Video: Dublin’s most expensive house back on market for €12m
Terry Coleman bought Sorrento House for £5.9m, the highest auction price for a Dublin house
The gleaming row of eight waterfront homes on Dalkey’s Sorrento Terrace has come to represent the hottest real estate in Dublin. Now the daddy of them all, No 1, Sorrento House is on the market for €12 million, making it Dublin’s most expensive house – again.
Millionaire entrepreneur Terry Coleman famously outbid Lochlann Quinn, then chairman of AIB, to secure Sorrento House for £5.9 (€7.5) million in 1998. It was the highest price ever paid at auction for a Dublin property.
After a lengthy planning process, Coleman extended the dilapidated four-storey building to double its original size at an estimated cost of about €13 million, adding a summer house and guest accommodation.
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In 2006, the protected six-bed Victorian, tucked neatly between Bulloch Harbour and Killiney’s Vico Road, was placed on the market with a hefty €30 million price tag. No takers.
Coleman, who made his fortune in the car alarm business in the UK, and his wife Anita are increasingly dividing their time between there and Ireland, and now want to move on.
David Bewley of Lisney – joint agents with Knight Frank – sold the house for the previous owners, the Lavery family. “There was no electricity on the ground floor, the original gas pipes were still down there. The transformation has been quite dramatic, and a lot of the work that has been done you don’t even see,” he says.
And what you do see is quite an eyeful. To the side of the main house, a two-storey extension has been added from basement level down. This leaves the original facade intact, faithful to the design of the 19th-century architect Frederick Darley, but it improves the accommodation to maximise the views sweeping from Dalkey Sound across to Bray Head and the Sugarloaf in the distance. At the end of the manicured gardens is a private bathing area.
The original front door and hallway that once led through to the staircase and a poky kitchen to the rear, have been transformed into a statement entrance hall where the dual aspect views compete for attention with contemporary artwork, restored plasterwork and antique Jerusalem marble underfoot.
The interior design of Sorrento House is eclectic and carefully considered, with bespoke design elements everywhere. In the dining room, an ornate parquet floor features three types of wood, while one wall is covered with “Japanesque” vertical panels with bay leaf frames.
Decorated panels are a design technique employed throughout the house. In the huge master bedroom upstairs, one of only two bedrooms now located on this floor, wall panels of hand-painted silk match the painted fronts of the built-in wardrobes.