Double take on Orwell Park for about €2m each

A family home for over 30 years and a swanky receivers’ sale


Building activity on Rathgar’s leafy Orwell Park has been noticeable lately as some of its Edwardian and Victorian houses which sold in the past few months get major and expensive-looking makeovers by their new owners. There’s even – and this is a rare sight these days – a development of new houses at the Dartry end of the road, some looking near completion and at least two have already sold.

Now two very different houses have come on the market and for very different reasons. Kinvara, 22 Orwell Park, a six bedroom detached house and one of the most attractive looking houses on the road is for sale for €1.95 million through Sherry FitzGerald. Its owners have lived here for 33 years and intend trading down in the neighbourhood to a smaller house.

28 Orwell Park, is also a six-bedroom detached house, but this was built much later than its Edwardian neighbour and looks a little like the religious institution it once was – the pebble-dash house is known locally as “the nuns’ house”. It’s for sale by the receiver KPMG through Savills, who are asking €2.35 million. The house was owned by business man Tony Dean who founded A1 Waste. Another of his houses – next door to number 28 sold earlier this year for €2.15 million.

Number 22 with 300sq m is full of charm and original detail and looks to have been impeccably maintained by its present owners. It was built by one of Dublin’s most famous and prolific Edwardian architects George Palmer Beater who designed it and its mirror image next door for two of his children in 1904 in the grounds of his own house, Minore.

The architect clearly believed in letting the light in and many rooms, both upstairs and down, are duel aspect with several windows. The original porch doors, and hall door with cast iron detail, is at the side of the house and it opens into a wide reception hallway with restrained, typically Edwardian plasterwork.

Two bright interconnecting living rooms, painted a soft pink, run the width of the house at the front and they open into a small conservatory added by the current owners which leads into a sun-trap patio at the side. There is another grand reception room which the owners use as a formal dining room but new owners could use as a living room. The kitchen and a family room are at the back, opening out onto the garden and there is a large utility room.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms on the first floor, one with ensuite and one which is fitted out as a home office. The two bedrooms up at attic level have their original pitched dormers. The large family bathroom was refurbished in recent years.

The back garden was recently redesigned and landscaped and it’s now low maintenance, with deep flower-filled borders, mature shrubs and a large flagstoned patio area.

Further along the road number 28 Orwell Park is a different proposition though it is also large, detached, with the same sense of privacy. It has been a rental for the past three years, looked after by careful tenants and its fit-out is very much Celtic Tiger luxury, from the steam showers in the marble clad en suites to the enormous Aga in the vast kitchen. The nuns would’t recognise it. A new, contemporary style two storey extension at the back increases the space by over a third and it now has “around 315sq m plus 40sq metres in the attic”. The way the attic is noted by Savills probably explains why the house is described as having four en suite bedrooms when there are two more very large en suite bedrooms up in the attic but whether they count as bedrooms in terms of planning requirements will be up to new buyers to figure out. They will also find themselves the owner of what is described as “two outbuildings providing ample storage space”. One is certainly recognisable as a smart looking brick shed, the other however looks every inch a mews, being two storey with a bathroom and a kitchen.

The exterior of the house is grey and the interior design inside uses that colour throughout – which gives the house the air of a very comfortable designer hotel. There are two formal reception rooms, on either side of the marble floored hallway and the new extension made space at the back for a vast, bright kitchen which also has a large sitting and dining area. Glazed doors open out onto the back garden. Also on this level is a small utility room and a guest toilet. All the bedrooms have fitted wardrobes and large en suites fitted out with designer fixtures.

Everything in this house feels new and luxurious and the new owners won’t have anything to do, except perhaps break up the unremitting grey with a few splashes of colour. Security is good, with electric gates giving access to the property and a further set securing access to the back garden, which is newly planted.

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