French flair in Dún Laoghaire for €950,000

Once in bedsits, this five-bedroomed period home has been extensively refurbished in true Gallic style. It’s one of those houses that really does give meaning to the cliche – must be seen to be truly appreciated


Oh là là! Mulgrave Terrace is an elegantly restrained street of very nice period homes in Dún Laoghaire. The houses here seem to know their place, and that place is just on the right side of restraint. All except for No 3, that is . . .

The current French owners bought it just three years ago for €900,000. Back then it was in bedsits, and most likely feeling rather sorry for itself.

Not any more. The house, which is now for sale through DNG for €950,000 has been treated to some very French panache, and is a stunning stage set, all dramatic décor and an intriguing mix of the antique and the utterly contemporary.

Grand project
Take, for example, the kitchen: there’s a polished tiled floor, sleek contemporary fitted cabinets, and a very nice wood-topped island unit. But the gas hob is set into what was once an ornately carved wooden dresser, which has been taken apart and reassembled for the purpose.

Then there’s the utterly fabulous fireplaces: these came from an old chateau, and it’s easy to imagine pre-French Revolution aristocrats once warming their velvet-slippered feet before these massive stone structures.

The fireplaces are part of the sale, as are the marvellous kitchen units, and so too are the light fittings.

The owners are following a new job to Canada, and they haven’t quite finished their grand project here: a little work is being completed in the back garden, and the en-suite bathroom is a step back to the house’s bedsit days.

There are five bedrooms in all, though one is tiny and more suited to a small study or a nursery. The family bathroom is on the return.

It’s easy to see what attracted owners with such a distinctive eye for style to 3 Mulgrave Terrace. Original to the house are covings and mouldings, including a pair of bearded faces as pediments above the arch in the dark blue painted hallway.

Below these, and at the foot of the stairs a knight in armour stands on top of a column, holding a flaming torch (a light fitting). This was actually already there in 2010, lighting the way for the denizens of the flats, and giving them a little bit of “Oh là là” of their own, as they trod up to their own small spaces.

Now there’s nothing small at all about the house, which runs to just over 250sq m (2,700sq ft). The current owners’ furniture crowds it a little – it feels like the aristocratic occupants of that chateau downsized and couldn’t bear to part with any of their wonderful things – but behind all that, the dining room, which leads through to the kitchen has lovely proportions, as does the open-plan series of reception rooms that run from front to back of the double fronted house on the other side of the hall.

There is a little still to be done, here and there, but it’s one of those houses that really does give meaning to the cliche: must be seen to be truly appreciated. And you can see it this Saturday, when there’s an open viewing from 11-11.30am. Otherwise by appointment.

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