If you have ever happened upon Bessborough Parade, you will already know why it is considered one of the loveliest terraces in the city, comprising of just 16 houses and lying equidistant between the villages of Rathmines and Ranelagh.
The terrace is thought to have been named after John William Ponsonby, 4th Earl of Bessborough, who was the British Home Secretary in 1834 and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland between 1846 and 1847, the early years of the Famine.
The backdrop to the curved terrace - its unusual configuration follows the line of a tributary of the River Swan - is the green copper dome of Rathmines parish church; the pealing of its bells to summon the faithful to worship is one of the only sounds to disturb the peace of this quiet spot.
"When we first moved here nearly 16 years ago," says Dennis Kenny, who lives at No 7 with his wife, Carmel, and their three young children, "we couldn't believe how tranquil it was, being so close to the city centre. It was our first house together as a couple, before we had kids."
Back in 2005, No 7 was, says Dennis, "in pretty good condition, having had a couple of careful owners."
Dennis and Carmel bought from an artist living in Cuba, who had looked after the house well, other than re-roofing it in a manner inconsistent with it being a protected structure. The Kennys subsequently replaced the roof to the satisfaction of Dublin City Council's conservation department.
Given that in-person house viewings are not currently possible, Dennis and Carmel have opted to make their home available for virtual viewing. It means that they can get on with selling their house while simultaneously working from home and looking after their children, now aged five, three and one.
No 7 is set behind wrought-iron railings with a granite path leading to the front door, which has a pretty fanlight.
"The two inter-connecting living rooms are where we spend most of our time," says Dennis, whose home office is set up in the dining room, the rear of the two rooms, and looks out on to the garden to the back.
The kitchen is in the return, with a handy downstairs lavatory and utility area alongside the door to the garden.
Directly above the kitchen, on the first floor return, are a single bedroom and a smart family bathroom accessed by a sliding door.
In 2011, Dennis and Carmel retained the services of MESH Architects, known for melding sensitive contemporary design with best conservation practice, to design a sympathetic extension that, while not extending the floor-plate of the existing house, would add some more space to the family bathroom so that it could accommodate both a bath and a walk-in shower.
MESH came up with a clever solution that extended the bathroom by cantilevering it out over the garden with a projecting zinc oriel window.
The bath is positioned here and at a level that allows the person using it to enjoy a view over the garden. Duravit sanitary ware, a rainwater shower, and tiles from Fired Earth work well alongside each other here.
Up another flight of stairs on the first floor there are two double bedrooms, both with feature fireplaces, sash windows and working shutters.
The main bedroom spans the width of the house to the front, and the second bedroom is also a good size.
MESH came up with a design to convert the attic into an additional 21sqm of bedroom or study space, which is not included in the overall area of the house. This is accessed by a bespoke hardwood staircase and is light and bright thanks to two conservation-friendly Velux windows from which there are views of the copper dome and Poolbeg in the distance.
Outside the garden is nicely planted - "I wish that I could claim credit for it," says Dennis, "but really I just minded it and tried not to kill anything", - and a doorway in the back wall leads out to Fortescue Lane, where, when not limited by Covid restrictions, the children who live on the terrace gather to play.
The street is quiet enough that older children can also play hopscotch and football in front of the houses.
"Working from home has been the catalyst for us deciding that it is time for us to move," explains Dennis. "With three children we are running out of space and really need more rooms, and we would like a bigger garden for them. We hope to stay in the area, as we love it around here."
Dublin 6 is perennially popular with families thanks to its unrivalled selection of schools. There are also plenty of parks within walking distance.
"Our children love the little fort in Mountpleasant Square, and we often walk over to Iveagh gardens to visit the maze there," says Dennis. "For shopping we usually go to Rathmines, and for restaurants we head to Ranelagh. We like Host and Forest Avenue over on Leeson Street for a treat. Both are currently operating as grocery shops."
In terms of getting around the city, there is a Dublin Bikes station just over the canal in Portobello, the Luas stop at Ranelagh is a five-minute walk and there are several bus routes close by.
For those who need a car, there is permit parking for residents on the street.
Size: 115.8sqm, excl. attic
Agent: Youngs (087) 283 5757
Viewing: Virtually at youngs.ie
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