Ice cream of the crop in Sandycove for €1.35m
This spacious five-bedroom house facing the sea in south Co Dublin was in a sorry state of repair when the current owners bought it 25 years ago. Since then, however, it has been sympathetically restored to create an elegant family home
The directions to find 5 Martello Terrace are easy – it’s just up from Teddy’s, Dublin’s most famous purveyor of 99s where there’s always a queue on a sunny day and even on an overcast one, pier walkers reward themselves with an ice cream.
There is a variety of house types and sizes along this stretch of the coast road but number five is one of four matching three-storey over basement houses built in the 1840s. There are uninterrupted sea views from the front of the house.
Their builder, maybe whimsically, added a large, decorative shell motif over the front windows, which nicely reinforces the house’s seaside location. The terrace faces on to the sea, with the car park and well-kept communal space which is popular with walkers across the road in front. The house has five double bedrooms over 326 sq m (3,509 sq ft) and is for sale through Savills for €1.325 million. The owners, their family now grown up, are trading down to a smaller house.
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To fully appreciate the sorry state the house was in when the owners bought it 25 years ago, viewers should take a peek at the framed photograph in the living room. It shows a near-derelict house with no glass in the windows and no railings at the front.
The owner remembers standing in the front living room at hall level and being able to see the sky when she looked up. So before they could get on with the interesting side of renovation – sourcing replacement floorboards, commissioning a stained-glass artist to make glass for the doors in the inner hall, sending the marble chimney piece off to be cleaned by a specialist – they had to rebuild much of the house.
The basement is a self-contained apartment with access from the front garden under the entrance steps and with its own patio at the back. But there is access from the main house – the original staircase is still there – so the basement could be easily reincorporated into the main living space. Down at this level there is a living room, a double bedroom with en suite and a small kitchen.
This division meant a change in the original layout upstairs. So now at hall level – the front door is up a short flight of granite steps – the living room is at the front while the kitchen, a very large, bright room, is in what would traditionally have been the back reception room. Double doors – stripped down to the bare rich-coloured pine as is the case with the architraves throughout the house – divide the rooms.
A utility room is in the return which leads into a small conservatory at the back. There is access from here out to the nicely landscaped low-maintenance back garden. There is also access to this garden from the kitchen.
To take full advantage of the uninterrupted sea views, the owners use the room on the first floor as a formal drawing room, a beautifully proportioned space with high ceilings, two tall sash windows and an impressive white marble fireplace – what they thought was a black fireplace came up sparkling white after professional restoration 25 years ago.
There are four very large double bedrooms, two with en suites, and the family bathroom arranged over the two upper floors.
There is no parking with the house or even on the road outside but the owners have residents’ parking permits which allow them to park in the car park opposite.