Friday 18 January 2019

The kitchen in this €750k Dublin home is an Instagram-worthy dream

This Victorian terrace has been refurbished to the last, inside and out

The open-plan kitchen and dining room in the extension
The open-plan kitchen and dining room in the extension
The en-suite shower room
The dining room looks onto a secluded inner courtyard
The front door of 4 Whitworth Place
The exterior of 4 Whitworth Place
The landscaped 65ft-back garden
The entrance hall
The courtyard
The sitting room is at the front of the house
The statue of Brendan Behan on a bench at Binns Bridge

Eithne Tynan

As you get ready to enjoy the St Patrick's Day parade tomorrow, spare a thought for poor Brendan Behan. In 1961 he became the first person in history to be banned from the parade in New York, even though it was a city with which he was hopelessly smitten. Not to mention that at the time he was arguably the most famous living Irishman in the world.

"We don't want a personality who has been advertised so extensively as a common drunk," said the organisers, although ironically the notorious hellraiser - or 'bon viveur' as he's sometimes euphemistically described - happened to be on the wagon at the time.

Snubbed, Behan made his way to Toronto instead where he proceeded to drink Canada dry, got arrested, and was hospitalised after falling into a diabetic coma. Three years later - three days after St Patrick's Day in 1964 - he was dead.

Should you want to sit out the parade this year and extend some thoughtful sympathy instead to the nation's most renowned alcoholic, you could take up a position next to him on his bench at Binns Bridge, along the banks of the Royal Canal.

The sitting room is at the front of the house
The sitting room is at the front of the house

His statue there, sculpted by John Coll and unveiled in 2003, is a sort of cousin to the bronze of Patrick Kavanagh, Behan's old rival, by the Grand Canal on the southside. But while Kavanagh is aloof looking into space, Behan, seems to turn towards you like the most attentive company.

Not much more than 100 metres from the Behan statue is 4 Whitworth Place, so its occupant can keep a reasonably close eye on the famous "drinker with a writing problem."

Facing south over the railway tracks and the canal, Number 4 is a terraced Victorian house that's been refurbished to the last, both inside and out. It's immaculate, in fact. It's the sort of house where, if you invited Brendan Behan around for a drink, you'd make him use a coaster.

Its upgrade included an energy-efficiency overhaul, with gas-fired, heat recovery central heating and double-glazed sash windows giving it a positively 21st-century energy rating of B3. And the basement has been fully waterproofed and damp-proofed, so you need have no fears of the Royal Canal across the street making its presence felt in any way other than aesthetically.

Having gained a rear extension, Number 4 now measures 1,722 sq ft on three floors and has an inventive ground floor layout. In the old part of the house, to the right of the entrance hall, there are two formal reception rooms with high ceilings that communicate through an archway.

The sitting room overlooks Whitworth Place to the front while the dining room, which used to overlook the back garden, now instead looks onto a secluded - almost secret - inner courtyard. The agents suggest the courtyard is an ideal spot for al fresco dining "and perhaps a glass of vino". Just the one, mind.

The entrance hall
The entrance hall

The inner courtyard is also deployed as a clever device which has allowed this home to be enlarged while at the same time keeping the central areas filled with natural daylight.

The extension is beyond this, at the back of the house, consisting of a 24ft by 16ft open-plan kitchen and dining room. It's clean, chic and modern, with blue cabinets, acrylic stone countertops and a centre island with a sink and breakfast bar.

At one end of the room is a door to the inner courtyard, and at the other end is a floor-to-ceiling window with a door to the back garden.

Despite having been encroached on by such a sizeable extension, the back garden is still over 65ft long. It's landscaped to the nines but fairly low-maintenance, with a patio directly outside the kitchen and steps up to a raised lawn and flowerbeds.

The first floor has two of the bedrooms, both having built-in wardrobes and sharing an en-suite shower room. For emergencies there's also a guest toilet on the first-floor return.

The third bedroom is in the basement and has its own front entrance with steps up to street level - handy if your overnight guest needs to escape in haste. Also on this lower floor there's a bathroom and a utility room.

The landscaped 65ft-back garden
The landscaped 65ft-back garden

Whitworth Place is off Drumcondra Road Lower. It's about three minutes' walk from here to Drumcondra train station, where there are commuter trains to and from Maynooth and Pearse Street. You can walk to the city centre from here, reaching the top of O'Connell Street in about 20 minutes. Croke Park is a five-minute walk down Russell Avenue.

Number 4 Whitworth Place is on offer for €750,000.

4 Whitworth Place

Drumcondra, Dublin 3

Asking price: €750,000

Agent: Lisney Howth Road, (01) 853 6016

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