Peek inside No 166 - an architecturally impressive Rathgar period home on the market for €1.25m
166 Rathgar Road, Dublin 6 Main house €1.25m; mews €535,000
"There's no point in having good rooms," says Adrienne Carolan, as she reflects on leaving 166 Rathgar Road, which has been her home for most of her life. "We always used and enjoyed the whole house, every bit of it."
The eldest of a family of six - she has four brothers and a sister - Adrienne says that her grandmother, Elizabeth Carolan, bought the house in 1935; she believes that it dates from the late 1870s. Her father grew up there and moved back in with his wife, Adrienne's mother, soon after they were married.
Although Adrienne lived in her home in Harold's Cross for many years, she returned to the family home to be with her mother after she was widowed, and she and her sister have stayed there since their mother's death a few years ago.
The house is clearly well-loved and has been well-maintained; there's the unmistakeable scent of lavender polish in the air and the copper hoods on the fireplaces in the main reception rooms on the entrance level are gleaming.
"My mother was hearing and sight-impaired," says Adrienne. "But she could see dust at 50 paces. I suppose I've inherited that from her!"
The drawing room lies to the front of the house, with the formal dining room to the back, overlooking the garden. The wide-plank floorboards are original, as are the doors, architraves and folding doors that divide the two rooms. The plasterwork and ceiling roses, too, are original and in excellent condition, and there are marble fireplaces throughout the house. The principal reception rooms are painted in Farrow & Ball's elegantly restrained 'Dimity'. Upstairs, on the first floor, the master bedroom spans the width of the house. It's a gorgeous room, filled with light from two tall sash windows. Another large double bedroom looks out over the garden, while upstairs again are two dormer bedrooms, with a shower room on the return.
At garden level, there is a breakfast room to the front and a sitting room to the back, with a small galley kitchen, bags of storage space and a separate utility area.
"New owners will want to make this all open-plan," says Adrienne, of the garden level, "and there's plenty of scope to have a big family kitchen/living/dining space. They will also want to add an en-suite bathroom to the master bedroom, and a family bathroom, too."
No 166 has 245sqm of living space spread across four floors, and there is a further 77sqm in the mews, which is being offered for sale separately. Prospective purchasers will, in the first instance, be given the opportunity to buy both.
No 166 has an immaculate 27.4m garden that is beautifully planted with half-standard Japanese maples, European cotinus (known as smoke trees), hydrangeas and specimen bays.
A swing set installed 60 years ago looks as if it could still provide hours of enjoyment, although Adrienne doubts that it would comply with modern health and safety regulations. There is also a handy brick-built garden shed.
The original railings remain to the front of the house, but most of the neighbouring properties have taken these down to provide a driveway and valuable off-street parking, so there is precedent for the new owners of No 166 to do the same, subject to planning permission.
A modern mews was built on the site of the original coach house in the late 1990s, and has an open-plan layout on the ground floor, with two bedrooms and a shower-room upstairs.
It is currently rented out, but is being sold with vacant possession and could be a lucrative AirBnB rental for the new owners, if they have no immediate need for it as either granny or au pair accommodation. The mews has a utility room in a shed, as well as an integrated garage, and is accessed from Rathgar Place.
With the long-awaited Fallon & Byrne food emporium and a new art house cinema on the horizon in Rathmines, as well as a number of good private and national schools within walking distance, the property is well-placed for amenities.
Although she will be sad to leave No 166, Adrienne says that she will be leaving with a suitcase full of happy memories of entertaining and parties hosted in the house over the years, and that it is time to pass it on to another family, who will have as much fun in the house as the Carolans have done.
Size: 245sqm; mews 77sqm
DNG: Terenure (01) 490 9000
Viewing: By appointment