€1.5m for designer's renovated redbrick


Former TV presenter Lisa McNulty is selling her Rathgar redbrick, which comes with a huge garden and plans for a part two makeover, writes ALANNA GALLAGHER.

FAMILIES WITH growing children want a home for life. This is the holy grail of houses – a property in walk-in condition that you can move straight into but that also offers you room to improve, to expand and finesse and put your own stamp on.

Number 72 Brighton Square is one such four-bedroom house. When its owner, interior designer Lisa McNulty, who used to front RTÉ’s Beyond The Hall Door, bought the Victorian redbrick it had been in the same family for years. “We didn’t inherit layers and layers of other people’s personalities.”

But a substantial renovation was required. This was phase one of a planned two-phase project.

At 158sq m (1,700sq ft) this is a fine family house. It is for sale through agent Felicity Fox with an asking price of €1.5 million.

The formal reception rooms have interconnecting double doors and original restored marble fireplaces. The rooms are decorated in bespoke greys that McNulty created. Grey is very deceptive, she explains. “It is the chameleon of colours. It borrows from adjacent shades and feels darker at night.”

Lisa also consults for paint company Dulux who subsequently put her colours into production. The floors throughout have a smoked, limed finish coated with white oil, which have elicited a mixed reaction from friends and family.

A French door leads directly onto a wrought iron platform and steps down into the garden.

The garden is south-facing and simply enormous. It stretches 170ft and is in parts wild and overgrown. It would be a shame not to make like the Good Life and grow your own vegetables in this vast terrain.

There are three bedrooms on the first floor. The family bathroom and the fourth bedroom, which is currently being used as an office, are on the return.

A kitchen to the rear is small by today’s standards but perfectly formed. It was only ever installed as a temporary measure, while the family got planning to convert number 72 into their dream home.

The house comes with full planning permission for a sizeable extension to the rear. It is significantly different to the standard glass box, explains Lisa. The plans, designed by Jim Lawlor of Melted Snow Architects, include a super-slick expansion that enlarges the existing bedrooms, adds an en suite into one, supersizes the existing family bathroom, beefs up the kitchen to a sizeable kitchen/dining/family room with retractable glass roof panels.

There are also plans for a separate studio designed for the end of the garden. This would bring the size of the property to 217sq m (2,336sq ft).

The cost of implementing these drawings is €300,000, Lawlor estimates. But this could be done in two phases. The studio will cost between €30,000 and €50,000 to install and would offer an independent space to an au pair or college-going kid.

Residents of Brighton Square have access to its communal gardens and tennis courts.