Money-making makeovers in Blackrock and Donnycarney

Well executed extensions and makeovers can add marked value: Here are two examples


Two refurbs new to the market in Dublin show just what can be achieved with an imaginative renovation – whatever the starting base. One is a redbrick villa-style, single storey over basement semi in Blackrock; the other, a former council house in Donneycarney. Both have been transformed with the help of professionals and if both achieve their asking prices, they will show the sort of added value that can be realised by well-executed makeovers.

Number 39 Glenart Avenue in Blackrock sold less than a year ago for €745,000 and is back on the market for sale by private treaty for €1.65 million through Beirne & Wise. No one has lived in the house since it was refurbished.

The owners have renovated a house that had been laid out as two flats with zealous attention to detail. Original sash windows were taken out, double glazed, and returned to the bay at the front of the house; a new oak staircase, with a polished scroll hand rail, has reconnected the top and bottom storeys. Elaborate cornicing and centre roses have been repaired and restored.

New lacquered dark oak floors and oak doors have been installed upstairs and down; a pair of ornate antique crystal chandeliers hang in the two reception rooms, with similar chandeliers in the hall and kitchen. There’s Carrara marble in the bathroom and en suites, and an island unit with a polished quartz countertop in the dark oak kitchen.

Lot of space

It’s a smart house suited to a couple, perhaps, or a small family. Bright and airy, with mostly white walls, high ceilings and tall windows. Wide granite steps lead up to the front door. Inside, the front reception room, with its marble fireplace, is to the right of the front hall. It opens through a wide arch into the diningroom-cum-kitchen: the side wall of this room was removed so that the long, narrow kitchen could be built out into the hall. It’s an unusual idea, but works well. There’s a sink and a hob in the island unit; behind it are floor-to-ceiling units, with a Miele oven and a Siemens wine cooler and fridge. A door leads from the kitchen to a large, well-fitted utility room. From here there’s access to the back garden down a new granite staircase outside.

Downstairs, all three double bedrooms have marble-tiled en suites, and two have walk-in wardrobes.

The gardens, designed by Paul Doyle, include a patio paved with York flagstones, a neat square of lawn surrounded by antique brick with planted beds, trees and shrubs. There are gates at the back of the garden, which opens on to Grove Avenue. There is side access from the front garden.

112 Collins Avenue

Collins Avenue East

She enlisted Patrick Lynch of House 7 Architects to help reimagine the space. Hiring an architect was worth the money, says the owner, an accountant. “He helped me map out the extension and advised on where to position everything like the kitchen units and island.” He also helped with budgeting. He also gave her what she describes as homework – shops and suppliers to visit. She spent a lot of time on looking at ideas and hired interior designer Leona Brolan to help with lighting and kitchen layout.

The house opens into a tiny hall and leads through to the sittingroom where there is an open fire and oak engineered flooring. A door with opaque glass panels leads to the large open-plan kitchen, where there are anthracite coloured handleless units by A1 Kitchens.

Brolan recommended shortening the suggested length of the island to accommodate a seating area and to add pendant lighting. An orange Kartell design adds a pop of colour to the island area. The trio of smaller concrete styles that hang over the dining table were bought in B&Q. Room-height steel frame sliding doors open out to a long northeast facing garden which has a limestone patio area. Off the kitchen there is a utility room. The family bathroom is off the kitchen hall.


Upstairs there are three bedrooms. In the master, situated to the front, a shower en suite has been installed in what was originally the wardrobe and boiler cabinet.

There is off-street parking for one car. The house is a five-minute walk from Killester Dart station and is adjacent to the bus routes on the Malahide Road.