35 Annesley Avenue, North Strand, Dublin 3 Asking price: €275,000 Agent: Leonard Wilson Keenan (01) 8603268
Self-confessed Pinterest addict, Georgina Wade was full of ideas when she bought her city pad in North Strand in 2018. She just didn’t realise at the time that she was going to implement all of those ideas herself.
Wade had lived in 35 Annesley Avenue for a year before she decided to get stuck into the work properly. But when Covid hit, builders were scarce and when they did call, she was either quoted astronomical prices or the job was too small for them. Never one to shy away from a hammer, Wade decided it was time to get her hands dirty.
The house was crying out for an upgrade. It had the old kitchen and bathroom and a hallway that was completely eating into the small amount of space available in the 538sq ft house.
“There was a big hallway, then a separate living room and separate kitchen, so every room felt tiny,” Wade explains.
“The first thing I did was to take out the hall and do up the stairs. I’m obsessed with Pinterest and property programmes, so it took me months of looking things up to decide which way to do them.
“I found oak strips, cut them to size and sanded and oiled them. I then built a frame on the floor and put it all together with screws. Then, on my own, I walked it up the stairs and slotted it into place. I balanced the frame with one hand and screwed it into the joists and had to quickly nail in the bottom.
"I also sanded and painted the stairs and used the offcuts for the panels up the side of the staircase. I look at it and think, ‘wow, I actually did that’.”
The work didn’t stop there. Wade didn’t like stepping straight into the sitting room from the front door so of course she decided to build herself a partition wall.
“I had an Ikea shoe rack and I saw a hack that I could use. I built a half wall around the shoe rack and put panelling around it. I then got a few pieces of wood and built staggered open shelving for my plants. The room feels nice and airy because you’re not closed off, but you’ve still got the separation from the door.”
One of the best discoveries Wade made was the stone fireplace that was closed off and cemented over. With her Dad now recruited into the DIY team, they decided to hire a kango hammer.
“That was hard work,” Wade recalls, “We started at the bottom and took off the concrete. As we opened up more and more, the natural surround was revealed and we couldn’t believe it.
"I thought I was going to have to get the brick repointed but it actually looked great the way it was. The chimney has been completely relined too, so when the stove is lighting, the whole house is really warm.”
The oak beam above the door in the kitchen was found in a salvage yard and Wade fitted it herself using levers to pull it into place. And, you won’t be surprised to hear that Wade also installed the kitchen units and worktop.
“I was worried the units would be a bit dark, but the ceilings are high and the tiles are light, and the feeling of space is great. It helps that I made the kitchen window two feet longer and took out the old wooden door and put a glass one in.”
The courtyard is somewhere that Wade uses a lot. It’s a suntrap in the morning and early afternoon, and is also home to her utility.
A super idea for houses that are tight on space, Wade revamped an old cabin that was in the garden when she moved in.
She had it fully insulation, painted it in Iron Clad by Weathershield, and had the electrics and plumbing done. The worktop, units and tiles are the same as the kitchen.
“Every other house I’ve lived in has had the washing machine in the kitchen and it always drove me mad,” laughs Wade as she recalls having to shout over the noise of the spin cycle.
Upstairs, the wallpaper in the landing was chosen to compliment the staircase. The two bedrooms are doubles and both have wardrobes.
The bathroom is downstairs and has a bath with shower, a long chrome radiator and has, of course, been tiled by Wade herself.
All the hard work has been done at No35 and the space available in the house has been completely maximised by Wade and her hard work. Which is why even she’s surprised that she’s decided to sell up.
“I never thought I would move so quickly, which is why I put so much into the house. I genuinely love the house and I love the area, but I really want to take on a new project, so I suppose it’s time to let it go.”
The house is 10 minutes to Connolly Station in one direction and 10 minutes to the sea at Clontarf in the other.
The city location was one thing Wade wasn’t sure about when she first moved from Kildare, but any misgivings were soon forgotten.
“The day I moved in I was immediately welcomed. It’s such a great community. Everyone looks out for each other. You never know who you might end up living beside so having good neighbours really is a blessing.”