You only start to get a full sense of how big the games room is at Farnham Hill when you realise that yes, that’s a full-sized snooker table in the middle, and there’s still plenty of room for three large squashy sofas alongside. That’s a good summation of the house all over: lavish without being loud, spacious without swallowing you up.
Bought by the present owners in 1997, they added an extra 185sq m (2,000sq ft) in a large scale remodelling project with the assistance of Alan de Lacy architects in 2006. This brings the house to 540sq m (5,813sq ft), so perhaps it’s little wonder they’re downsizing to something smaller, now that their children are grown up.
Laid out over three levels, and on a super site above Rathfarnham, it's just 20 minutes from town, withglorious views into the mountains, and down across the sweep of Dublin Bay. From the terrace that leads off the master bedroom suite, the owner points out the Wellington Monument in Phoenix Park in the distance. You can also see the Pigeon House towers, and watch the ferries come and go over your morning coffee. There's another balcony on the other side for evening sun, plus an en-suite and dressingroom larger than many apartments.
So apart from that marvellous bathroom, and of course the wonderful views, there are other highlights at Farnham Hill, which is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald, at a guide of €2.3 million. The layout is clever throughout: the main reception rooms all access the acre and a half of gardens. These are designed and planted both for entertaining and relaxing in secluded spots.
Then there’s the kitchen, which is bright, well appointed, and has all the expected mod cons, as well as an Aga and solid fuel stove, should the loftiness of the ceiling height make you feel in need of a little extra cosy comfort.
Four of the five bedrooms are in an almost-separate wing of the house. They’re doubles, have plenty of storage, and one is en-suite. The master suite takes up the top floor of the house, and also includes a study area with more views.
The finish is to a very high standard. The floors are polished marble and oak, the large picture windows have top-spec glazing, and you do rather feel as if you're in a very sleek machine for living. It's also got all the ingredients for a great family home; away from it all, and yet close to schools including St Columbas, and Alexandra and Wesley Colleges. There are golf courses, horse riding, and wonderful walks within easy reach, plus the airport is under half an hour away.
From the double height atrium entrance hall, up to the fabulous suite, Farnham Hill is a statment house, and will appeal to anyone with this money to spend looking for a more modern take than the often more restrictive period offerings of the suburbs.