Design meetings for The Collection, a new development of seven super high-end luxury homes on Shrewsbury Road, must have been great fun. The showhouse: the largest property occupying 565sq m (6,078sq ft) can only be termed as sheer and utter opulence. A wine cave? Better to have two; one of which can be used by staff at parties and closed off while not in use, while the second could be a stand-alone feature, to admire precious vintages as you wander through the ground floor of this deceptively spacious four-storey property.
In designing this dream home, architects de Blacam and Meagher have thought of just about everything. Forget one large kitchen – the showhouse has three if you count the cool outside space with a fridge and grill in the built-in stainless catering unit (though the lack of a sink leads you to believe that someone else might be tasked with doing the washing-up).
While not a full unit, the media room – where teenagers will want to hang out – at the top of the house has its own butler’s pantry. Could there be any better way to keep kids entertained and out of sight for an evening than with a film or game beside a pantry stocked with goodies? They could be up there for days.
This room also works as a bedroom – should you need a fifth – and has its own bathroom, and its dark tones add that bit of contrast to the otherwise neutral palettes in the property.
A large utility on the lower ground floor is designed as a service kitchen with catering in mind. It’s the size of a kitchen in a three-bedroom semi, and has duplicate kitchen appliances to the open-plan kitchen upstairs. Here staff can prep out of sight and deliver the canapés effortlessly upstairs by an internal lift.
The main kitchen, designed by Rhatigan Hick, has a whiff of counter intelligence to it as there seems to be a designated place for everything. No nasty plug units or leads on display to detract from the sleek lines of the polished island – instead they live hidden away in a special drawer designed for this purpose. The thick-set marble island is stepped for informal entertaining, as not everyone – especially those with short legs or high heels – likes the idea of sitting at a high stool. It sits on an open-plan area shared with a dining space and living room that opens onto a rear patio. A formal living room lies to the front of the house.
Well, if there’s a gym, you’ll certainly want a treatment room to go with it, and what better place to locate it than beside the wood-panelled office at lower garden level. Here coiffeurs or masseuses can discreetly sneak in through the car park or rear entrance without meeting another soul in the house.
Bedrooms, as you would expect, deliver the standards of a five-star hotel. Details such as brass inserts in the wardrobes and clever lighting add to the luxurious air of the place, and there will never be arguments about closet space, as each have a his-and-hers unit.
Rear gardens are not particularly large given the house sizes, but as with the interiors, they are perfectly coiffed – providing year-round colour and low maintenance upkeep. The communal areas out front have been landscaped with a few spaces for vehicle drop-offs, but the benefit of underground parking with private lifts will certainly appeal in days of inclement weather.
The whole scheme, by Glenveagh, fits and sits well on the site of the old Chester Beatty Library, and complements the varied architecture on one of the most prestigious roads in Dublin. The scheme will appeal to the well-heeled with deep pockets.
There are seven houses in total, and Knight Frank, which is handling the sale, says some are already under offer. The scheme has one three-bedroom unit, four four-bedroom units and two five-bedroom houses, the largest of which is the showhouse. At 565sq m (6,078sq ft) over four floors, it certainly has thought of everything.
Houses start at €3 million and rise to €7 million.