Dream build with Georgian style for €3.9m in Kilternan

Impressive six-bedroom home built in 1999 has all the feel of a genuine period property

 

‘The first thing we did was have picnics and plant trees,” says Rhona Roe. We’re standing in the generous stone-flagged hallway of Bishop’s Vale House in Kilternan and it’s hard to believe the building hasn’t always been here. It could almost be a well maintained – exceptionally well maintained – Georgian country pile.

“No,” says Roe, “we built it in 1999, though it had been years in the planning.” With her husband Ken, who had been working in IT, and their two children, the family had been living in Ballycorus, and walking in the green fields where the house now stands, imagining what they might build there.

“I just thought Georgian Dublin,” Roe says. “But Georgian with all the benefits of 20th century technology,” says Ken.

Together the couple now run Hedgeroe Interiors (hedgeroe.com), which creates designs for houses in Ireland and the UK, with a shop in nearby Carrickmines. “It made sense, as people were always asking us where we got our stuff.”

Rhona worked with Ciara Lee at CLR Design on hotels including the Shelbourne, Mount Juliet and The Lodge at Doonbeg. “It meant I had access to the best builders and tradespeople,” she says.

Guesthouse

Everything in Bishop’s Vale House is of exceptional quality, from the mahogany doors and their reclaimed fittings to the polished oak floors, plasterwork and panelling. As the asking price through Sherry FitzGerald is €3.9 million, you would expect nothing less, but the hidden aspects have also been fully taken care of, including soundproofing between the floors and underfloor heating throughout. While Rhona worked out the design and layout, Arup came on board as engineers, meaning that, as Ken says: “It’s incredibly well specced. Overspecced, perhaps.”

Substance

Also aware that while a house like this lends itself well to parties, even the friendliest family can’t be partying all the time, so the layout can close off the more formal rooms and allow others to nest cosily in the kitchen and adjacent familyroom and den.

All the doorways are wide. “People forget that sometimes in big houses,” says Ken. “Until they try to get the furniture in . . . ” As we walk around, and Rhona points out wallpapers, curtains, light-fittings, all specially selected, it’s clear how much she enjoys and loves the house. We stop in the master bedroom.

“I often work here,” she says, “even though there’s a separate office, it’s just such a lovely room.” She pauses. “But it’s a house that needs noise and children. I never thought we’d become empty nesters.”

Apartment

The gardens to the rear are formal, with terraces and a fountain, and the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains rise behind. To one side are flower and vegetable gardens and a summer house for drinking it all in. “It’s really pretty at night,” says Rhona. “Light candles and they reflect everywhere.”

The walks in this are area are exceptional, says Rhona. “We go out the back gate, walk up to Johnnie Fox’s, then down through Stepaside and the Step Inn, before pausing at the Golden Ball on the way home.” How long does that take? “A couple of hours. Depending . . . ”

In Bishop’s Vale House, the Roes built their dream home, based on classic Georgian elegance and with a sense of style that should stand the test of time.

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