Peek Inside: This completely refurbished €1.495m Rathgar home is 'a dream come true'
128 Rathgar Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6 €1,495,000
When Michelle Roche was in her twenties and renting a Victorian house around the corner from Rathgar Road, she used to daydream about how she would redesign a period redbrick if she were ever lucky enough to own one herself.
Fast forward to today and not only is Michelle the owner and vendor of 128 Rathgar Road, a fine period property near the Dublin 6 village of Rathgar, but she has completely reimagined the interior, turning a draughty old house into a high-end property in turnkey condition and she is now bringing it to market.
"I love the style, I love the area. There is so much history and character in these houses," she says, "so this is a dream come true."
When Michelle bought No 128 just over a year ago, it was one of two adjoining properties that had been knocked into one to form an office. Both were on sale, and a friend of a friend bought one to live in, Michelle and her husband bought the other. Using the same architect, and the same builder, the neighbours set about restoring the properties together.
"We got on brilliantly and were on the same page all through the whole thing so it worked out really, really well. It was a very smooth process."
That process included adding a two-storey extension, retrofitting to add insulation, solar panels, repointing the brickwork, refurbishing the old sash windows and replacing where necessary, rewiring and re-plumbing. The work has brought the BER to an impressive C1, not often seen in period homes.
She also peeled back the old ceiling tiles and partitions to see what lay beneath. "When everything was pulled apart there were so many things that I was delighted to see that I wasn't expecting," says Michelle. "The surprises included fine ceiling roses and cornice work that had been hidden behind the tiles."
No 128 now extends to 239sqm and is in immaculate condition, ready for new owners who need only unpack their belongings. It has been decorated throughout in soft greys and off whites from the Farrow & Ball palette, with grey carpets on the stairs, in the drawing room and bedrooms, and oak floors from Trunk elsewhere.
The hallway has been returned to its Victorian prime with a few 21st century updates such as parquet flooring, and handy storage and a guest WC tucked discreetly under the stairs.
The drawing room and sitting room are separated by double doors that fold back so that guests can overflow from one room to the other or a family can have separate spaces. The walls in these rooms have been cleverly insulated internally by stepping the coving back to hide the extra thickness. Michelle hunted down two identical marble fireplaces for the rooms and knocked through matching alcoves on either side of the chimney breasts to give symmetry and, in the sitting room, punched through windows for additional light.
The ground-floor extension is a large, bright, double aspect kitchen/dining/living area with a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and access to the sunny side and rear garden. The kitchen units were designed by Savvy Kitchens and include top-of-range appliances such as wine cooler, pantry and a generous island with seating. The seating area has an inset gas fire that provides a focal point.
On the first floor, the extension adds a good-sized double bedroom to the rear, a laundry room and a family bathroom. To the front of the house are two further double bedrooms, both en suite, with a walk-in wardrobe for the master bedroom.
A further fourth bedroom has been added to what was the attic space and comes with en suite.
The gardens front and rear have been landscaped, with paving and planting designed to make the most of sunspots. To the rear, the garden - while narrow - runs to 28m and is fully serviced with utilities for those who might wish to install a home office. To the front of the house, there is parking for two cars on the gravelled driveway and an electronic gate.
"I wanted it to be a house that someone could move into and know it was all done right," says Michelle of her first refurb. "It was a real labour of love."
"When the auctioneer's sign went up," says Michelle, "I felt - what? I'm not selling my baby."
However, since she and her husband bought No 128 they have also produced their own babies, twins - now nine months old - and she is looking forward to taking a break to spend more time with them.
And while Michelle has her eye out for another house with refurb potential, she concedes that it is more difficult to find value in a rising market.
No 128 Rathgar Road is a stone's throw from the amenities of Rathgar village and is on many a bus route to the city centre. For those with children of school age, there is plenty of choice - The High School and Stratford College are around the corner, while Rathgar Junior School, Kildare Place School, St Louis' High School and St Mary's are all within walking distance.
Agent Young's Estate Agents (01) 497 5581
Viewing: By appointment