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Take a look inside the artful duplex apartment located over a landmark Baggot Street pub


An elegant and modern duplex apartment located partially above the iconic Dublin pub Searsons, No3 at No40 was bought by its current owners in 2005 and they completely reworked it, seeking advice from a number of different designers.

Drawing some inspiration from the Morrison Hotel, which had recently opened in Dublin, they had 2.4 metre solid oak doors made for the lower level rooms and used the craftsmen who had worked on the Morrison to install them.

The stairs from the third to the fourth floor is also made of solid oak, as is the wall dividing the mezzanine office from the en suite master bedroom upstairs. Oak features in the kitchen counter too.

Now, at the lower level, there’s an entrance hall, a living room, a kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom. The upper level consists of a mezzanine office and a master bedroom with an en suite bathroom.

Recently the owners decided to sell and this time they called in Wesley O’Brien, known as ‘the spaceman’, because of his ability to optimise spaces.

An interior designer, house renovator and a stager, O’Brien is well respected in the property business for his creative approach and ability to see the potential in a property.

“Increasingly I find that people selling their house don’t have much imagination about how to stage it and buyers can’t conceive of how a place will look when it has been redesigned,” he explains. “That’s where I come in. In this case, my role was to make an already beautiful space, more attractive by accessorising, building and staging it.”

O’Brien was immediately impressed by both the apartment structure and its existing design. “It was almost like an attic garret in the top of the old building,” he says. “Yet the design had very good bones. It struck me as an unusual unique space with great finishings.”

The apartment has dual aspect views of both Baggot Street and the Aviva Stadium in the distance and this is part of its appeal. With big wooden-framed windows at every turn, it is full of light.

The kitchen overlooks Baggot Street to the front of the apartment.

It has modern fittings with a solid oak counter top and room for a table and chairs.

The sitting room at the back of the property is bright and airy with splashes of colour provided by the art work, book shelves and the furniture.

“It adds to the sense of contemporary space,” says Wesley of the colour used. “I mean a rustic coloured couch? Who would have thought that we’d have a rustic couch five years ago in Ireland?”

There’s a gas fire with a remote control surrounded by expensive black marble and fitted neatly into the sitting room wall which is painted exposed brick.

Here, double doors open on to a 4 x 2 metre balcony that faces away from Baggot Street and out towards Eastmore Lane.

It gets the sun in the evening. There’s a table and chairs here that can fit up to five people and the current owners often use it for entertaining.

Astroturf has been installed underfoot. There are no plants, but the space offers potential for someone with green fingers.

The owners are avid readers and this can been seen in the books that line the shelves of the office space too.

Roof lights work well here and when the wooden door leading to the master bedroom closes, it creates a library wall effect which hides it, giving the office a more formal air and allowing it to be used for meetings. It’s perfect for working from home.

Moving into the master bedroom there are a number of skylights in the roof to bring in the light.

A tiny circular window in the wall which overlooks Baggot Street is particularly appealing.

The use of timber, steel and glazing on the balustrade of the stairs made an impression on Wesley. “Often when you go into an apartment the timber is ghastly old pine, but that wasn’t the case here,” he says. “The heavy oak used is very much in vogue.”

“In general, I think the owners have used the space to its very best advantage, when you take into account that the ceilings are not square and that the upstairs is in the eaves. The upstairs has that lovely triangular feeling in the rooms,” he adds.

The apartment comes with an on-street parking space and its own back yard which faces onto Eastmore Lane, and can fit up to three parked cars at a time. When he saw this space, Wesley suggested that the owners tidy it up.

The location of the apartment will, appeal to anyone seeking to live centrally. Baggot Street is not only full of fashionable restaurants and bars, it’s right beside the canal and perfect for leafy green strolls.

“This apartment could be in New York or London. Instead it’s in the heart of Dublin,” says the designer.

And if you fancy a pint or some fine dining, Searsons is today host to a far more genteel clientele than the days when Behan and Kavanagh locked horns.

The Felicity Fox agency is asking €625,000.

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