Liberties cottage smaller than a standard studio apartment for €225,000
Tiny one-bed off Meath Street and close to Coombe with original cast-iron windows
Much has been written on small homes recently and while in the digital realm the cult of small has almost been fetishised in design blogs and e-zines the truth is that many of us have been forced, usually financially, rather than chosen to live in smaller homes.
But it isn’t always a bad thing. One property that is bijou is size is number 18 Meath Place, a one-bedroom, mid-terrace cottage in The Coombe in Dublin 8, just off Meath Street and on the border with Pimlico. Measuring just 39sq m/ 405sq ft small – less than the minimum required size of a studio apartment under new building regulations – its owner has managed to pack a lot into its tiny but mightily charming interior.
The house was built by the Dublin Artisans Dwelling Company, whose landlords included Lord Gray and Lord Barbazon, names that grace streets in the neighbourhood. The cottage, which was built in 1891, has retained its gorgeous original cast-iron windows, a feature that has prompted many passers by to knock on the vendor’s door and ask to buy them. While aesthetically beautiful they leach heat and will have contributed heavily to the house’s G Ber rating. The next owner may want to try and install counter measure to keep draughts at bay. There is one window to the front and a second in the bedroom, a small room, just bigger than a double bed, set to the rear.
The front door opens into the main room where the ceiling heights rise,to about 12 feet and allow for a mezzanine level accessed via a set of narrow stairs. In the owner’s 13-year tenure this area has been a TV room, a bedroom and is currently a home office.
Below is the sitting room, warmed by a stove and deep manuka honey-toned timber floors underfoot. The chimneybreast silhouette draws the eye upwards and there is a wood-burning stove as its focal point.
The kitchen is set to the rear of the property where there is a back door leading out to a small yard will a southerly aspect. A small shower is situated off the kitchen.
The lofty ceiling heights allowed the owner to install shelving to store books, house plants, CDs and knick knacks with a roof light bringing in more natural light.
Storage is minimal. A large sliding door wardrobe in what would originally have been the hall is where the owner keeps her belongings. “You can’t hoard a lot of stuff,” she concedes, “but what it doesn’t have in space it makes up for in character.”
The neighbourhood is character central. “It is very much part of old Dublin. Many of my neighbours grew up in the area and still have family living nearby. While a lot of new people have moved in it has not been gentrified. People still stop and talk to you on the street and there’s the buzz of the markets on Meath Street at the weekends.”