'People who come to the house remark on its beautiful feeling' - Magical Dublin home on the market for €645,000
11 Rockford Manor, Stradbrook Road, Blackrock, Co Dublin €645,000
'We had a deposit on another house in this development, but walking through the door of this one, it felt like home," says the owner of 11 Rockford Manor in Dublin's sought-after southside suburb of Blackrock.
In a gated residential development on seven acres of parkland and woodland, the three-bedroom family home was constructed in 2000 by Sorohan Builders.
"By that stage, we must have seen every house for sale in South Dublin, but in two seconds I knew this was it. It had magic. That was late autumn, and after a heart-stopping bidding war, we moved in in early March 2004. I mark the date every year because it was the start of a beautiful time in our family life," she says.
Anyone who thinks houses are just bricks and mortar, should spend time with the vendor of this property, who is eloquent about the joys of finding the right place to put down roots.
"It's not just me," she adds. "People who come to the house remark on its beautiful feeling. Maybe it's because you close the front door and you're in your own private, green world, yet you're close to everything. It's a real hide-away."
The L-shaped entrance hall, with solid wood cherry floor, under-stairs storage, and access to the guest WC, sets the tone for the remainder of the inviting property which runs to over 126sqm.
The kitchen/breakfast room incorporates floor and eye-level hand-painted wooden cabinetry and integrated appliances, with French doors leading to the rear extension.
"On winter mornings it's snug and warm, lovely to get up to. It's lovely too at night with the lamps lit - silent and comfy," says the owner.
The dual aspect sitting room overlooks the garden, and the open fire features a stone mantelpiece and black granite surround.
The family room/dining room is in the rear extension, designed by Alan Moran, now of Noonan Moran, and was completed in late 2006. It has a cathedral ceiling with two Velux windows, Dansk doors and windows, Charnwood Island solid fuel stove, cherry wood floor, and recessed lighting.
"The dining room is terrific for having people over - loads of lovely space and comfort. Let's say we've had lively 'debates' around that table," she says.
Upstairs, there's a family bathroom, walk-in hot press, and three bedrooms with fitted wardrobes, including two doubles. The en suite master bedroom, with bay window, overlooks the courtyard.
The garden is one of the property's key selling points. A large wraparound site on a corner plot, it allowed the vendors to extend the house yet still retain a generous green space.
"We have birdsong. If I could kidnap our blackbirds I would. On Sundays, especially, we get the church bells from town. On still days there's that lovely smell of the sea - that salt on your hands and lips.
"We've had Christmas carols and mulled wine with the garden all lit, Halloween parties with a Samhain fire, first communions, and an impromptu party when news came that our Iraqi friends in hiding for a year in Baghdad had got out and over the border," the vendor says.
"The roses mean you have fresh flowers all summer. They're triffids, the perfumed ones, so right up to December you'll have that smell of lemonade and Turkish Delight."
The vendor is preparing for departure and is busy hunting down her next home.
"In life, there's a time for everything. My son is overseas at university, my daughter plans to do the same. So, for me, it's time now for the next phase."
Rockford Manor is close to both Blackrock and Monkstown, two thriving villages offering upmarket shops and shopping centres, cafes, restaurants and access to the Dart. For those in search of a family home, the property is close to a range of schools, both public and private.
It is a 20-minute walk to the popular swimming spot at Seapoint, while sailors can choose from a handful of yacht clubs nearby in Dun Laoghaire.