations.

Sometimes it's best, not only to leave alone the little dings that 100 years of rowdy young children and stumbling seniors have left in their wake, but to actively enhance them.

Collectors call it patina.

That character of use and wear is particularly appreciated by those who prize classic old cars, furniture, art and collectibles in general, and especially by the ones who know exactly what they're at. Because what passes for 'restoration' these days is often a more sanitised form of destruction.

Lead by the Arts and Crafts craze, the Edwardian era likely produced some of Ireland's most lovingly crafted homes at a time when skilled workers were being held in unusually high esteem.

It was a period in which their work was considered near art. The intensive apprenticeship system that ensured no one picked up a chisel or a paintbrush until they had put in a few years observing, helping and learning. It gave us homes for ordinary people with some of the most honest and accomplished joinery, cast iron work, and plaster work we have ever seen.

This red brick at 325 Kimmage Road Lower in Dublin 6W is a perfect example of how correct care rather than intensive care, can win through.

Lived in for 20 years by its current owners who are downsizing to the country, its very best features have not been tarted up to pass the white glove test, but have been minded and presented for the wonders they are.

The crafted stair case has been pared back to its original timber to show the cut of the workmanship. The cast iron fireplaces cleaned and left to stand on their own elegant merits. Underfoot you get the floor boards, in their solid, life lived glory and with every stiletto heel punch, furniture drag mark and trodden lego block impression since 1905. And it suits the room.

In the kitchen, usually the modern domain of Jiffed stainless steel and bleached out cream tiles, we instead find multi coloured receding peeling paint layers contrasting boldly like overlapping travel stickers on an olde well travelled leather box suitcase.

And while the owners have chosen to put the joinery on show, they've also splashed a good deal of rich paint tones around the place, reminding potential buyers to be that life is colourful.

Built in 1905, the three-bedroom semi comes with a private west-facing garden with a terrace and a gated pedestrian side access. This hasn't been walled off as has happened with many homes of this age. That door was the route the coal man took before oil and gas heating arrived.

This property has nine foot high ceilings, its original chimney pieces restored and the solid wood floor is all where it should be.

Accommodation downstairs comprises a wide entrance hallway with doors to a big sitting room to the front. This has a cast iron fireplace with a slate hearth, decorative cornicing and picture rails.

There's a large living room with solid wood flooring, and this time there's a stone fireplace with tiled hearth and a picture rail.

Upstairs the house has three bedrooms, two of which are double and one single. The main bathroom is located on the return which adds another little sprinkling of character.

To the front, the house has gated off-street parking, which is a relief among red brick stretches here. It's festooned with bedded plants along the driveway.

The location is near to a host of amenities in Harold's Cross, Terenure and Kimmage villages. Within reach are St Mary's College and St Louis girl's school in Rathmines and St Paul's Secondary School in the other direction. There's also Presentation Terenure.

Just down the road in Rathmines you have shopping at the Swan Centre where they've just opened a new Fallon & Byrne foodhall and the 1920s built Stella Cinema has just emerged from an upmarket revamp as an arthouse cinema with a very cool upstairs cocktail bar in style of the Roaring Twenties.

You're also within easy cycling distance of the city centre.

The DNG agency is selling this unique home and seeking offers in the order of €498,000.

327 Kimmage Rd Lower

Dublin 6W

Asking price: €498,000

Agent: DNG (01) 4909000

Indo Property

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