State of the arts


RATHGAR: €875,000:With a dream studio for an artist at the end of a gorgeous garden, this property stands out from other Victorian redbricks

Everywhere in 77 Rathgar Road are signs that the house was once the home of an artist. The late Aileen MacKeogh’s striking sculptural pieces are featured in almost every room; there’s a contemporary designed stained-glass window on the stairs; the back garden which she planned and laid out is visually interesting and atmospheric, but from a housebuyer’s point of view, it’s the lovely and very large studio at the end of the garden that makes this stand out from the other Victorian redbricks on this Dublin 6 road.

The family has lived here since 1986 and bought when it had already been reclaimed from flats by the previous owner. It’s a two-storey over garden level period house and is part of a terrace of similar houses. The back garden is west-facing. Inside the layout is as expected. There are three double bedrooms – two to the front in what would originally have been one large room – and a double bedroom to the back. One of the bedrooms to the front still has the original fireplace. A small family bathroom is in the top floor return. Downstairs there are two interconnecting reception rooms. There is access to the back garden from this level via a flight of stone steps.

Down at garden level are two rooms, the one to the front is used as a home office, the back room is the kitchen with double doors opening out onto the garden.

MacKeogh commissioned architect Angela Rolfe to design a studio for her at the end of the garden, which before the build was 40 metres long so there was enough space. It’s a dream studio for any artist – particularly one who makes large work. Light comes in to the double-height space from windows to the front and a ribbon of roof lights and there is a woodburning stove. Double doors open out onto the back lane for ease of transporting large work.

The garden was a clearly a labour of love – it was 10 years in the making – with extensive planting, a water feature and two sun-trap patio areas – one outside the kitchen, the other outside the studio.

A smart-looking two-storey mews in the garden next door is an indication of what can be done with the the garden of No 77 and might prompt new owners to rethink the studio, which was custom-built for the artist and not as an exercise in maximizing the potential of the site.

To the front is off-street parking for two cars.

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