Listed Edwardian house in Dalkey with sea views

The house by James Webb, which sits on an acre of land, has been beautifully refurbished

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Address: Fairlawn House, Saval Park Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin
Price: €2,500,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald

The owner of a beautifully refurbished Edwardian house in Dalkey, Co Dublin, went out to get milk one day in 2010 and noticed in an estate agent’s window that the price of a property he and his wife had had their eye on had fallen. Next thing, they’d bought it. “It wasn’t until we got the keys that we realised we’d taken on too much,” he says. “Everything turned into a Grand Designs project.”

He says this a little ruefully, but the truth is, the couple – who had some experience of doing up homes – threw themselves into renovating their new home.

Now Fairlawn House, Saval Park Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin – extended, refurbished and meticulously decorated – is for sale by private treaty for €2.5 million through Sherry FitzGerald.

Television star

The 418sq m (4,500sq ft) four-bedroom home with a distinctive turret, sitting in the middle of an acre of gardens, is in walk-in condition. Its star credentials are also intact. Fairlawn's kitchen will feature soon in RTÉ's Amy Huberman drama, Striking Out, and the house has been used in advertisements for Avonmore, Tesco and Three.


The house also saw its own share of drama in the property bust: Fairlawn went to auction in June 2007 with a guide of €6.25 million and failed to sell. The asking price dropped steadily for three years until the current owners bought it for €1.6 million.

The renovation of the listed house by architect Michael Doyle of 3D Architects (with advice from conservation architect David Kennedy) was enthusiastically overseen by its owners. It was a challenging project, as Fairlawn – built in 1903 and designed by architect James Webb, once president of both the RIAI and the AAI – is a listed building.

The result is a strikingly unfussy home where many period details have been restored and a very large, very smart modern extension has replaced a warren of small, dark rooms at the rear of the house. There’s excellent storage upstairs and down, smart fully tiled bathrooms, underfloor heating in the kitchen and sunroom and the house has a B3 BER rating.

Fairlawn is set well back from Saval Park Road. The front door opens into a large square hall with stained-glass windows and a large fireplace. All the downstairs floors – except in the tiled kitchen and utility room – are wide-plank oak.

The drawingroom on the right of the front door is a long room with a wide semi-circular window in the base of the turret. The original windows are topped by panels of pale green and gold stained glass and a white marble mantel surrounds an open fire.

There is a modern family room – described as a playroom – behind the drawingroom off the front hall, with French doors opening into the kitchen area.

Kitchen in extension

The high-ceilinged kitchen/breakfastroom is in the extended back of the house, with nearly floor-to-ceiling windows and glazed doors making it a very bright space. The Newcastle Design kitchen has units – and an integrated big American fridge – painted in a deep blue by Farrow & Ball; the island unit and counters are topped with white marble. A large utility room/boot room is lined with cupboards painted the same blue.

The livingroom/sunroom/diningroom, opening straight off the kitchen at the back of the house, is vast: a great space for parties, it opens into the garden on two sides. A square turret in the double-height ceiling – a complement to the round turret at the front – allows even more light into an already bright room.

The lawns in the garden, which feels nearly as large as a public park, are shaded by mature chestnut, Scots pine, maple and beech trees; original paths lead down to a play area. A picnic table stands to one side and there are glimpses of the sea from the lawns.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms, all large doubles, three with en suites, off a long landing, as well as a fully tiled bathroom. The main bedroom – over the livingroom – has the same semi-circular window, a tiled en suite and a walk-in dressingroom. The other bedrooms have lots of fitted wardrobes, and the bedroom at the back of the house opens onto a restored wooden balcony. There is another restored balcony off the landing; a small door on the landing opens into a laundry chute down to the utility room.

There are good views of Dublin Bay from the fourth under-eaves bedroom at the top of the house.

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about homes and property