All together now in handsome rambling Greystones home for €1.55m

Five-bed bungalow is one of 13 houses on large gardens in a gated development

  • Address: Samen Thuis, 12 North Shore, Redford, Greystones, Co Wicklow
  • Price: € 1,550,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald

A garden room looking towards the sea from a house on the outskirts of Greystones, Co Wicklow, is possibly its most striking aspect – along with a terraced garden that curves around the house.

It’s described as the “atrium room” in the agent’s brochure, a space open on two sides with a vaulted glass ceiling in a high, timber-panelled roof and a tiled floor. On a sunny September morning it has a Mediterranean flavour – enhanced by the olive trees planted by the owners when they moved here 16 years ago.

Samen Thuis is one of 13 houses on large gardens in a gated development built in 2003. The 399sq m (4,300sq ft) five-bed bungalow also has a studio where art classes are held.

The owners, a Dutch man and his Irish wife, bought it as a new build, extending and modifying the house to suit their needs – and giving it its Dutch name, which means “all together at home”. Now that their three children are grown, the house, bought in 2003 for €1.35 million, is for sale for €1.55 million through Sherry FitzGerald.

Neutral shades

Inside and out, the emphasis is on space and light, with walls painted neutral shades and colour provided by art – much of it created by one of its owners and her father, who’s also a painter – on the walls everywhere. These include many portraits of family members, along with pictures of the family’s two much-loved pugs, Gucci and Prada.

A very wide glazed entrance door – with a huge fanlight above – opens into a high-ceilinged oak-floored hall leading directly into a livingroom with a large Portland stone fireplace and a wall of windows and double doors opening on to the atrium garden room. 

A door from here as well as from the hall opens into the huge, L-shaped open-plan living/kitchen/dining room, with another large stone fireplace and floored with porcelain tiles. There are floor-to-ceiling windows and doors from here into the garden room and on the opposite side of the room, glazed double doors on to another terrace in a different part of the garden.

The garden was created from scratch by the owners, who wanted a mix of a jungle garden, an Asian garden and a Mediterranean garden, created for them by Greystones landscape gardener Philip Brightling. A sweep of lawn at the front of the house is bordered by olive trees; gravel paths and wide steps lead up and around the flower-filled terraces. There’s a pond on the top terrace, a gazebo, a garden daybed and, of course, the higher you climb, views over the sea. 

The house is very much designed for indoor and outdoor living – there are lights and power points in the garden, the atrium is heated; beyond the atrium is a deck, with the outdoor spaces well furnished. Not surprisingly, it’s a great party house, the owner says, that hosted 150 guests on day two of a recent family wedding and 200 people one New Year’s Eve.

Flexible space

The house is flexible, with space for living and working as well as room for guests. A reception room at the side of the house, now used as an artist’s studio, is very bright, with a separate entrance via French windows. Currently filled with canvases, it has fitted bookshelves and cupboards and potential as a granny flat – there’s a bathroom off it. A door from the studio opens into the fifth double bedroom which is fitted with a pull-down “Murphy” bed. 

Inside, the house is furnished with an eclectic and elegant mix of modern and period furniture. It works well: in the kitchen, for example, a unit with pull-out shelves stacked with delph came originally from a haberdashery by way of the owner’s father’s tool shed; a timber island unit on wheels also came from her father’s house.

The kitchen has pale grey units, timber countertops and a big cream Aga. The entire kitchen/living/dining area is floored with porcelain tiles and a long wooden dining table seats up to 14 people.  

The main bedroom has French doors on to a deck outside and a corner window which frames a view of the sea across the garden.

Three of the five bedrooms, which open off both sides of the hall, have en-suite shower rooms.

Two double bedrooms have very large arched windows with tall plantation shutters and fitted wardrobes; one is fitted with an alcove workstation. Another room upstairs, under the eaves, is fitted out as a games room.

The north shore development is tucked away off a road called the Grove, a left turn before Greystones off the R761 from Bray. A path near north shore leads over the rail line on to the Bray-Greystones cliff walk, from where it’s about a 20- to 30-minute walk into the town, says the owner.