Four-bed finished with flair in a quiet Rathgar cul-de-sac for €1.3m

Built in the 1980s, this upgraded and extended house is full of light

  • Address: 8 Stirling Park, Orwell Road, Rathgar, Dublin 14
  • Price: € 1,300,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
 

Even if you know Orwell Road well, it’s likely you have passed Stirling Park without noticing the low redbrick gateposts at the entrance to this sheltered enclave, across from Eaton Brae and next to Thorncliffe Park.

The driveway leads to the original house, built in the 1870s by Henry Crossley, a vintner. In his 2019 book, On the Banks of the Dodder, local historian Ged Walsh notes that many gymkhanas were held in the grounds over the years until the 1970s; the land was subsequently developed into “an exclusive avenue of stylish houses”.

Tucked into the farthest green corner is number 8: built in the 1980s, it was later revamped and extended on each side by the previous owners, both architects, who divided the property to create another home next door. The current owners of number 8 credit their predecessors’ inventiveness – “they made the normal interesting” – and after they bought it, in 2002, their own renovation included new windows and bathrooms. The Ber is C1.

Up the steps and through the putty-grey door, the hall itself makes an entrance; your eye is drawn to double-height light pouring down and soaring up. To the right off the carpeted inner hall is the square living room, with built-in bookshelves, a white open fireplace and a window to the front. There is also a lobby floored in pale wood and from here you can see through a glazed ope to the dining area, and on out to the garden.

Double-height hall
Double-height hall
View from lobby through dining room to garden
View from lobby through dining room to garden

The same flooring links the lobby into the extended, open-plan area with the kitchen to the front. This has high-quality appliances, glossy white units and black stone worktops. An informal seating area is to the side of a wide dining room with pitched roof glazing and a wall of glass garden doors.

Front living room
Front living room
Informal living room looking towards the kitchen at the front
Informal living room looking towards the kitchen at the front
Extended dining-living room with pitched glass roof
Extended dining-living room with pitched glass roof

The current owners built this smart room, replacing a sunroom and deck with a solid construction and wide steps down to the patios and lawn. In this verdant space – not huge, but well planned – the owners describe the sounds and sightings of local wildlife; it’s a very short distance to the Dodder, as the heron flies. This is one of the things they love about the neighbourhood; as well as its proximity to dog walks beside the river and Milltown Golf Club, the road is safe for children to play. It’s also close to Rathgar and Churchtown villages and the Luas at Windy Arbour.

To the side, a covered-in passageway is a good utility and clothes-drying space, with storage, and there is a bathroom off the hall.

On the lower ground floor is a good-sized family room that the owners’ children, all now adults, used as a den and for sleepovers. The space is subdivided to create an office, with an internal window to bring light from the front, but it could be made into one big room, engineering permitting. There is also a store room.

Upstairs, a bright landing at the front is an ideal work space and is where the owners’ daughter, emerging fashion designer Lia Cowan, created her sculptural, tactile designs for which she recently won a Design & Crafts Council Ireland Future Makers award.

Workspace on landing
Workspace on landing
Double bedroom
Double bedroom
Main bedroom
Main bedroom

Also on this level are the family bathroom and two big bedrooms, both en suite. The main bedroom spans the extension and so is dual aspect, with glass doors to the rear. Above are two further bedrooms with built-in storage and Velux windows, and again the larger room goes from front to back.

Garden with original granite boundary wall and patios at each end
Garden with original granite boundary wall and patios at each end

There are plenty of clever touches in the design; for example, instead of lying flush with the wall, a railing on the turn of the stairs is set back to light the hall below. And while there are some angles to navigate downstairs, there are no dark corners in this 232sq m (2,500sq ft) home, which is unified with white walls and presented with the owners’ elegant, understated finish. Having decided to downsize, they have put it on the market through Sherry FitzGerald with an asking price of €1.3 million.