Dramatically stylish townhouse in Dublin 8

Double-fronted Victorian family residence on Lennox Street, with a few unusual features including black-painted walls, has been sympathetically restored

 

Black, or at least dark, is the new grey, according to interior designer Lisa Marconi. She’s put her words into action too in the home she and husband Ian are selling at 30 Lennox Street. Their double-fronted 1870 Victorian townhouse is testament to the dramatically stylish effect of black walls, striking wallpapers and, in the kitchen/ diningroom, walls in old-style white tiling.

Lisa project managed the gutting and complete restoration when they bought the house four years ago. “Anything that isn’t original is salvage,” she says, “like the floorboards. The dark look is our thing; I’d been wanting to go black for ages. Dark makes all your possessions look great, and cool too. Black is a neutral colour, and very versatile.”

The proof is in the living- and drawingrooms. On either side of the entrance hallway, both have black painted walls (Night Jewels 2 by Dulux, which has “a bit of charcoal in it”), ceiling roses (one original, the other made to match), original (black) polished granite with cast-iron fireplaces and timber floorboards.

For sale by private treaty, Sherry FitzGerald is asking €795,000. The floor area, over three levels, is 158sq m (1,700sq ft) and has three bedrooms, two reception rooms, kitchen/ dining area and a basement suite (with bedroom, kitchen/ diningroom and bathroom). Number 30 last sold, in December 2011, for €460,000.

 

Terrace

A door-window on the turn of the stairs leading to a sheltered entertaining terrace is a pleasant surprise. Ian is a chef and the terrace has served time as pop-up restaurant in the house.

The reclaimed timber floor in the rear, kitchen/dining area comes from a French train carriage. A large plate glass window overlooks an ivy-walled patio and a reproduction cast-iron period radiator, black of course, “nearly cost more than the house”, says Lisa.

The basement, with separate entrance but also accessed via rear, stone steps from the house, has a third bedroom, kitchen/dining area and bathroom.

Here, reclaimed slates in the hallway match the original kitchen floor slates and animal wallpaper in the dining area, by House of Hackney, is theatrical and quite lovely.

Wallpaper in the main first floor bedroom is a vivid, delicately patterned blue; this room also has an original fireplace. A second bedroom has rear and front windows and the family bathroom has natural light. Lisa Marconi sells “unusual, quirky house things” in Dust, her shop in Grantham Street, Dublin 8.

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