Five-bed Glenageary original with striking modern extension for €1.85m

Spencer Villas home, in south Co Dublin, has lots of living space and an extra courtyard

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Address: 12 Spencer Villas, Glenageary, Co Dublin
Price: €1,850,000
Agent: Lisney
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When Ciaran and Marion McGettrick moved into their home in Spencer Villas in Glenageary 40 years ago, it was set out in two flats and was pretty run-down. They rewired, replumbed, turned it back into a family home and did more work on it over the years. Then, in 2007, they embarked on a project to create the contemporary extension they'd long been thinking about.

Architect Denis Byrne designed the striking kitchen, dining room and family room that has transformed the back of 12 Spencer Villas: the original kitchen extension came down to make way for a bright high-ceilinged space with an original design very different from the standard Celtic Tiger glass-box extension. The architect even created a small outdoor courtyard between the kitchen and the original downstairs dining room to keep that room bright. The cedar-panelled boiler room in the yard now serves as a highly efficient drying room.

The couple wanted a contemporary extension while preserving the original period features of the house in the middle of a terrace of redbricks built in 1882. All the original sash windows have been double glazed, and features such as marble and cast-iron fireplaces and centre roses retained. The house, a 235sq m (2,530sq ft) five-bed in meticulous condition, is for sale through Lisney for €1.85 million. It has a BER of C3.

There are two separate reception rooms to the left of the front hall: the drawing room has a deep bay window with working shutters, a large white marble fireplace and is decorated in shades of cream and gold. The reception room at the back, originally the dining room, has a black cast-iron fireplace, built-in shelving and a sash window that looks through the internal courtyard into the kitchen.


There’s a decent-sized cloakroom under the stairs; steps lead down to the new hallway into the extension: there’s a pantry and a smart new downstairs toilet off it. The whole kitchen, dining room, family room area has a walnut floor, apart from a tiled area in the kitchen. This has cream gloss units, polished granite-topped island unit and countertops. The family room area has a glazed solid-fuel-burning fireplace.

On a sunny afternoon, the whole area is filled with light from long skylights in a ceiling with cedar beams, floor-to-ceiling concertina glass doors opening to a golden granite patio and tall windows next to the dining area looking up to the garden.

Upstairs, there’s a small double bedroom with fitted wardrobes on the return, next to a shower room and three bedrooms on the first floor, two doubles and a single. The main bedroom, over the drawing room, has a large bay window, fitted wardrobes and a pretty feature wall with silvery blue wallpaper. The fifth bedroom , currently fitted out as an office, is on the top return: from here you get a good view of the roof design of the kitchen extension. It’s next to the family bathroom with bath and shower.

The 89ft back garden is as original as the extension: garden designer Damian Costello came up with a simple but striking concept of placing two square lawns diagonally across the garden, bordered by pathways and an eclectic collection of plants, shrubs and trees. At the end, near the door to a lane outside, is an old apple tree. There is access to the lane farther down the terrace. The small front garden is laid out in gravel surrounded by shrubs. Parking is on-street.

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke

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