Georgian style in Co Wicklow for €1.15m

Birchville House is a five-bedroom property in Kilquade with walled gardens

When the current owners fell in love with an old Georgian farmhouse in the early Noughties, they set about its restoration. Those of us who are vaguely addicted to Grand Designs, however, won't be surprised to discover that things didn't go as planned.

The house was listed, but behind the facade and plasterwork, the walls weren’t all that substantial. The solution for the architect owner was to faithfully reconstruct.

This means that today Birchville House has all the grace and elegance of the classic double-fronted Georgian farmhouse, with delicious windows and lovely light throughout, but is built to contemporary specifications of materials and efficiency.

It’s an excellent combination, which makes me wonder if the Georgians might have also been the first Minimalists – not in their addictions to ornate cornicing and coving, but in their belief and trust in scale, proportion and light to do the hard work for them.

At Birchville, the influence of contemporary architecture comes with the clean lines, the simple shapes of the fireplaces, the very tasty Modernist-style kitchen (complete with twin Gaggeneau ovens), and the oak-finish flooring which in some spaces runs up to become oak finish walls. The bathrooms are nicely done too.

At almost 350sq m (3,750sq ft) of living space, the house is laid out on two floors. Downstairs, there’s a livingroom which flows into the diningroom, plus drawingroom, study/library, kitchen/ breakfast room and games room-cum-gym with French windows.

This latter would also make a very dramatic diningroom, if you prefer feasting followed by hillwalking to working it all off at the treadmill.

Upstairs are five bedrooms. The master bedroom has a dressingroom area and en suite, and an internal balcony which gives views across the walled gardens to the Sugarloaf Mountain beyond. The four further bedrooms are all of a good size, and share the family bathroom.

Around the house ramble walled gardens with small seating areas to be discovered here and there. The mature planting includes lawns and flower beds, bamboos, myrtle, apple and other trees, and tree ferns.

The patios are laid out so that you can follow the sun from morning till gin-and-tonic time.

Birchville House is in Kilquade, which is about 40 minutes from Dublin's City Centre, via the N11. Delgany and Greystones are nearby, and all the lovely walking, sailing, golfing and other amenities that Wicklow has to offer are on the doorstep.

Secluded yet accessible, both old and new, Birchville has the best of all possible worlds. It's for sale by private treaty with Sherry FitzGerald for €1.15 million.

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