Creative hub with star quality
Dalkey €1.6m: Art House, Sorrento Road, Dalkey:Artist Gerard Byrne and landscape designer Agata Mocior have applied their talents to this four-bed house, both inside and out
We were sitting in what must be one of Dalkey’s nicest pubs, Finnegans, when two women approached us. They were down from Belfast for the day. “We were just wondering if you were famous?” asked one. “Our guidebook says lots of famous people drink here.”
We had to disappoint them, though my guess is they wouldn’t stay disappointed for long. Dalkey is thick with celebrity. Bono lives here, so do the Edge, Enya, Pat Kenny, Ryan Tubridy . . .
Just opposite Finnegans, and next door to the home where Maeve Binchy lived, artist Gerard Byrne has a house he is selling.
From the outside, Art House looks like a typical single-story Edwardian house, but inside, Byrne has completely gutted it, knocked through, built up and dug down. What you get are cosy rooms at the front, and light-filled rooms upstairs and down, opening on to a secluded garden to the rear.
Byrne has an artist’s attention to detail and this, as well as a former life as an electrician, shows in features such as a gas fire in the downstairs bathroom, a salvaged architrave around the studio door (which came originally from Rathmines Garda station), a wooden studio floor made from the boards usually in service as the bases of lorries, and lights that switch on when you enter a room, and off as you leave.
A bold use of dark colours in some rooms is balanced by the core of the house; the huge bright kitchen, with French windows leading out to the garden, a German limestone floor, wooden worktops and glass mosaic splash back.
Outside, Byrne’s partner, landscape designer Agata Mocior, has created a split-level garden, complete with water feature, sheltered seating areas and a south-facing balcony where you can enjoy an al fresco breakfast on sunny days.
The house is full of Byrne’s bright paintings of Dalkey, Dublin, Kinsale and further afield but it is easy to imagine the space accommodating a range of tastes in art and design.
When the artist travels each summer to paint, the house is often rented to film crews.
Moments from the Dart, the sea, the restaurants, pubs and lovely little shops that Dalkey specialises in, it’s no wonder that Maeve Binchy said that even though she could live anywhere in the world, she chose to be in Dalkey.
You don’t have to be famous to live here, but the house has star quality.
Viewings take place from 1pm to 2.30pm on Saturday, but for a sneak preview tonight, between 8pm and 10pm, Byrne is holding an at-home exhibition of his paintings.
Description:Four to five bedroom, fully redesigned house, in Dalkey with an award-winning garden