Saturday 21 September 2019

New development in mature Foxrock channels 1940s and 1950s with 5 bed home on market for €1.69m

8 Brighton Wood Foxrock, Dublin 18

Asking price: €1.69m

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald New Homes, (01) 667 1888

The formal living room
The formal living room
The study
One of the five bedrooms
The entrance hall
Woodland palette: The dining area has a table with a drinks cabinet
The kitchen is fitted with SieMatic units and integrated Miele appliances
The open-plan kitchen/dining/living area with sliding doors to the patio and back garden
Sinead Considine and Niamh deBarra of the Interiors Project

Gabrielle Monaghan

When developers have been called upon to blend a new scheme into a mature area, they have variously gone for stylings that are Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Arts and Crafts. We've had the overhead fanlights and door pillars back in the 1980s, the Tudor revival crossbeams and gable fronts return in the 1990s, and, more recently, strong touches of Edwardian and 1930s styling. But no new schemes have crossed over to revisit the 1940s and 1950s, until Brighton Wood.

For it's main showhouse off Brighton Road in old Foxrock, Dublin 18, Castlethorn Construction recently opted for a strong post-war look at the flagship property and the five it has of its type. The classic retro look has been carried through inside with the help of designers Sinead Considine and Niamh deBarra, interior designers and staging specialists who run The Interiors Project.

This weekend the best house in the scheme, the two-storey five-bed detached flagship showhouse for the Elder series, goes on the market for €1.69m. And whilst other exteriors in the scheme reflect the Edwardian and Victorian eras in which the suburb has its origins, the 2,519-sq ft Elder in contrast has strong post-war touches like the blockier more symmetric frontage, the svelte unfussy window dimensions and the darker almost maroon bricks with the distinctive clean white fill between bricks that characterised the homes the suburban homes that the baby boomer generation grew up in.

Might the departure signal a new post war trend at the top end of the new homes market? That remains to be seen.

Brighton Wood's woodland setting served as the inspiration for the palette of colours and textures deployed by The Interiors Project. The studio, which is also poised to launch its own homeware collection, has form in fitting out high-end showhouses, such as at Waverly in Greystones and Bloomfield in Donnybrook. The Elder was one of five showhouses at Brighton Wood styled by The Interiors Project, with Ventura Design responsible for the other three showhouses.

DeBarra says: "We were trying to create a sense of luxury with a sophisticated look with clean lines and soft muted tones. We were trying to be sympathetic to the surrounding area, where they retained a huge number of trees, so we included lots of greens, gold and ochre when working out the design."

Inside, the layout of the showhouse is traditional in style, but the finishes lend a sleek contemporary feel. There are 9ft-high ceilings throughout the ground floor, where The Interiors Project painted the entrance hallway in Limestone from the Little Greene.

To the right of the hallway is a front study with a wall of fitted shelves and wall panelling painted in Grey Moss from Little Greene, as well as a vintage-style desk. The study's vantage point, overlooking the green to the front of the house, would make it an ideal space to work from home, but it could also be used as a second reception room.

Across the hallway is a dual-aspect formal reception room to the front of the house, with a box-bay window. The bespoke fireplace has a Turkish limestone surround with a black granite back panel and hearth, and is fitted with a Wanders Square 60 wood-burning stove. Double doors at the back open into an L-shaped kitchen/dining/living area with coffered ceilings.

A long dining table in the latter room comes with a mid-century-style drinks cabinet. To the rear of the kitchen/diner is a large dual-aspect living area with a set of sliding doors out to the paved patio and back garden.

The kitchen is fitted with bespoke SieMatic units from Arena Kitchens. Recessed under-cabinet lighting, integrated Miele appliances and Corian worktops in a glacier white all add to the clean lines of the kitchen. An under-stairs guest lavatory and a utility room with door access to one side of the house complete the ground floor.

A stairs with a white oak handrail leads to the first floor galleried landing. There are five bedrooms - two en suite - and a family bathroom positioned around the central landing. The bedrooms come with bespoke wardrobes with natural oak grain interiors, internal lighting and a painted finish.

The master en suite and another bedroom are located to the front, with the other three bedrooms to the rear. The bathrooms and en suites are fitted with Villeroy & Boch sanitaryware, Porcelanosa tiles to the walls and floors, and chrome heated towel rails, while the main bathroom and master en suite have Villeroy & Boch vanity units.

Unlike its post-war counterparts, the Brighton Wood showhouse has an A3 BER and a slew of energy-efficient features, including a mechanical heat recovery and ventilation system that extracts stale air from the kitchen and bathrooms and supplies fresh air into the bedrooms and living areas. A Climote system will enable the future residents to control the gas-fired central heating system and the hot water remotely.

The price of the showhouse includes the lavish fittings, fixtures and furniture provided by The Interiors Project.

The showhouse was built to market the Elder, one of 12 house types at Brighton Wood, which was launched in December 2017. Just five homes were constructed to that design at the development, which will comprise 85 houses and 15 apartments when it's finished. The design especially appeals to buyers who are moving from large period properties in Foxrock and are searching for a lower-maintenance, A-rated home, according to selling agent David Rhatigan.

The proportions of the double-fronted Elder showhouse are reminiscent of the type of homes built in parts of Foxrock, Stillorgan, Churchtown and Mount Merrion in the late 1940s and 1950s. Modern takes on that era's interior staples, like wall panelling, a sideboard and a drinks cabinet, also add to the post-war chic of the showhouse.

Other homes in the scheme reflect Edwardian themes in their exteriors and, overall, the scheme reflects the vernacular of traditional Foxrock, which originated as a 19th-century garden suburb. This inspired the palette of materials used by Castlethorn Construction at Brighton Wood: by choosing red clay roof tiles, roughcast render, granite to the stringcourse and windowsills, and the maroon-coloured West Hoathly facing brick to details like chimney and trim, the developer hoped the homes would take on the patina of Brighton Road's period houses and mellow well with age.

Designed by O'Mahony Pike Architects, the showhouse also has timber to the frames of the double-glazed, high-performance windows from Carlson.

At Brighton Wood, Castlethorn also emulated Foxrock's garden suburb origins, by laying out the homes on the 12-acre site in a series of clusters interspersed by existing protected woodland.

The vision of an upmarket garden suburb in south Dublin came from William and John Bentley and Edward and Anthony Fox. In 1859, they leased land at the Foxrock estate from the Church of Ireland. By donating a site for the 1861 opening of the Foxrock train station, the fledging suburb was added to Harcourt Street railway line, which placed it within commuting distance of the city centre.

To launch the garden suburb, the developers put the following ad in a national newspaper: "Beautiful building sites for mansions and pretty villas - Foxrock estate", adding that "the scenery (green and mountain) from Brighton Road, just finished, leading from the hotel at Foxrock station to Carrickmines, is magnificent".

The developers of Foxrock were ahead of their time - it wasn't until the 1890s that the garden city movement in England envisioned a series of utopian towns surrounded by rolling green belts that would separate housing from industry and combine the best facets of rural and urban life.

Due to a slower-than-expected initial take-up of lots, the developers of Foxrock went bankrupt and never lived to see their dream become a reality. But their concept of a wealthy suburb eventually caught on. The price for the house and the entire design package is €1.69m.

Viewings are from 2pm to 4pm tomorrow and Sunday.

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