On the double in Clontarf
Period redbrick in D3 benefits from an original double-frontage
The newly converted Clontarf Baths is now one of the places to be seen dining in Dublin and, with its suave interiors and seaside based menu, it underlines the unexpected surge in good eating that has taken place in recent times at the ever fashionable D3 seaside suburb.
Aside from the €2.4m revamp at the Baths, the Red Stables in St Anne's Park on Saturdays is a great place to pick up artisan foods and organic meat and vegetables, while Nolan's supermarket is an excellent independent. The Happy Out café at the Bull Wall is where everyone who is lucky enough not to have to commute into the city centre for work meets up on the way to and from dog walks on the beach for chats over toasties and good coffee.
Running right down to the seafront is St Lawrence Road, a leafy stretch of mainly Victorian redbricks that ranges up to Howth Road. It is considered one of the most desirable stretches in Clontarf, where devoted northsiders aspire to live, if budget permits.
Number 100 is unusual for the street, in that it is not single-fronted. Looking at the facade of the house, you might assume it had been extended to the side to make it double-fronted, but in fact the construction is original and dates from 1884. The current owner understands that the property was bought by a builder in 1975 after it failed to sell at auction. The purchase price back then was the not-very-princely sum of IR£25,000, a figure guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes of a wannabe buyer currently stuck in the trenches of the Dublin residential market.
At that time the house was in very poor condition, almost derelict, according to the current owner, and its new owner set about refurbishing it. He divided it into four separate flats, one in each of the four quadrants of the property, to the right and left of the front hall, and on both floors. The address remained in flats until 2007 when it was acquired by the current owner, a carpenter by trade, who embarked on a mission to revert it back to a family home, and has lived in it ever since.
Number 100 still retains plenty of period character, but also works well for modern family life and has double-glazed windows and gas-fired central heating.
One of the great, and obvious, advantages of a double-fronted house is its width, and on a road such as St Lawrence, where parking is at a premium, there is room for several cars on the gravelled area to the front of the property. For families with teenagers and young adults living at home - a time when the number of cars in use tends to start multiplying - this will be a major attraction. In total, the house has 3,090 sq ft of living space. The reception hall runs the depth of the house from the front door to the kitchen at the back, and features a beautiful original tiled floor and high ceilings with decorative coving. There is a handy guest lavatory off the hall.
The drawing room lies to the right of the hall and also has decorative coving, as well as a large bay window overlooking the front driveway, and a period fireplace. The drawing room and the dining room, which are linked by double doors, have polished wooden floors, and the dining room has another attractive fireplace. To the left of the front hall is the living room, with a square bay window and a stove to keep things cosy in the winter months. The separate study that lies behind the living room could be used as a den or playroom, depending on the needs of the new owners.
The extended kitchen/breakfast room lies at the far end of the hall and opens out onto the paved and decked patio area that lies directly behind the house, accessed via double doors with smart plantation shutters.
The kitchen is fitted with contemporary tongue and groove cabinets painted a fashionable pale grey and has a range of integrated appliances; there is also a convenient designated laundry/utility space.
Upstairs, the landing leads to the five bedrooms, four of them decent-sized doubles, with the fifth a neat box room currently fitted with built-in wardrobes. The main bedroom is to the back of the house on the right-hand side, and a few steps lead down to a dressing room and en suite bathroom. The main family bathroom is adjacent to this en suite at the back of the house and has only recently been installed. It has a separate bath and power shower.
The double-width site means the garden feels generous; it is surrounded by planted borders and walled boundaries, and contains a large wooden shed. There is also vehicular rear access. One of reasons Clontarf is considered so desirable is, of course, its proximity to the city centre, and also to the IFSC and Eastpoint Business Park. Transport links into the city centre are good, with both DART and bus services, but many locals prefer to start their day by cycling or even jogging to work.
100 St Lawrence Road
Asking price: €1.85m
Agent: Gallagher Quigley (01) 8183000