“I don’t like wishy-washy,” says Dianne Coleman of her exuberant decorating style – and viewers of RTÉ’s Selling Ireland’s Most Exclusive Homes will get to see exactly what she means in the final episode of the series, when her home, Dyann House in Co Kildare, is featured in all its colourful glory.
“I like strong colours, everything has to be definite,” says the retired horse trainer and interior designer, so the wallpaper throughout the house is bold, there’s colour everywhere and shelves and occasional tables are home to eclectic collections of objects.
The three-storey six-bedroom house was built just 40 years ago when she and her horse-trainer husband, the late John Coleman, were moving from the UK. John, she says, had bought the land –Dyann House is on 85 acres – when he was over for the races and there was an avenue of trees and little else on the north Kildare property.
He briefed the architect; her only request was, “Please don’t make a plain house.” She didn’t realise that the house, which has 484sq m (5,207sq ft), would be quite so big. John wanted their new family home to be named after his wife but she considered a house name spelled Dianne to be peculiar so they settled on “Dyann”.
With its spacious drawingroom (its three windows enjoy different aspects of the garden), a large sittingroom and a kitchen/family room which runs from front to back, it’s a fine house for large-scale entertaining. There are two halls: the grand entrance hall, complete with fireplace, and a more modest rear service hall with the utility, boot room and storage rooms.
Her two favourite rooms are the kitchen – “the hub of the home” – and the house’s more recent addition, the conservatory to the rear overlooking the man-made lake in the garden. The kitchen cupboards have been painted a shocking pink contrasting with the green Aga while the unusual island is an upcycled old boneshaker bicycle topped with a timber worktop.
“There aren’t masses of cupboards,” she says, adding that there’s plenty of storage space in the pantry and elsewhere, and besides, she was more concerned that the room be made for “living rather than cooking”. The sunroom is an all-year-round room with tongue-and-groove ceiling and reclaimed timber flooring.
This being prime horsey country, buyers will likely be as interested in what’s on offer outside as they are in the house itself. As befits a home purpose-built by a successful trainer, there are two stable yards with 18 stables, a horse walker, lunge ring, six-furlong gallop and sand arena. These days it’s used recreationally by the family for their horses. There’s also a tennis court and the well-kept and extensively planted garden is now mature.
“It needs a family,” says Dianne, whose own children are now adults, and she has put Dyann House, Mountarmstrong, Donadea, Co Kildare, on the market through joint agents Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes and Sherry FitzGerald Reilly asking €3.25 million.