Sandycove renovation offers clever design for €2m

A pair of 19th-century cottages have been converted into impressive single property

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Address: 89/80 Lower Albert Road, Sandycove, Co Dublin
Price: €2
Agent: Knight Frank

A lot of people who live in semi-detached homes must occasionally think of what they might do if they could expand into their neighbour’s house.

That's just what the owners of a smart contemporary house with a 19th-century front next to Fitzgerald's pub at the bottom of Albert Road in Sandycove, Co Dublin, did five-and-a-half years ago, when they bought the house adjacent to theirs.

They had owned one of the pair of houses since the 1990s and decided to transform both into a single modern home: now 88-89 Albert Road Lower, a 288sq m (3,100sq ft) ultra-modern three-bedroom house is for sale by private treaty through Knight Frank for €2 million.

The interior is a complete surprise: from the front, the house looks nearly exactly as it did before the renovation began – a handsome single-storey 19th-century cottage-style building.


But architect Jude O'Loughlin, of Niall D Brennan & Associates, has fashioned a very bright and spacious two-storey house behind the front door, complemented by the owners' interior décor which combines modern and period styles to good effect.

This is most evident in the wide, open-plan double-height livingroom and diningroom in the seamless extension at the back of the two houses.

The livingroom, with its beige marble raised and encased modern fireplace, is furnished with a modern L-shaped sofa and light fittings, the diningroom at the other end with a traditional dark dining suite.

But even here, there are unexpected features, such as the New England barn-door wood that panels one portion of the diningroom's side wall.

Mezzanine gallery

The whole space, overlooked from a mezzanine gallery on the first floor, is made bright by glazed panels in the roof, floor- to-ceiling windows and two wide, sliding glazed doors that open into the back garden.

There is underfloor heating throughout.

The single front door on the right of the wide house opens straight into a reception hall/ sittingroom with a sandstone- coloured marble fireplace.

It’s floored with wide-oak timber that runs through most of the house and has louvred white shutters on the double-glazed window.

This room opens into a wide double-height hall that runs the width of the house: the exposed stone wall on one side displays art work.

At the right hand end of the hall is a cosy TV room with a wood-burning stove and French doors to the back garden.

Off the hall at the other end is the smart main bedroom at the front of the house, with more louvred shutters on both of its windows.

At one side of the bedroom is a marble-tiled en suite with a walk-in shower and a bath.

At the other is a large dressingroom with plenty of shelves and cupboard space, a floor-to-ceiling shoe rack, an island unit with drawers and a vanity unit.

There’s a tiled toilet at the very end of the hall, off a recessed space painted a deep red; a barn-door timber door (like the feature in the diningroom) opens into a hall closet – the kind of detail that distinguishes this house from many other modern makeovers.

Oak staircase

The kitchen/breakfastroom runs from the back to nearly the front of the house: it has


appliances, granite countertops and a chic hardwood-and-granite-topped island unit.

A sliding glazed door opens from the breakfastroom into the back garden at one end; off the other end is the utility room.

An oak staircase leads to the first floor, where the mezzanine gallery with a glass balustrade looks down into the livingroom/diningroom.

It is lined from end-to-end with bookshelves, and inset with three windows that look over the front entrance hall.

There are two double bedrooms off each end of the gallery and a fully-tiled showerroom with good cabinetry and a door opening into under- eaves storage.

The landscaped back garden has a high stone wall at the back, a large patio area, and a separate corner patio.

There is side access and a gravelled front garden with room to park up to two cars in a pretty tight space.

There is also residents’ on-street parking on busy Albert Road.

The house is near the corner of the main Dún Laoghaire-to- Dalkey road and is less than 10 minutes’ walk from Sandycove Dart station.

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke

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