Bright day at Blackrock


Blackrock €1,075,000High-spec and clever design features are everywhere in this double-fronted period house, ideal for a family, just outside Blackrock village

Montpelier Place is a rather decorous-looking enclave of period homes, just at the edge of Blackrock village.

From the outside, number 1 is as sedately elegant as its neighbours, but this calm exterior belies an interior that is an exuberant riot of quirky, fun and brilliant design.

When the present owners bought it in 1999, it had been gutted, and, as was the fashion back then, almost all of the original features had been removed. A full restoration included a new roof, newly lined chimneys and new chimney stacks, insulation and the reinstallation of coving, ceiling roses, fireplaces and wooden window frames.

It didn’t stop there. Downstairs, what had been a relatively dark basement is now a light-filled extravaganza, with a copper-clad kitchen extension that has a wrap-around wall of glass on two sides.

Sliding doors lead out to the garden, with a terrace and seating area, plus a lawn, raised beds and mature planting. A wide wooden gate to the street allows for off-street parking, although you would be sacrificing some of your grass to get it.

Recessed wine rack

High-spec and clever design features are everywhere – from the silvery steel tiled splash back, to the recessed wine rack above the arch that brings you from the kitchen to a cosy den.

To the front of the house, the basement-ey feel has been reduced by the use of bright paint on the retaining walls outside, so that the bedroom (with en-suite) on this level looks out on to a mini-gravelled terrace with a strong sunshine-yellow backdrop.

The den’s vista is done in a gorgeous, glowing ultramarine. The current décor is eclectic glamour, with bold, strong colours and lavish patterns, but this is the kind of house that will absorb any style preferences. I can as easily picture it accommodating clean modernist pieces as I can see it populated with antiques.

Despite being double-fronted, the houses on Montpelier place are relatively narrow, so that above the basement level that is all generous space and light, the ground floor, reached up a short flight of granite steps, has just two rooms off the hall.

These are a lounge and what is currently a drawing room, but it would work equally well as a study space. Each room has a working open fire – and the claw-footed marble fire place in the lounge is a little bit special, as it was discovered on a family holiday in Bordeaux, where the owners spotted it and had it shipped back.

The family bathroom is on the first floor return. The upper level has three other bedrooms, one en suite, where over- the-top, but still rather stunning, touches include a mirror-panelled wall, reflecting back the opulent wallpaper and free-standing cast iron bath.

The bathrooms themselves have a mixture of tiles and mosaics, and there’s a strong sense of a glamorous boutique hotel to their look and feel. The interior space overall is 222 sq m.

Enclosed garden

The position of the house is ideal for a family – the back garden is fully enclosed, so pets and children can run free. Schools including Newpark, St Andrew’s, Blackrock and Rathdown are all close by. Seapoint Dart station is less than five minutes away, as are bus routes and all the shops at Blackrock.

Monkstown and Dún Laoghaire nearby give you pier walks, the harbour, sailing, cinema, the Pavilion Theatre and more shops and restaurants to enjoy.

Montpelier Place may look like a house of restrained good character from the outside, but I can imagine it also being a whole lot of fun when the right owners get in.

1 Montpelier Place, Blackrock, Co Dublin

DescriptionFour bedroom period home with restrained exterior and quirky interior