Fashionable stamp on Blackrock refurb for €1.55m

Carysfort Avenue home now twice the size with bold designer finish

Drawing room, 40 Carysfort Avenue Blackrock Co Dublin
This article is over 6 years old
Address: 40 Carysfort Avenue Blackrock Co Dublin
Price: €1,550,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald

There is a room kept under lock and key at 40 Carysfort Avenue in Blackrock, a charming terraced villa dating from 1838. The contents are visible from an internal courtyard in the property; walls of shoes and boxes of high-end designer labels hint at an owner with a passion for fashion.

Home to fashion entrepreneur Hilary Stapleton, solicitor husband Peter and their three children, Stapleton left college at 20 while studying economics, going on to establish Cuba on Trinity Street, Ireland's first urban streetwear shop. After the birth of her daughter, she teamed up with Fran Nolan of Fran & Jane, and over the course of six years set up many outlets in Ireland and the UK for the company.

The couple bought the house at the age of 23 when it was a rundown Victorian villa measuring 139sq m: “We put all our money into the purchase and all we could afford was to carpet and paint it at the time.”

40 Carysfort Avenue Blackrock Co Dublin

In 2010, the couple decided it was time to totally revamp the house and engaged architect Tania Miller to draw up plans to transform the home into what it is today: double its original size and measuring 265sq m (2,852sq ft), in addition to a garden room of 29sq m (312sq ft).


Stapleton credits Miller’s focus on function as well as design, “she really understood that the house needed to work as a family home first, so functionality came first”, she says of the renovation and extension to the rear which is linked via a double height circulation space providing a clear distinction between the old and contemporary parts of the house.

The extension added a kitchen, playroom, livingroom, garden room and internal courtyard, and also a main bedroom on the upper floor, which now gives the property four reception rooms and five bedrooms – one of which she uses as her “boudoir”.

Media system

To the back of the house lies a vast livingroom overlooking the rear garden. In addition to the television which lies flush to the wall, a home cinema descends at the touch of a button. The media system throughout – designed by Exclusive Audio – has neatly concealed wiring giving a streamlined effect.

40 Carysfort Avenue Blackrock Co Dublin
40 Carysfort Avenue Blackrock Co Dublin

Stapleton's passion for black and grey is evident throughout, from the black kitchen by Blackrock Kitchens to the flock wallpaper depicting skulls by Beware the Moon in the dining room.

The garden room, used as a “man cave” for rugby matches thanks to the huge cinema screen, opens entirely into the garden through concertina doors creating a really cool entertainment area in fine weather.

Lighting throughout was overseen by Rocky Wall of Wink Lighting – the enormous globe pendant in the garden room acts like a moon at night – illuminating the garden.

40 Carysfort Avenue Blackrock Co Dublin
40 Carysfort Avenue Blackrock Co Dublin

At hall level are two reception rooms where period details such as coving and fireplaces remain, providing a clear contrast to the rest of the property.

The bold use of black and grey palettes throughout, may not be to everyone’s taste but can be easily changed with a lick of paint. What the property offers is excellent design with lots of light and space.

40 Carysfort Avenue Blackrock Co Dublin

Stapleton is in search of a new undertaking. “I love the creative side of things, I thought this would be our forever house, but I really want a new project”. It’s on the market through Sherry FitzGerald with an asking price of €1.55 million – designer wardrobe not included.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables