City dwellers fall into two main categories - the ones who embrace urban life, and the reluctants who spend their time wishing that they lived in the countryside.
The former don't waste their time complaining about parking and traffic. They revel in their proximity to a variety of shops, and in having cinemas, theatres, concert venues and art galleries within walking distance. They like the cultural diversity of a city, and the wide range of different eating opportunities that comes with that territory. They relish the choice of schools, and the range of sports and leisure activities available within easy reach. They have the Dublin Bus, Luas and Hailo apps on their phones, and use them.
The latter keep chickens and plant vegetables, biding their time until they can escape the city and set up home in a cottage in the middle of nowhere, where instead of the comforting sound of traffic to lull them to sleep they have deep rural silence, with only the odd terrifying animal noise to keep things interesting.
The owners of 78 Grosvenor Square are determined city dwellers. They don't keep chickens and they don't grow vegetables. They don't even have barbecues, they say, explaining away the 'raw' state of their small back garden (it looks like the 'before' shot on a garden makeover show) with an unapologetic flick of the wrist.
Instead, they say, they turn the key as soon as school's out and head away for the summer. They walk into Grafton Street in 18 minutes. They play tennis year-round at the David Lloyd Centre, five minutes drive away. They catch movies at the eight-screen Omniplex when the mood takes them. And within a 10-minute walk, they can eat the food of Jerusalem, Naples and South East Asia. Not to mention enjoy a meat-fest par excellence at the original JoBurger.
Grosvenor Square is tucked away about half-way up Leinster Road from Rathmines, on the right-hand side. The houses are a mix of single-family residences and multi-occupant dwellings, which gives the square a little more character than some of the more wholly gentrified enclaves of Dublin 6, of which there are many. The square is home to the Stratford Lawn Tennis Club, and the Kenilworth Bowls Club; both are active, though their demographics differ.
No 78 is located on the south-westerly side of the square, a double-fronted mid-terrace red-brick Victorian house set back behind smart black railings and a front garden laid with gravel.
When the current owners bought the house, it was in eight units. They set about a refurbishment that has resulted in an elegant house with its period features largely intact, that succeeds as a hard-working family home. Now that they are a family of eight, they are on the move again, in search of another refurbishment project close to the city.
On the ground floor, the entrance hall has decorative ceiling plasterwork and a ceiling rose, with a glamorous chandelier. To the right is the double-aspect drawing room with its original marble fireplace.
In many period houses, the formal reception rooms are under-used, but the owners say that they live in this gracious room - playing the piano, reading and watching television. Across the hall is a smaller family room, with a second television to accommodate differing viewing and gaming requirements. Understandable when there are eight different opinions - ranging from Frozen to Top Gear - to take into account.
To the rear of the house is the kitchen, decorated in a slick black and white theme with granite counter tops, double sink and a central island unit.
The Bosch microwave, hob, and extractor fan are included in the sale, as is the Whirlpool American fridge. At one stage the wall between this room and the family room was opened up, and could be again if a larger eating area was preferred.
As currently configured, a large group would need to eat in shifts. Double doors lead out to the garden and there are a separate utility room and guest lavatory on this floor.
Upstairs, on the first half-landing, is a double bedroom currently in use as a playroom.
On the first floor there's another double bedroom and the family bathroom, plus the master bedroom suite. The master bedroom looks out over the square and is painted a deep magenta pink; it has an enormous ensuite bathroom with a Jacuzzi bath that saves on water by accommodating three or four of the children at a time.
The master suite also has a decent-sized dressing room with fitted timber units.
On the next half-landing is another double bedroom, which looks out over the back garden. In the attic, the owners created a shower-room and two separate rooms that are currently used as sleeping space. The owners say that their teenagers can play their music as loud as they like up there, and that they never hear them.
The house has 2300 sq ft of living space, plus a further 500 sq ft in the attic.
The rear garden has a timber deck and is a suntrap that could easily be transformed into a city courtyard, with some herb-filled pots and low-maintenance planting, but probably no chickens. There is rear access onto Grosvenor Lane behind.
78 Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, Dublin 6
Asking price: €1.25m
Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald, Ranelagh (01) 4969909