Don’t judge a book by its cover on Waltham Terrace

Bookseller Derek Hughes’s house may have a modest facade, but don’t be deceived – this beautifully renovated five-bedroom Georgian house has spacious reception rooms, light and airy halls and an expansive, family friendly, kitchen


When 31 Waltham Terrace last came on the market in 2005 it was a very different proposition – in many ways. Then, the house on the sought-after Blackrock street, off Mount Merrion Road, sold after auction for a reported €3.2 million. That wasn’t an unusual price for this road at the time, even though the semi-detached house was in need of some updating.

The new owners, Hughes & Hughes bookseller Derek Hughes and his family, embarked on a massive renovation job and now the 395sq m (4,261sq ft), five-bedroom house is a lovely family home in walk-in condition. It’s going to auction again, on October 2nd, and Lisney has suggested an AMV of €2.25 million.

That’s the same price 16 Waltham Terrace made in March (the asking price was €2 million).

Deceptively large
These houses, built at the end of the Georgian era, are deceptively sized – you only appreciate quite how big they are when you stand in the garden and look at the three-storey rear facade. The proportions of the rooms also differ. The two reception rooms and hall have ceilings that are nearly five metres tall – common in the grandest Georgian houses, not so usual in suburban homes – while some of the bedrooms are quite cottagey in scale.

One of these beautiful reception rooms is used as an elegant drawing room, the other, which could be a formal diningroom, is fitted out as a library.

The renovation respected the style and period of the house – as does its current elegant but practical decoration – and the only addition is a small glazed extension at the back which makes the kitchen and the adjoining familyroom light and airy and gives great views of the lovely garden. Indeed, part of the renovation included bringing in as much light as possible to the home so additional roof lights were installed in the hall.

Down at garden level where the ceiling heights are good, access is from the side where the hall door opens to a bright room-sized hallway with its own cast iron fireplace and plenty of storage space. There is a large family-friendly kitchen with a wood burning stove and an adjacent utility room and a spacious livingroom, all at the rear of the house. To the front is another home office and a family room with home cinema and a giant screen.

Old-fashioned atmosphere
The rear of the house is three storey, with two bedrooms at the top – one has a dressingroom and both share the large bathroom. There are three double bedrooms in the middle floor and they are all good-sized, bright doubles and have their own shower room.

The gardens, bordered by the original stone walls, are lovely: landscaped so that they are full of colour, flowers, shrubs and trees, almost old-fashioned in atmosphere. A strip of sandstone patio runs to the rear and joins the garden’s gravelled pathways.

What’s less old-fashioned is the hot tub tucked away in the corner at the end of the garden and screened with tall foliage.

There’s off street parking for several cars and a detached garage.

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