Bungalow bliss a stroll from the seafront in Clontarf for €1.8m

North Dublin home of Blades trumpeter Frank Duff, on Belgrove Road, has big landscaped garden

  • Address: St Joseph's, 10 Belgrove Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3
  • Price: € 1,800,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
 

“Everyone knows the pink bungalow on Belgrove Road,” says Therese Duff, who admits to falling in love with the house the minute she saw it, 18 years ago. Her husband, Frank, a member of Dublin band The Blades, was away during this stage of the family’s house hunt, and she told him she’d sell her soul for it.

Instead, they sold their Victorian house on nearby St Lawrence Road, and became only the third owners of number 10 Belgrove Road since it was built for two sisters in the 1930s. It is now for sale through Sherry FitzGerald with an asking price of €1.8 million.

On a road where not many houses come up for sale, number 16, another bungalow at the top of the road is for sale through DNG, seeking €1.2 million, and number 25, a terraced three-bed almost opposite, is sale agreed through Flynn & Associates, asking €565,000.

Hall
Hall
Living room
Living room
Dining room
Dining room

Number 10 is one of only a few houses on this side of the road with very long west-facing gardens that back on to Kincora Park and are extraordinarily private. The development of Vernon Mews to the east, and other infill projects including at the rear of some houses on the other side of Belgrove Road, looks unlikely to be replicated here.

The front of the detached house is, indeed, pink, with a cream wooden veranda and room for a few cars on the golden gravel; there is an entrance at each side to bring in bins and bikes.

Most of the rooms in the 198sq m (2,131sq ft) home are painted in strong colours, lightened by the many rooflights and new windows the Duffs added as part of their renovation in 2004. The huge square hall is painted teal and doubles as a reception room, with a stove for cosiness and the wooden ceiling painted white for airiness. Off this are the family shower room and four big bedrooms, all with fireplaces and most with more than one window. The BER is C3.

The smallest bedroom, at the front of the house, is now a music room with a piano, guitars and Frank’s brass instruments, including an array of trumpets and a flugelhorn. Therese confesses cheerfully that she hasn’t a note in her head – “They won’t even let me sing Happy Birthday”.

“But she’s great at everything else,” says Frank, with the seamless sentence-finishing common in couples who met as teenagers (in their case, like half of Clontarf, at the Grove disco).

Kitchen
Kitchen
View south to the seafront and Dublin Bay
View south to the seafront and Dublin Bay
The main bedroom, dining room and kitchen open to the patio
The main bedroom, dining room and kitchen open to the patio
Patio and garden
Patio and garden
Garden and lodge
Garden and lodge

The main bedroom suite was added in 2004, and has a walk-in wardrobe, a bathroom with Jacuzzi bath, and a very large four-poster bedroom wallpapered in pink Toile de Jouy. The end wall is all glass, and French doors open to the stone patio that runs across the back of the house.

Also off the hall is the main living room, painted a forest green and furnished with squashy sofas and another inset stove. At Christmas, Therese says, they put up three trees and have had dinners for 30 people. The flow of the house enables this, with the living room leading to a violet dining room. As in the main bedroom, tall glass doors open to the patio; there are rooflights in the apex, one wall is clad in stone and a pointed stone arch opposite leads through to the kitchen.

This, says Frank, is their third kitchen from Hughes, on Clontarf Road, and “the first time in our lives we’ve had clean lines”. It’s a very smart fitout, with plain, handle-less anthracite coloured doors, white marble worktops and a bar counter that can seat eight.

A utility room off this has half-doors to the side passage and the kitchen also opens to the garden.

The plot covers more than a quarter of an acre and the garden is full of beautiful colour and careful planting. Therese says much of this is thanks to her late mother, Maureen Carew, who tended it even before she moved in with the family last year. As well as being fully accessible for a person in her 90s, the house was ideal for their children as the side passage enabled their friends to charge straight down the garden to the treehouse, the trampoline and the “lodge”. This cute, insulated structure has served as playroom, teenage den, party central, recording studio and, latterly, a home office and gym that was handy during lockdown.

A high hedge divides this homely part from the far end of the garden, which is now mostly grass but was once, the Duffs believe, the first tennis court in the area (the club is close by at Oulton Road).

Known as St Joseph’s, the house is across the road from the Holy Faith secondary school and is very close to the seafront, the shops and restaurants at Vernon Avenue and to Nolan’s famous supermarket. It’s a short hop to town by Dart, bus and the seafront cycle path.