After buying Kalafat House on Sorrento Road in Dalkey in early 2006 – it was for auction guiding €3 million and sold shortly after – the new owners carried out a major renovation. The handsome house on the corner site was built in the 1850s, and named Kalafat, after a town on the Danube where the builder’s nephew was killed during the Crimean War. In 2006 it was a five-bed family home with lovely period features, extended to the rear to make a two-bedroom self-contained apartment. It’s different now.
The apartment is gone. Instead, the garden level was redesigned as a spacious family area, mostly taken up with a vast eat-in kitchen, fitted with painted timber John Daly units. Beside this is a family room made cosy by a stove and down here too there’s a utility and guest bathroom.
Parking is to the rear and the entrance on this level into the kitchen is probably the most used; this is a pity, as upstairs Kalafat House features a stunning entrance hall, big enough for a party, with lovely square proportions, light from the stained-glass panels in the front door and a white marble chimneypiece and decorative cornices. Above the door is written on a gold panel: “On their returning came the sun and the stars.”
Like the hall, every principal room has original features, many restored during the renovation. Off the hall is a formal reception room, dual aspect to the front and side with tall sash windows. An arched entrance leads from this fine room into what would have been a formal dining room but has now been fitted out as a home bar complete with taps, bars stools, the lot. This may be the first thing to go when new owners get down to redecorating the 307sq m (3,304sq ft) house, which has been a rental for some years. It is BER exempt.
Also on this hall level to the rear is a room fitted out as a bedroom – for its size, Kalafat is short on bedrooms – though really it would be lovely if returned to its original use as a morning room. On the landing, previous owners commissioned an artist to create a contemporary stained-glass window and it is an attractive addition.
Upstairs, with views of either Dalkey Hill or towards Dalkey Island, the main bedroom suite was created from three double bedrooms, one of which is now a luxurious bathroom with twin sinks, a double shower and a standalone bath; another to the rear has been fitted out as a luxurious dressing room. A bed has been put in there now and dressed like the rest of the house for the sale: indeed, it is likely that new owners will block off the entrance to the main bedroom and return this room to a bedroom as the original door out to the landing is still there. There is also another double bedroom on this level as well as a good-sized family bathroom.
The garden is to the front – sheltered and private – and there is off-street parking for several cars to the rear behind tall electric gates. A substantial, good-looking period house, hidden behind high walls, it is in the heart of Dalkey and just a few steps to the village centre.
Hunters Estate agent with June McConnell Residential Sales are selling Kalafat House, asking €2.79 million.