Masterful interiors designed to inspire

These three houses share certain qualities – a fine location, good proportions and nice views – with their neighbours, but what sets them apart is their owners’ attention to detail and style that has transformed them into distinctive homes


To say a house has incredible style, or that it has been done up with great taste, depends, of course, on style and taste preferences. However, it’s hard to imagine anyone not feeling a whiff of desire when looking at 5 Brighton Avenue, as it manages to combine lovely period detailing with a classy contemporary feel.

It starts at the front door, for although Victorian terraces are hardly unusual in Monkstown, this one has something special: an L-shaped entrance hall, that creates drama from the word go, as you come in to a stone space with an Italianate feel, and your eye is immediately drawn up through the three levels of accommodation.

Rescued from flats a few years ago, and rented out ever since, the house is now relatively free of furniture, which means the high ceilings, cornicing, hard wood floors, stained glass, and elegantly tall sash windows can really be appreciated. It’s a pleasant surprise to see how much of the ornate coving and ceiling roses survived the decades of apartment living. The walls are painted in soft creams and greys, and the plaster and woodwork picked out in white. Perhaps that’s the secret of what’s so stylish about this house; they have cleverly let the great light and proportions speak for themselves.

There’s a large kitchen on the lower ground floor, and handy access to this from a side entrance. The kitchen, which is finished to showroom standard also has a den leading off it, with an open fireplace. There’s a bedroom at this level too – maybe a hangover from the house’s days as flats.

On the first floor there are a pair of very elegant reception rooms, one of which has a huge, dramatic and fun light fitting from Avoca, which is included in the sale – perhaps, as the owner says ruefully “because it would be hard to find a better spot for it”. There’s also an office on this floor, with a door leading out to a terrace that looks over the garden.

The best of the sea views is from the first floor landing, but you can see it, with a squint from the master bedroom, which has an en suite, too. There are two more bedrooms on this floor. Overall there is approximately 240sq m (2,600sq ft) of living accommodation, perfectly poised between the Dart, all the shops, schools, sailing, cafes, restaurants and conveniences of Monkstown, Blackrock and Dún Laoghaire.

Pre-renovation, 5 Brighton Avenue, which is to be auctioned by Lisney on September 26th, sold for about €2.5 million. In 2008, it changed hands for a reported €1.9 million, and now has an AMV of €1.25 million – so great taste may come at a discount.

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