Flat land to family home: transforming a Rathmines redbrick for €1.05m

Renovated, solid Victorian three-bed with period features and streamlined storage

  • Address: 74 Rathmines Road Upper, Dublin 6
  • Price: € 1,050,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
 

The last time number 74 Upper Rathmines Road Upper was for sale in 2014, I wandered in during an open viewing to have a (purely nosy) look, so I don’t have to take the current owner’s word for it that it was in quite a state.

It had been in flats for many years; and while the potential was obviously there in the solid Victorian red-brick semi, it was clear the asking price – it sold in excess of that asking, for €490,000 – was only the starting point of a project that would take time and money.

The eventual buyers, undeterred by the work involved, started by “peeling everything back”, as the owner describes it, getting rid of the multiple kitchens and bathrooms, and says “we gutted it and lived in it in its dilapidated splendour” while doing it up slowly and steadily, from the new roof and double-glazed sash windows to the rewiring and repointing.

Kitchen in the front room with bay window
Kitchen in the front room with bay window
Family room on ground-floor return
Family room on ground-floor return
Living room
Living room
Dining area, partially open plan
Dining area, partially open plan
Hall floor return
Hall floor return

An early decision was made not to tear down the extensions to the rear and start again, but “to make good what was there”. Unusually, they decided to locate their new family kitchen not to the rear but in the front reception room, with folding doors opening into the rear livingroom.

The bay window gives the kitchen extra space and light and Kelly Design Dalkey designed and built the painted timber units that line the walls and the Silestone-topped island unit in the centre. The specialist Dalkey company was also commissioned to make bespoke cabinetry in most other rooms, including wardrobes in the bedrooms and shelving and storage units in the living areas, so there is a uniformity in style throughout the house.

The hall-floor return had been a self-contained flat and now it is a partially open-plan space, with a dining table in one area – perhaps not the most practical arrangement for most families, as it is quite a distance from the kitchen – a comfortable family space opening to the garden and a home office area.

Double bedroom
Double bedroom
Family bathroom
Family bathroom
Rear garden
Rear garden

It is mostly white and probably feels the most modern part of the house, says the owner, because it needed so much work; the rest of the house, with its period features, has been kept more in line with the age of the property. Indeed happy finds as they were getting rid of the partitions included original cornices and floorboards.

Upstairs there are three bedrooms, a shower room and a smartly fitted out bathroom in what was probably once a bedroom. The attic is converted and used as a fourth bedroom. The house is BER exempt.

Outside – and the rear garden has side access – the many small sheds and oil tanks that were there have been replaced by raised beds and flagstones. The front, shielded by a mature hedge from the road, is neat and determinedly low maintenance with its artificial grass.

Six years on and in a very different condition, number 74 Rathmines Road Upper is on the market again, this time through Sherry FitzGerald, asking €1,050 million.