Wednesday 17 July 2019

This Rathmines new build is full of clever tricks, and is 50pc bigger than the average three-bed semi

Contemporary living in the shadow of two of our greatest heroines, writes Celine Naughton

The owner of 49 Grosvenor Place hired architect Tim Kane, who proposed the contemporary facade to the property, which is unique on this road in Rathmines
The owner of 49 Grosvenor Place hired architect Tim Kane, who proposed the contemporary facade to the property, which is unique on this road in Rathmines
The back garden features a Barna shed
A floor-to-ceiling glass partition makes the most of the light in the living room
The open-plan living/dining area
The entrance hallway
One of the double bedrooms
The kitchen
The converted attic
Double doors lead out to the rear

When it comes to reeling in wealthy downsizers and trader-uppers alike, there's a certain type of house in Dublin's inner suburbs virtually guaranteed to whet the appetites of buyers from both sides of the demographic divide. They may be at different stages in life, but young families trading up and cash-rich grannies and grandads who want to be close to the city share similar requirements.

In these energy conscious times, warm A-rated properties with underfloor heating and a fuel efficient air-to-water pump are high on such buyers' checklists. More traditionally, location continues to be key. Both age groups will pay a premium to be within walking distance of the city and have parks, bars and trendy eateries on the doorstep.

With the recent gentrification of neighbourhoods north and south of the Liffey, one of the most spectacular transformations has got to be that of Rathmines. In the space of a few years, the once flat-lined flatland has become a magnet for hipsters young and old. It's got two cinemas and numerous artisan delis and cafés where once there were boarded shop fronts.

Set off Leinster Road, halfway between the main streets of Rathmines and Harold's Cross, 49 Grosvenor Place is a new detached house that's likely to set hearts aflutter for those with a million to spend. An ultra modern granite box shape to the front of the house sets it apart from its much older neighbours. In contrast, the addition of a warm ochre brick is a nod to the period style of the Edwardian terrace, with history to match.

A floor-to-ceiling glass partition makes the most of the light in the living room
A floor-to-ceiling glass partition makes the most of the light in the living room

Suffragette Hannah Sheehy Skeffington once lived in Number 11 (now 21) Grosvenor Place with her husband Francis, their son Owen and two servants. Her name was not listed on the 1911 census form as the suffragettes had boycotted the census. The enumerator later added her details, but got them wrong. Five years later, despite being a pacifist who had no part in the Easter Rising of 1916, Francis (also a leading Dublin suffragette) was taken to Portobello Barracks and shot dead.

Across the street, the most famous female rebel of the period, Countess Markievicz lived in 49b Leinster Road for a time with her husband Count Casimir. At her home she ran the Fianna, a sort of IRA boyscouts movement and at her house young boys fired off pistols for target practice. Casimir complained that they youngsters kept stealing his rashers. Between the two heroines, this area was quite a revolutionary hotbed before decades later, it became home to thousands of up-from-the-country students and civil servants who rented flats here.

The owner of 49 Grosvenor Place owned a few properties on Leinster Road before selling up and engaging architect Tim Kane to recommend this contemporary build close by. Construction began in May last year and was completed in November.

With a main floor area of 1,141 sq ft, the attic room adds another 264 sq ft to that, making the house 50pc bigger than an average three-bed semi.

For those not born to such grandeur, this is a bright home that makes the most of light and space with clever tricks like a floor-to-ceiling glass partition between the hall and the open-plan, L-shaped living-dining-kitchen area with windows at both ends.

Glass doors open out on to a low-maintenance back garden laid out in sandstone paving with a small vegetable-herb garden and a Barna shed that could be used as an office or for storage. Mirrors along the side passage wall create an illusion of extra space.

The kitchen
The kitchen

There's a guest wc at the end of the hall and understairs storage. Upstairs, the owner dispensed with a bath in favour of a large walk-in shower in the main family bathroom, which is tiled and has a heated towel rail. The main bedroom here is ensuite, and there are two further bedrooms, one double and one single, all with mirrored sliding wardrobes.

Upstairs, the converted attic with its Velux window and under-eaves storage could be used as a den, study, office or other living space.

The A3-rated property has all the bells and whistles you would expect of a new build, including air-to-water heat pump, underfloor heating, triple-glazed windows, recessed lighting and wireless alarm. There's residential permit parking on the street. It's a few minutes walk in either direction to amenities in Harold's Cross and Rathmines, while it's a short commute to the city centre by bus from Rathmines, or via the Luas in Ranelagh, 10 minutes' walk away.

49 Grosvenor Place Rathmines, Dublin 6

Asking price: €950,000

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Rathmines: 01 496 606

The converted attic
The converted attic

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