A white curving staircase at the centre of a semi-detached house in a suburban cul-de-sac is just one of the design surprises hidden behind the front door of 24 St Catherine's Park, Glenageary, Co Dublin. When Roberta Giovacchini and Diego Franzin bought the 1950s suburban property in 2013, they hired Irish/Italian architect André Negri to extend and renovate it.
The result is a bright comfortable family home with design features that are both subtle and striking. These include a pale Italian marble kitchen countertop that runs seamlessly into a shelving unit in the livingroom; Cape Cod-style wainscot panelling on some walls inspired by the family’s years living in New England; and sparing but dramatic use of colour to contrast with the mostly all-white rooms, all floored with polished wide-plank dark teak. Most dramatic of all are the stairs and the livingroom extension, which is built at an angle at the back of the house.
Now the couple and their two daughters are moving home to Milan after 20 years abroad in Ireland and the US, and selling their 202sq m (2,181sq ft) four-bed with a large back garden. The buyers will probably be people who like the clean modern style and furnishings – many of which may be included in the sale – designed to complement the house. Number 24 St Catherine’s Park, Glenageary, Co Dublin is for sale through Hunters for €1.375 million.
The house was effectively gutted in the renovation, with architect André Negri of Studio Negri in Dublin completely rebuilding the interior. The layout now is fairly simple, with two smart interconnecting reception rooms with built-in bookcases and shelving to the right of the front hall, a smart downstairs toilet and storage room on the left and at the end of the hall, a very large open-plan kitchen/livingroom/diningroom opening onto the back patio.
The open-plan back of the house is extremely bright, with the U-shaped kitchen in one corner facing the front garden. It’s a smart, efficient space with Hafele units and Miele appliances; a tall white wooden table at the edge of the kitchen was designed specifically for this house; as Diego says, the house is all of a piece. The marble kitchen countertop continues down the side of the last kitchen unit across the floor and up onto the livingroom shelves, which also incorporate a built-in glass-fronted wood-burning fireplace.
The white wooden stairs lead around a curved wall to the bright first floor landing, which has built-in seating concealing storage beside windows looking across to Killiney Hill. There are four bedrooms and a utility room next to the family bathroom. Both this bathroom, the main bedroom en suite and downstairs toilet are very smart, fully tiled and with stone sanitary ware.
Milanese interior designer Cristiana Perego designed the bedrooms, which all have fitted wardrobes. Each bedroom has one wall painted a vivid colour, the other three, white: a simple 2cm-deep white border painted around a coloured wall is an attractive design feature.
The 17.1sq m (184sq ft) attic (not included in the overall size) on the top floor is a bright, airy sittingroom/guest room with two deep Velux windows.
The large back lawn, sheltered by high hedges, is filled with apple and pear trees; two stone paths on either side lead up to a well-fitted Shomera, which has a small shower and kitchenette. There are vegetable beds at the bottom of the garden and beside the patio, a small grapevine.
There is room to park several cars at the front of the house, next to a grassy roundabout at the bottom of St Catherine’s Park, a cul-de-sac of 30 houses. It’s a short walk to Glenageary Dart station from here in one direction and into Dalkey village at the other.