Fashion-design flair in Dublin 4 home for €2.25m

Meticulously renovated and extended 1940s detached four-bed in Ballsbridge with a large garden

This article is over 2 years old
Address: 13 Merlyn Drive, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Price: €2,250,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
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The owners of a 1940s house in Ballsbridge, extensively renovated and extended since they bought it 18 years ago, have a love of bold design that’s evident throughout their home – and it shows in the details.

Oak doors opening off the double-height parquet-floored entrance hall are panelled with a contrasting shade of bubinga wood, the fireplace in a study is set into a black marble wall, and the downstairs toilet has smart oval Philippe Starck sanitary ware. Colourful art lines the walls.

It also has features designed to streamline housekeeping – a laundry chute from the first floor into the utility room, for example, and pull-out shelving underneath a kitchen counter concealing kettle, coffee machine and toaster. The house is in meticulous condition.

Laura Bradshaw has a background in fashion – she formerly owned Aura boutique in Sandymount – and her husband, Joe Stanley, "is mad about his art", she says.


They bought 13 Merlyn Drive, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 after auction in 2003, for €1.4 million. With architect Gerry Irvine, they expanded the 185sq m (2,000sq ft) property to the 335sq m (3,600sq ft) it is now. The detached four-bed on a 0.2-acre site in a quiet enclave off Merrion Road is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald for €2.25 million. The house has a C3 Ber.

A new front door opening into a hall with a galleried landing has a stained glass panel designed by Laura. There’s underfloor heating in the downstairs rooms, all oak-floored except for the tiled kitchen.

The open-plan kitchen/breakfastroom/family room at the back of the house is bright, with two Velux roof lights and French doors opening to a back patio. All the joinery, designed by Tim O'Rahilly, was handmade by Austrian company Tischler, which used to have a base in Dublin.

The kitchen has polished granite countertops, a range-style cooker with two ovens, double hobs and a griddle and a separate steam oven. The kitchen cabinets are grey-tinted quarter cut elm. There’s a door to a side passage in the good-sized utility room off it.

The drawingroom/diningroom has dramatic décor, with a large black marble fireplace set into a wall with black wallpaper. An Art Deco-style diningroom suite came from the Clignancourt flea market in Paris; silvery damask drapes framing French doors to the patio are remote-controlled for opening and closing.

More downstairs rooms include the study at the front of the house, with a corner bow window and a livingroom which Laura calls a movie room, used by the couple’s three sons. The house is wired for surround sound.

Two of the home’s four double bedrooms are on the first floor, two on the second. The main bedroom runs from the front to the back of the house: it has a polished walnut floor, a bow window at the corner, like that in the study below, next to the main window.

A very well-organised dressingroom – with a colourful scarf collection – off it opens into a handsome fully tiled en suite with a large walk-in shower and twin wash-hand basins. The family bathroom, also fully tiled, has Villeroy and Boch fittings, with a freestanding bath and step-in shower.

On the top floor, two double bedrooms have deep Veluxes; a shower room between them is fully tiled. There is under-eaves storage off both the bedrooms and the top landing.

Outside, the walled and landscaped garden is mostly in lawn, bordered by flowerbeds and, next to the patio, an olive tree and some sculpted box hedging; a games area in one corner is fenced off. The front garden has more sculpted hedging and a large cobbled area for parking behind wooden electric gates.

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about homes and property