If 10,000 sq ft of living space sounds excessive for a family home (that's almost ten times an average semi), and you think you would never in a million years want to live in a house that big, then take a look at Mon Desir on Seafield Road East in Clontarf - an object lesson in living comfortably on a grand scale. And prepare to eat your words.
Although the house is undeniably large, it is clear the family that currently lives here has enjoyed every bit of it since they moved into the newly-constructed home back in 2006.
In an old house of this size there would inevitably be drafts and cold spots, and rooms that no one would ever go into. The residents would wear a lot of jumpers and bed socks at night. Their breath would steam in the cold air above them as they slept, and a terrific amount of steeling would be required in order to get up on winter mornings.
On a chilly November day, with the rain lashing down outside, Mon Desir feels positively toasty. Thanks to geo-thermal heating and solar panels, the house has a BER rating of B2.
The owners put together the site by amalgamating the gardens of two houses, one on Seafield Road East, and the other on Vernon Park, which backed on to one another. They placed the house at the Vernon Park end of the site, facing towards Seafield Road East, to make the most of the south-facing orientation.
Access is via a driveway that leads from Seafield Road East up to electric gates, which open on to an area for visitor parking, with additional parking for the family closer to the house. From the gates to the front of the house is a distance of approximately 45m. This area forms the main garden, and is laid out in a charmingly higgledy-piggledy fashion with a children's play area, a chicken coop, hutches for rabbits and guinea pigs, a greenhouse, an organic vegetable garden and a gazebo.
There's also a sandstone patio and barbecue area with a custom-built fire pit, a sensible precaution given the vagaries of the Irish summer. The garden wraps around both sides and the rear of the house, with a series of arches and some shrubs and other planting, but the main focus is to the south.
Looking towards the house from the garden, the front door is tucked away to the left, but there is also access to the kitchen/breakfast room via a door in the semi-circular bay to the front.
From the front door, moving in an anti-clockwise direction around the ground floor, are six receptions rooms: a large roof-lit sun room that is warm and gets year-round use, a library, a home office, a formal sitting room, a dining room and a family room. As you would expect in a house of this size, the rooms are generously proportioned yet none feel over-sized.
The dining room and family room are both adjacent to the kitchen, and there is also a utility room with ensuite lavatory, and a guest toilet and cloakroom on the ground floor. The kitchen, equipped with a double Aga, a large island unit, custom-made cream units, bags of storage and counter-tops in black granite, has a relaxed feel.
A grand staircase leads to the first floor, where there are four double bedrooms, three of which are ensuite, with the fourth adjacent to the family bathroom. The master bedroom suite is - predictably - enormous, and has the air of a five-star hotel suite. Over-looking the main garden, and with a southerly orientation, the bedroom has great light. The bathroom is spacious, and the dressing room alone is as large as many master bedrooms.
A further staircase leads to the attic floor, where there is over 1,400 sq ft of additional space divided into several rooms that could be put to any number of uses. Much of this space is currently used for storage and there is another shower room on this level.
The finishes throughout are of high quality. There's all the storage that any family could ever need. There's smart, touch-operated lighting, and central vacuum and integrated sound systems. Interior designer Bill Simpson helped to create a look that is opulent yet comfortable.
So far, so luxurious.
But the basement of the house is where things get seriously exciting. There's a gym, a sauna and steam room... and a 12m heated swimming pool with an integrated lighting system, and his and hers changing rooms. Oh, and a cinema room too. Quite simply, Mon Desir is a pleasure palace, and any sociable family with children and lots of friends and relations, would be hard-pressed not to have a wonderful time living here.
There is a choice of schools and good shopping nearby, and some excellent restaurants - including Kinara and Moloughneys. The airport is handy, as are sailing, tennis and golf clubs, and bracing walks along the seafront, where the sky seems bigger than anywhere else in the city.
Keep buying those lotto tickets.
Mon Desir, 72A Seafield Road East Clontarf, Dublin 3