Mountpleasant surprise in Dublin 6 for €495,000

The renovation and extension of this Victorian house was a labour of love by the owners who have struck the perfect balance between contemporary and classical


One of the nicest things about Ranelagh, apart from the cafes, shops, restaurants and general village atmosphere, just minutes from the city centre, is the warren of little streets and terraces that run behind the main thoroughfares. Mountpleasant Terrace is a quiet street, with a little terrace of Victorian houses, some of which have had architectural upgrades, and some of which are still pretty much intact.

Number 4 appears to offer the best of both worlds. A kitchen extension opens up the back of the house to a sunny patio terrace, while the overall mood of the house is a balance between the contemporary and the classical. It keeps many of its period features, while additions include French windows, double glazing, and quarry tiles in the large kitchen, reaching out into the patio area. The house is full of those touches that interior designers love, such as clever use of colour and texture to create a flow.

The only thing is, this house wasn’t “done” by a professional. Instead it has been a labour of love by the owners, who are moving to find more space for their growing family. At 114sq m (1227sq ft) it’s just a little too small for the couple, who are expecting their second child.

Quiet street
“I have no design background, I just love it,” says Ann-Marie Dillon. “I work in IT – perhaps that’s why I get so into design when I come home.” Dillon lived in France for a number of years, and the French country style is evident throughout – in the pale green metro tiles from Fired Earth in the kitchen, to the use of fabrics and finishes. “We also go on holiday in the Cotswolds, and I think that’s influenced me too. I did it all over time, it’s been seven years of collecting and adding – perhaps that’s another reason to move, so I can start all over again . . .”

That time spent adding, thinking and adding again means the house doesn’t have that off-the-shelf feel. Instead it’s quirky and eclectic, but all done with really great taste, in a way you could easily live with. It feels like home. The three bedrooms are upstairs, two with working fireplaces, while the bathroom is on the ground floor; an arrangement that won’t suit everyone, but which seems to make the best use of the available space.

“What do I love most about the house?” Dillon, who is torn about selling, considers the question. “It’s a very special place. The street is so quiet that we can hear the birds singing, and the bells from the nearby churches, rather than cars, or the Luas, which is only round the corner. And we can sit outside on the patio and imagine we’re somewhere else.”

Open viewing on Saturday 1 -2pm, and by appointment

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