Lovely lodge is more than the sum of its parts

Rocky Valley Drive, Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow


Bellevue Lodge, at the bottom of Rocky Valley Drive in Kilmacanogue, is not at all what it first seems. For starters, it’s a 10-minute drive from the Bray railway station and Greystones Dart stations, and three minutes off the N11. Then you have the fact that, from the front, it looks like a small and very unassuming bungalow – once the front doors shut behind you, however, it reveals itself in nooks and crannies, steps and corridors, to be a lot more than the sum of its parts.

Built some 100-odd years ago, Bellevue Lodge – on sale through Daphne Kaye for €650,000 – has seen some extensive expansion from its original form and size. Today, the three- to four-bedroom bungalow sprawls from front living area and kitchen-cum-breakfast room through a middle family room and back to three cosy bedrooms, two double, one twin, with the potential to use the current dining room as a fourth bedroom.

To the front, a dual aspect living room boasts an open fire and French windows that lead on to the outside patio. Across the hall, the kitchen-cum-breakfast room comes complete with an Aga, built-in deep fat fryer and marble-topped central island, while the window to the front offers beautiful views not only of the front garden but of the Sugar Loaf, in the distance.

High ceilings in the living areas and master bedrooms hint at a design aesthetic firmly rooted in the 1980s; wooden beams are painted white in the bedroom, while in the living and dining areas they are of natural wood, and give the rooms considerable warmth, though they do conceal their own sense of space somewhat.

The bedrooms are sizeable but not enormous; one, a double, features the aforementioned vaulted timber ceiling and an adjoining dressing area, while another has a double-height timber ceiling with a door opening out to the patio and gardens. Neither have en suites, and the third bedroom is a twin – again, signs of the time in which the house was built.

The entrance hall is perhaps the most spacious of all the rooms in Bellevue Lodge, which in its entirety measures 2,078sq ft. It features a fully tiled floor and recessed lights, with a dual aspect on to both front and rear of the property.

This dual aspect features prominently in several of Bellevue Lodge’s rooms, due to the add-on nature of the design – though it will not be to the taste of those who like straight edges and a strong sense of coherence within their four walls, it can’t be denied that the design makes the most of the large garden.

At two thirds of an acre, it’s a generous amount of space, and the southwesterly facing garden has everything: a large grass area, mature shrubbery and a side patio, accessed via the front livingroom.