Monday 10 December 2018

This couple completely updated their home with eclectic artworks and furniture

New to market: 18 Woodside, Dodder Park Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, €695,000

Grainne and Arthur Cassidy in the kitchen they created at No 18, Woodside. Photo: Tony Gavin
Grainne and Arthur Cassidy in the kitchen they created at No 18, Woodside. Photo: Tony Gavin

Words by Katy McGuinness Portrait by Tony Gavin

When Arthur and Grainne Cassidy bought 18 Woodside at the end of 2015, the house - located in a quiet cul de sac off Dodder Park Road - was much the same as when it was built in the mid-1990s.

"It was in very good condition," says Arthur, "but it felt a bit dated. The original kitchen and bathrooms were still there."

The exterior
The exterior

The couple set about a top-to-bottom updating of the house, for which they paid €599,000, according to the Property Price Register. They started by decorating the ground floor, painting and wallpapering, and putting in new walnut laminate floors, doing much of the work themselves over bank holiday weekends.

The biggest change was to remove the wall dividing the kitchen from the dining room and turn it into one big contemporary space. It is now a stylish room with a bright blue island unit topped with Silestone and brand-new wall and floor units. There's a clever larder unit and integrated appliances include a Stanley induction hob, dishwasher and a large fridge-freezer set in a specially-constructed recess. As well as looking super-smart, Grainne says the Silestone worktop has made her a better baker. "I was at my sister's house recently and I couldn't manage to roll out the pastry for a lemon tart. I've got so used to using the Silestone - it's brilliant."

The kitchen opens onto the garden, where there is a decked patio area. Also on the ground floor are a study, guest lavatory and store-room with access to an outside cupboard where the couple keep the washing machine.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms, three of them doubles. The fourth is a single to the front of the house, currently used as a walk-in wardrobe. The master bedroom is papered in a colourful bird pattern Grainne first spotted at the Westenra Arms Hotel in Monaghan and tracked down online. It has an en-suite shower room, and the family bathroom features a modern slipper bath the couple purchased with the winnings on a scratch card. "Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to pay for the taps as well," says Arthur.

The dining room of the property
The dining room of the property

No 18 is decorated in a contemporary style that features an eclectic selection of artwork and individual pieces of furniture. It is quite different to the prevailing 'showhouse look' with which house-hunters will be familiar.

It was while they were updating and decorating No 18 that the couple came up with the idea for their new furniture business, pieces.ie.

"We became very frustrated when we were looking for furniture," explains Arthur, who says he and Grainne are always on the lookout for interesting pieces, and think nothing of driving half-way across the country to pick up something that has caught their eye on DoneDeal.

"We felt we were pushed out of Ireland to find pieces that would meet our budget and our style," says Grainne. "It's either Arnotts or Ikea and very little in between.

"We are going to focus on city living. Trend-driven furniture that's good quality and not quite as safe as what's out there at the moment."

Arthur and Grainne plan to fund the start-up phase of their business, which they hope will be up and running by September, with some of the proceeds of the sale of 18 Woodside, and are on the hunt for a small retail outlet in the Francis Street area, where they will be able to display some of their pieces. "We reckon that if you're going to buy a sofa, you need to sit on it before you commit," says Arthur.

The couple say that they have enjoyed living at Woodside, which is just down the road from the excellent SuperValu at Churchtown, and also handy for the villages of Rathgar, Rathfarnham and Terenure.

Their favourite local restaurants are Howard's Way for weekend breakfasts and Bijou for dinner, and they say that the Mango Tree kept them in takeaways when the new kitchen was being installed.

For families, the area offers a good choice of schools, and walks along the Dodder are popular with the local canine population. Bushy Park, St Enda's Park and Marley Park are some of the open spaces in the vicinity, and golfers can choose between the courses at Milltown, Edmondstown and Rathfarnham.

Era: 1990s

Size: 142.71 sqm

Agent: Owen Reilly (01) 283 0200

Viewing: By appointment

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