Seaside luxury on three levels
Howth €1.35 millionAs an area – originally a fishing village and now a suburb of Dublin city – Howth is not enormous. That is, until you find yourself driving up the Carrickbrack Road towards the Summit Inn, losing count of the enormous houses and dog walkers and 2012 Lexus coupes that have passed you by.
To say it is an affluent suburb would be an understatement, and it does what affluent suburbs seem to do best; it creates a sense of neighbourhood and camaraderie between residents whose houses appear simultaneously isolated and rooted in the Irish countryside.
Oakwood, on the Balkill Road, is no different – inside the five-bedroom home, on sale through Gallagher Quigley with an asking price of €1.35 million, all around are sea views and the leafy overhang of a brilliantly landscaped rear garden. Out the front gate, however, houses reveal themselves on each side.
It was built in 1990 by a family that included three teenagers, and at the time the original owners had a very specific vision in mind. As a result, the house is on three levels and extends to 353sq m (3800 sq ft). On the left-hand side, it appears to be a bungalow, but turn right and you have a choice of up or down, as it splits on to two levels. Effectively, it allows for a certain freedom of movement for children and adults alike.
The adults’ side of the house is to the left, and here a large reception room leads through to a study and then on to the kitchen-cum-diningroom. Despite the generous proportions of each room, high ceilings and ample windows, they feel cosy, helped by the accoutrements of the family of four currently in residence.
These are Oakwood’s second owners, and this year they hope to mark their 10-year anniversary in the house by downsizing – with teenagers almost fully grown, it has become too big for their requirements.
Heating is gas-fired and fireplaces are all fully functioning, and antique; the original owners had an interest, it seems, and each room hinges on the design of its fireplace – a marble fireplace here, a wooden one there.
The kitchen-cum-diningroom looks out over the back garden, which is a third of an acre and boasts mature shrubbery, tall trees, a decked area and, on lower ground level (we’ll get to that), a small tiled patio.
Upstairs are the four large double bedrooms. The master is en suite, with a walk-in wardrobe, while a front bedroom has an en suite shower room and fitted units. There is also a hot press, the family bathroom and two more double bedrooms.
The lower ground floor is where the teenagers, at least for now, congregate.
In the front, there is a large poolroom with a corner bar – conspicuously empty of alcohol, but it’s not difficult to imagine the parties that could take place there.
The centre room is a small gym with built-in sauna adjacent. It also has a storage room which could easily be converted into a shower room.
To the rear, there is a room that is currently in use as a music room, again for the kids. But it could be reimagined as an office, gamesroom or even a fifth bedroom – although, with a door opening on to the rear patio, perhaps not one for a troublesome teen itching to get out at night.
Oakwood, Balkill Road, Howth, Co Dublin
DescriptionFive-bedroom split-level house with gym, sauna, poolroom, large back garden and great views