While it’s just a few minutes’ walk from the traffic of Frascati Road, Avoca Place, accessed via George’s Avenue, is a serene little spot full of period homes in various states of refurbishment. It is just up the road from the UCD Michael Smurfit graduate business school.
While dating to 1890, number 5 Avoca Place is the height of modernity thanks to the work of architect and TV presenter Dermot Bannon, who oversaw its enlargement and contemporary makeover. It featured on his television show Room to Improve in 2011, when its big reveal beamed into living rooms all over the country. It had sold for €310,000 in January of that year, according to the Property Price Register, but had needed complete modernisation. No one had lived in it for about a decade.
Practically all that remains of the original double-fronted house, once four small rooms, is its façade. In walk-in condition, it has all the hallmarks of Bannon’s much-copied style. Inside it is modern, with the accommodation on the left and a statement-making open-plan space with access to a low-maintenance, west-facing garden.
Now a house of 119sq m (1,281sq ft), the total rebuild cost €240,000, far more than what its then owners had anticipated.
But the dirty work is all done, and while works were completed more than a decade ago it still feels fresh and new, with a warm wooden floor underfoot knitting the different spaces together.
The main bedroom overlooks the garden and has floor-to-ceiling glass doors by Munster Joinery opening directly to the outside. There’s a second double to the front with plantation-style louvred shutters screening the window.
The real selling point is the 21m-long rectangular open-plan living room that is triple aspect and zoned to create breaks between its kitchen, dining and living areas.
It opens into a small sitting area whose focal point is a Gazco inset stove. The kitchen has a wall of white gloss units along one side with slick below-counter cupboards in fashionable black running along the other. This links through to the dining area, which overlooks the garden and connects to it through large glass doors. From here you step up into the living room, a gorgeous dual-aspect square room that also has light from the roof.
Since its big moment on the small screen, the house has graced these property pages when it came to market in May 2015, asking €895,000. It sold for €890,000 that October, according to the register.
Now it’s back on the market with agent Sherry FitzGerald seeking €950,000 for the C1 Ber-rated home. That’s an increase of just under 6.5 per cent in a seven-year period when homes in the capital have increased by about 40 per cent, according to the Residential Property Price index: this measures percentage changes in prices paid by households for houses and apartments using 2015 as the baseline.