Monkstown makeover: Glamorous Victorian with sleek blend of old and new for €2.85m

Salon-style bathrooms and ornate fireplaces characterise the lavish finish of this five-bed

  • Address: 29 Alma Road, Monkstown, Co Dublin
  • Price: € 2,850,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald

Double doors opening into a room on the first return of a Victorian house in Monkstown, Co Dublin, have a notice on them saying “Powder Room”. But the label does no justice to the glamorous family bathroom behind the doors. Spanning the width of the house, the ceramic-tiled room is dominated by a large circular bath that looks like a giant salad bowl. Carved from one piece of Italian sandstone, it’s a beautiful object – weighing 1½ tons – that sits between two sash windows and has matching basins in a mosaic-tiled washstand. 

It reflects the lavish approach the owners of 29 Alma Road, a large Victorian three-storey over-garden level house, took to renovating the property they bought in 2006. The end-of-terrace property was laid out in five bedsits then: in the past 15 years they have completely revamped and modernised the 1850s property while restoring or replacing original period details. At the beginning, they blitzed it, says Sherry FitzGerald agent Ronan O’Hara, doing basics that included rewiring the house and installing gas fired central heating and new double-glazed sash windows.

The luxurious fitout of the 430sq m (4,630sq ft) five-bed includes two very ornate Italian white marble fireplaces in the interconnecting drawing room and dining room, a beauty-salon style bathroom at hall level and a traditional-look Andrew Ryan-designed kitchen at garden level along with a good-sized understairs wine cellar. Bathrooms – a shower room at garden level and three en suites upstairs as well as the powder room and a beauty salon-style guest bathroom – are smart and fully tiled. 

Bathroom with bath carved from a single piece of Italian sandstone.
Bathroom with bath carved from a single piece of Italian sandstone.

The scale of the house is evident from the front hall, with its 15ft-high ceiling, centre rose and cornicing, wall alcoves and black-and-white tiled floor. The drawing room off the hall at the front of the house is decorated in keeping with the Victorian period: a chandelier hangs from an original centre rose and there’s elaborate cornicework; period furniture includes a grand piano. Both this room and adjacent dining room at the back of the house have wide-plank oak floors.

There’s a small study off the front hall, with two steps down to the guest bathroom. More steps lead down to the garden level kitchen/breakfastroom/family room. It’s a bright space, floored with beige ceramic tiles. The white kitchen units are a contrast to the black marble-topped countertops and island; a six-plate gas hob is set into the chimney breast and there are double Belfast sinks. 

A wide arch opens into the comfortable family room, where a TV hangs over another ornate white Italian marble fireplace. Double doors open from here to the back garden. Other accommodation at this level includes a home office, double bedrooms, shower room, a large laundry/utility room with built-in cupboards and the wine cellar with exposed stone walls. There is understairs access to the front garden.

Upstairs, the main bedroom runs from the front to the back of the house, with deep sash windows front and back; it has a centre rose, intricate ceiling cornicing and a white marble fireplace. A dressingroom with good storage opens into a fully tiled shower room –there are good sea views from its sash windows.

When the terrace of houses was built in the 1850s – some of them developed by a solicitor called Thomas Alma – they were concentrated on the west side to capture those views. A tall narrow window on the second floor landing frames more views. There are three double bedrooms at this level, all with fitted wardrobes, two with en suite shower rooms.

Number 29 Alma Road is for sale for €2.85 million through Sherry FitzGerald. The house is near the top of Alma Road near the junction with Monkstown Road and a few minutes’ walk from Seapoint Dart station. There is parking for several cars in the front garden but the back garden is very small relative to the size of the house: the original garden was sold off at some point to become the parking spaces for a 1970s apartment development, Alma Court, next door. A small house attached at the side of number 29 is a completely separate property, not part of this sale.