Large 1930s home in Rathfarnham

Detached house with five bedrooms and attractive garden


Breathing a sense of its period, this is a house with well-designed spaces and features, solid proportions and a sheltered rear garden in which trees, bushes and plants reflect 80-plus years of benign care and growth.

It has history too, in that it was designed by TJ Byrne, an architect who played a considerable role in the building, and rebuilding, of the new State after 1922. As the OPW’s architect, Byrne was responsible for the restoration of the GPO, Custom House and Four Courts, as buildings to house the new government and for carefully thought-out public housing.

He designed 23 Butterfield Drive for his son T Brendan Byrne, an engineer, in 1933. His original drawings show it looking much then as it does now, with the exception of ground and first floor additions to the rear.

Inlaid wooden flooring, Dado rails, a porthole window at the turn of the stairs, picture rails, panelled doors and a bedroom with a balcony are part of what gives the house its sense of time. Rooms that are distinctly functional, have large windows and, sometimes, doors to the garden, do the same thing. There is 227sq m (2,450sq ft) of floor space and agent McCarthy Auctioneers and Estate Agents is asking €1.495 million.

The kitchen, where fittings are integrated and a brick arch shelters a hob, segues via an L shape into a family room with maple flooring and windows on three sides overlooking the garden.

Also overlooking the garden, the impressively 1930s-style diningroom has a polished timber floor, service hatch and marble fireplace. The sittingroom has a similar fireplace of pinky-beige marble and a hardwood floor with maple inlay.

The vendors, who are downsizing, are only the third family to own the house since it belonged to TB Byrne. They have painted the hall, landing and stairwell walls in shades of aqua and yellow ochre which perfectly recall the 1930s. So too does the hardwood flooring with ornate mahogany inlay in the entrance hallway.

The main, front-facing bedroom has an en-suite shower. Two of the other bedrooms have original hand basins; the larger one has a good sized, concrete and cast-iron railed balcony overlooking the garden. A fourth, rear bedroom has an en-suite shower and a fifth is smaller and faces the front.

There is off-street parking to the front and a garage.