Modern take on Shrewsbury for €2.65 million

This sleek house, designed by its owner, brings an individual style to the capital’s embassy belt

Thu, Sep 12, 2013, 15:17

Nestling in Dublin’s embassy belt, Shrewsbury is a gated enclave of exclusive red-brick homes. However, there is something a little different about Claremont. Built just two years ago, it is more modernist than its neighbours, more opulent – even in a spot oozing with opulence – and certainly hyper stylish.

Built on a double site, the house design was influenced, says owner Breda Clifford, by her travels to Cape Town, South Africa, where she admired their use of light and space.

A designer by profession, Clifford created the house from scratch, bringing the kind of attention to detail that you only get when the person planning to live there is running the show. She describes her style as “timeless elegance with a twist of vibrancy”, although beyond the Italian marble floors and skirtings, clever lighting, solid oak doors and staircase, and the lavish kitchen; what also comes across is a great sense of fun.

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The drawing room is painted a warm brown, with accents of leopard print in the current furnishings, though new owners will, of course, be keen to put their own stamp on things. The ground floor is largely open plan, though concealed doors can be pulled across to close off the drawing room, and glass doors concertina back to open the space to the garden.

This area is particularly brilliant, as Clifford had the level dropped by a foot or two to make sure it is completely private. The edges are accented with pink, and screened with bamboo. There is a raised sundeck, a mini putting green, and that swathe of lawn is actually astroturf – so you can leave Claremont, travel the world, and when you come home, discover there’s nothing you really have to do except relax, switch on the integrated sound system, and perhaps call a few friends to come over and help with the contents of the built-in red and white wine cave.

On the ground floor there is also a smaller room, which houses a drum kit, but could be a study, or a guest bedroom. The guest bathroom next to it can double as a wet room.

Upstairs, the generous landing leads to three bedrooms, all en suite. One gives access to a lovely little sun trap balcony. The master bedroom is massive, with an enormous en suite, and balconies on two sides. The space is broken up with a bedhead that screens off a dressing area. “Play with the scale of the room,” says Clifford, “and don’t overcrowd things with large furniture”.

A very stylish townhouse, a bolthole for a world traveller, a fun palace for a successful sportsperson: Claremont is the kind of house that has been created to be easy to run, fun to come home to, perfect for entertaining and a trophy for its owner.

“Designing a house for yourself is very different, compared to a client,” says Clifford. “I don’t have the worry of spending a client’s budget, and I know exactly what I want.” That said, she’s now selling Claremont, through Sherry FitzGerald for €2.65 million, because she’d like to do the whole thing again. Some designers never stop wanting to design.

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