Mirror mirror on the walls, floors, ceiling in D4 for €1.95m
Ceiling mirrors, cocktail bar, button back leather walls? An oligarch’s dream
The shape and scale of our homes make an obvious difference to how we live. You might find you sit up a bit straighter in lofty Georgian drawingrooms, and lounge more deeply in cosy dens.
Huge windows and sea views lift the heart, while, with the right proportions, hallways can embrace with an enticing welcome. Just as architecture does all that, so too can interior design; and there’s nothing like leather, velvet, marble and mirrors to scream “let the good times roll”.
At 21 Merrion Village, a good time was certainly sketched into the blueprint plan when Robbie Dolan (of Crunch Fitness) and his wife Claudia purchased the 207sq m (2,228sq ft) penthouse apartment, located atop one of Dublin 4’s original exclusive residential schemes for £730,000 from Dunnes Stores boss Margaret Heffernan in 1997.
Immediately they set about transforming it, and from the off-white button backed leather walls in the hallway, there’s a vibe that’s half ultra luxury yacht, and half invitation to party. Add to that the gleaming marble floors, black crystal sconces and candelabra – handmade in Italy – and mirrors everywhere you can imagine (and in some places you mightn’t have thought of too), and the place has adventure written all over it.
It’s all very James Bond in an escapist kind of way. The owner’s key operates the lift directly to the penthouse and from the moment you enter that hallway the fun continues throughout, with extensively mosaiced bathrooms, 14-carat gold leaf detailing, LED mood lighting here and there, and an actual mirror on the ceiling in the main bedroom.
The main space is taken up with a large open plan kitchen with solid ebony units and marble counter tops. The lounge and dining space are dominated by a swish bar area and a home cinema system that vies with panoramic Dublin Bay views for your attention.
The second bedroom is a spacious double, and has its own luxurious en suite, but the real drama is saved for the master bedroom. This is simply enormous, with the bed theatrically elevated on a white-carpeted pedestal commanding super views, and the en suite, complete with gold-leaf shower unit, jacuzzi bath, mood lighting and more, is a thing of louche beauty.
A third bedroom has been reconfigured as a massive en suite and dressing room for the palatial master bedroom. The Dolans lived here for several years before moving to a house nearby. Since then it has been rented out for around €5000 a month to tenants, who not only loved living there by all accounts, but have also kept it in pristine condition.
Looking beyond the distinctive decorative stamp here, this is an apartment in a great location, with fine views, excellent security, a really good layout and high quality finish. Merrion Village was built in the mid 1980s, when apartment developers were generous with outside terraces, en suites, storage, room for utilities, and underground parking too.
Number 21 has two balconies and a terrace large enough for a huge outdoor sofa (as the owners here have opted for) or an al fresco dining set up, should you prefer. The views stretch all the way to Howth, but close enough to enjoy the expanse of Sandymount Strand in all its moods and hues.
Beside Merrion Church, the Dart, St Vincent’s Hospital and Merrion Shopping centre, it’s a great location for city living, downsizing, or an investment. Simon Ensor of selling agent Sherry FitzGerald notes the apartments at the old British Embassy on Merrion Road, and Embassy Court achieving between €850 and €900 per sq ft, and many at the under construction Lansdowne Place scheme selling for more than €1,000 per sq ft, which puts the guide price of this one: €1.95million in context, at €875 per sq ft.