Bespoke Kilternan home with Arts and Crafts influence for €1.45m

Large, modern four-bed designed by the owners has light inside and year-round colour outside

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Address: The Old Yard Enniskerry Road Kilternan Dublin 18
Price: €1,450,000
Agent: Hunters Estate Agents
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Tucked behind electric gates in a small cul-de-sac of just four houses is The Old Yard, which takes its name from part of a former equestrian centre that once occupied the site, and where Festina Lente, the non-profit equestrian and horticultural organisation – now based in Old Connacht, near Bray, Co Wicklow – once stood. What remains on the site are lovely old granite walls which frame the gardens against the backdrop of the spires of Kilternan parish church.

The property, constructed in 2006, was designed by its owners Aidan Keogh and Dr Christine Carey. Carey had once studied history of architecture, and with this love of design and colour – in conjunction with architect Peter Roberts – set about planning their dream home.

“Most of the property in Kilternan has farming or equestrian backgrounds, so we wanted to try to relate to that,” says Carey. “The pink we used on the exterior was also part of that vernacular.”

Focusing on light, good-quality craftsmanship and spaces that were flexible with the needs of a growing family, the result ticks all the boxes from the original brief. Interiors are reminiscent of Arts and Crafts-period homes, with a focus on wide open plans fitted with bespoke quality joinery using natural materials.


Exposed beams, double-height panelled ceilings and built-in furniture feature strongly in the 335sq m (3,606sq ft) four-bedroom house, and thanks to good design all the rooms are flooded with light. The BER is C2.

Carey says when it came to kitchens she was not that impressed with what was on offer, but was not quite sure what she wanted at the time. "That was until we met [carpenter] Richard Delaney, who ended up doing so much work throughout the house".

Many kitchen design companies would balk at the idea of a kitchen fitted into a curved wall, but Carey says Delaney took it as a challenge and “the builders were up in arms at the idea of a curved stairwell and stairs, but Richard seemed to love the more challenging aspects”.

The result is an MDF-free kitchen as all the units are solid wood, and the floor-to -ceiling library in the sitting room has wooden frames to the rear, so can be easily removed should new owners wish – but it is really a lovely place in the house. This spot also has a mezzanine and clever understairs storage, which has hidden everything from children’s toys and easels to instruments and sheet music as the family grew older.

While Delaney is responsible for most of the bespoke carpentry, the couple engaged Christoff Kitchens for some of the built-in wardrobes in the bedrooms. For the ladder required to reach the tall library shelving, the couple sourced a wheel-based one from Putnam Ladders in New York.

Carey admits that she and her husband are not great gardeners, but they appear to have got it just right, with lots of colour from flowers, shrubs and trees.

"It is all really down to Mark Cullen at Grange Growers up the road. He gives a wealth of advice and will tell you what works where in the garden so there is year-round colour."

The gardens themselves are divided into three distinct spaces: a lawn to the front, which for privacy is divided by tall hedging from the driveway, a lovely courtyard off the dining room, and an al fresco area with raised beds accessed from another reception room.

The family have launched their lovely self-designed home on the market through Hunters seeking €1.45 million.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables