Sunday 23 September 2018

The young couple selling this 1890s Victorian home in Ranelagh have transformed it

16 Beechwood Avenue Lower Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Asking price: €1.1m Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 496 9909

The kitchen comes with high-gloss wall units and a central island/breakfast bar. Double doors lead into the drawing room
The kitchen comes with high-gloss wall units and a central island/breakfast bar. Double doors lead into the drawing room
The exterior of the house on Beechwood Avenue
The master bedroom
The back garden comes with sandstone patios and shed
The hallway has a feature stained-glass window
The drawing room with its large open fireplace

As a child playing on Beechwood Avenue in Ranelagh in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Maureen FitzSimons would boast to friends that when she grew up she would become "the most famous actress in the world". As Maureen O'Hara, the green-eyed redhead did go on to become the biggest Irish actress of Hollywood's golden era; starring in, among other titles: Miracle on 34th Street and The Quiet Man, celluloid classics which have endured through generations.

Just down from O'Hara's childhood home at 32 Beechwood Avenue Upper is 16 Lower Beechwood Avenue. The young couple selling this 1890s Victorian home, have also transformed it, adding a high-gloss kitchen, solid herringbone wooden floors throughout the hallway and main living areas and refreshed period details by painting the walls in fashionable blue and grey tones.

The vendors bought the three-bed, extended two-storey house in 2011, during the nadir of the property crash, for €700,000, according to the Property Price Register. These days, homes in good condition on Beechwood Avenue command prices in excess of €1m, not least because of the road's location just off the main street of the affluent southside village. No. 66 Beechwood Avenue Upper, for instance, sold last year for €1.275m.

Like 66 Upper Beechwood Avenue, 16 Lower Beechwood Avenue was constructed to a villa style. When it came to designing homes, the Victorians looked to their predecessors, the Georgians, who - in turn - looked to the Romans for inspiration. The affluent Georgians emulated the low-slung villas built by wealthy Romans in rural locations, with the result being a single storey over a lower or garden floor used by their servants. But these country villas became subsumed into cities as urban development expanded outwards. Generations later, the Victorians described their own houses the same way.

The exterior of the house on Beechwood Avenue
The exterior of the house on Beechwood Avenue

No. 16 has redbrick to the façade of the hall level and render to the façade of the garden level, with tall sash windows and a pale grey front door topped by a fanlight. A flight of granite steps leads up to the front door at the hall level. Inside, the 1,500-sq ft semi-detached home is a marriage of period features with contemporary finishes.

The aforementioned herringbone wooden flooring in the entrance hall is complemented by wood panelling to the walls. The hallway also has original decorative details such as coving, a ceiling rose, picture rails, and a feature stained-glass window.

Immediately to the right of the hallway is the front drawing room. The focal point of the drawing room, which overlooks the front garden, is a large open fireplace with a brick inset and marble surround.

Double doors with glazed panels lead to a fine kitchen/breakfast room. The wall units incorporate an integrated double oven, a fridge-freezer and dishwasher, while the large central island, which doubles as a breakfast bar, has a five-ring gas hob, a wine fridge and storage. There are two large sash windows with views of the back garden on both sides of the double doors that lead to the dining room extension.

There is a guest lavatory with a wash basin, as well as a cloak area, on the same level. Underneath the staircase that leads down to the garden level, there is a storage area plumbed for a washing machine and dryer.

To the front is the master bedroom, which has an open fireplace, walk-in wardrobes and a tiled ensuite where the double shower cubicle is fitted with a rainwater showerhead. The main bathroom, meanwhile, has both a shower and a bath.

The back garden comes with sandstone patios and shed
The back garden comes with sandstone patios and shed

The other two bedrooms are located to the rear of the garden level. One is fitted out as a nursery and the other is decorated as a child's bedroom. Both bedrooms have wooden flooring and a door that opens out to the garden.

The landscaped garden has mature trees, sandstone patios bordered by flowerbeds, a wooden shed house, and double doors with access to the rear laneway. The Beechwood Luas stop is just a one-minute walk away.

The drawing room with its large open fireplace
The drawing room with its large open fireplace

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