This thrifty Clontarf house owner turned his garden into three homes - now one's for sale
€2.35m gets period home dimensions and style with full-on modernity
Back in the day, a hefty corner site was considered a plague upon your house - or at least upon your weekend. There was a hell of a lot of grass to cut, there were the security problems (it's easy for an intruder to climb over the back garden wall from the street) and privacy issues (passers-by peering over the back garden wall).
But thanks to the property boom and recent shortages, estate house owners today look over the garden fence in envy at those who bought a corner site house back in the day. Often their neighbours have cashed in by developing a second house on their surplus garden site.
The owner of Oriel, a house built in the garden of his original home at Kincora Road in Clontarf, Dublin 3, recalls spending an entire day every weekend for 10 years cutting the grass and hedges on his extra large corner site of a third of one acre. Even if we exclude the no growth winter and autumn periods, that's still an entire year of his life spent pushing a mower or wielding the shears. So when the boom erupted and corner sites became valuable, no one was more entitled to recompense.
He and his wife took the plunge in 2006, developing their garden with the help of architect Austin Barrett, who had just returned from London. They built not one, not two, but three new houses into the garden site alongside their own. These included a brace of luxurious three storey red-brick homes in the Edwardian style, one of which they had earmarked as their dream home.
"We had always wanted to live in one of those classic period red-bricks in Clontarf," he says. "We looked at them for years but finally came to the conclusion that we couldn't provide modern comforts like insulation, underfloor heating and en-suite bathrooms without compromising the integrity of these homes. So we came up with a plan that would enable us to build a modern version for ourselves. It being the boom, we finished it with no expense spared."
A decade on, with their children all grown up, it's time for the owners of Oriel at 2 Kincora Walk to trade down, this time they're focused on finding a smaller, more manageable, home (Oriel spans 3,650 sq ft) and more golf in sunnier climes.
Among the Tiger-era luxurious extras are Irish made sets of crystal chandeliers, high ceilings (11ft on the ground floor, 10ft on the first floor and 9ft on the third) and ornate period style cornicings and ceiling roses by the Irish Fine Art Plasterworks (the same as those used in Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel). The brushed nickel chimney pieces in the main adjoining receptions were bespoke from Chesneys of London which was asked to include an authentic period Dublin corbel. They are inset with Italian Carrara marble.
There are crystal door knobs and the floors are in bespoke oiled and smoked wide oak plank, Italian travertine stone and honed Crèma Marfil. There's underfloor heating, which combined with doubled up insulation (each room is individually insulated), makes for a snug existence in expansive spaces.
Oriel has central lighting, music and water pressure systems. The kitchen is fitted with mostly Neff appliances and includes a granite topped island, a walk-in larder and a utility room. There's an oven with a steam cooking facility, a high heat wok outlet, a combi microwave oven and a built-in bean-to-cup coffee maker. The Franke triflow tap has a water filter and the extractor is a De Dietrich low noise, high output model. The architect even went to Spain to source the frameless mirrors.
The house is approached through automated gates across granite cobbles with a gravelled parking area. The ground floor has two extra large receptions interlinked via double doors, with a bay window to the front. Both the hall and the second reception open into the family room and beyond this is the kitchen and dining room which in turn leads to the garden.
Upstairs, the first floor has the master bedroom with a walk-in dressing room and an en-suite shower room. Bedroom two is double sized with an en-suite, while the third and fourth bedrooms, also on this floor, are both double sized. The main bathroom with its stand-alone tub and a linen press complete the accommodation at this level.
On the top floor, bedroom five is a double room suite while bedroom six is currently used as an extra large walk-in dressing room. Both have access to a shower room. There's a home office and reading area on this floor as well as linen and eaves storage.
Outside there are side entrances on either side and off street parking for several cars to the front. At the rear, French doors open out onto a paved granite patio and hardwood deck inset with evergreen trees and a cascading water feature. This garden has a south facing aspect.
Shopping is at the nearby Vernon Avenue and the seafront is a short walk away. The location is especially handy to the EastPoint business park, the IFSC, Dublin's city centre and Dublin Airport. The price is €2.35m.
2 Kincora Walk
Clontarf, Dublin 3
Asking price: €2.35m
Agent: Gallagher Quigley (01) 818300