‘Stained-glass panels open to the huge suntrap balcony.’ Rathgar home for €1.95m

Bright,1950s Kenny-built five-bed on 0.3 acres opposite Milltown Golf Club

  • Address: Westbrook, 5 Green Park, Rathgar, Dublin 14
  • Price: € 1,950,000
  • Agent: DNG
 

Sometimes there is just one thing that makes a home feel special to a potential buyer: the nature of the neighbourhood; the aspect of the garden; the presence of original features; the sunlight in the kitchen; the perfect spot for a favourite chair.

The current owner of Westbrook, at 5 Green Park on Orwell Road in Rathgar, Dublin 14, was hooked when she saw the huge balcony that overlooks the back garden and, as a consequence, says one of her daughters, the family swapped their own nearby house with the first owner of Westbrook, who wanted to downsize. That was in 1971 and now, as is the way of things, the current owner is seeking to downsize and has put her home on the market through DNG with an asking price of €1.95 million.

On the original site plan, the cul-de-sac that forms most of Green Park, built between the 1930s and the 1950s by John Kenny, looks like a child’s drawing of a tree; it’s a most aptly named estate, with fine solid houses on generous plots in a verdant setting. Westbrook, on 0.3 acres, has extensive frontage to Orwell Road, across from the ninth hole of Milltown Golf Club, and the 125ft, southwest-facing rear garden backs on to those of the houses in the cul-de-sac.

Entrance hall.
Entrance hall.
Kitchen-breakfast room.
Kitchen-breakfast room.
Morning room
Morning room

The front garden has a mix of lawn, lavender and gravel, with space for a few cars, and there is a side gate on the left and a garage to the right.

Through the deep, tiled porch with wrought-iron surrounds, the door opens into a square hall with the “morning room” – the owner’s favourite spot from which to observe the world and its walkers – on the left. Across the hall, past an understairs bathroom, is a large bright living room where a bay window extending across most of the width has a built-in seat from which to enjoy the garden.

Living room with bay window to back garden.
Living room with bay window to back garden.
Dining room at front.
Dining room at front.

The mid-1950s character of the house, which covers 250sq m (2,691sq ft), is preserved in the details: the steel windows (the BER is F) with some catches marked S&P; the tiled fireplaces, some with gas fires; the rainbow of basins in the bedrooms; and the hatch opening from the dining room to the right at the front to the kitchen-breakfast room behind.

As part of an overall upgrade, new owners will almost certainly rework the kitchen and open it to the garden – access is currently through a rear hall – but a redesign needn’t erase the footprint of the utility room, the small bathroom and the 30sq m garage, which convey a sense of busy family life.

The original patio was extended by the owner, who added texture with reclaimed brick that continues along the paths. The garden is mostly in lawn and goes on and on past mature trees to a dense laurel boundary.

Door to balcony.
Door to balcony.

Back inside, the stairs turn past a window to end on a broad landing off which are three bedrooms to the front, with views of the golf course, and two at the back, overlooking the garden. A pretty Crittall-style door with leaded stained-glass panels including one of a stylised butterfly opens to the suntrap balcony – with wrought-iron railings matching the pattern in the porch – that once captured the owner’s heart and now offers glimpses of how some neighbours have modified their houses and gardens.

Main bedroom.
Main bedroom.
Patio and back garden.
Patio and back garden.
Balcony.
Balcony.

The main bedroom is the largest at the front, with three windows, mahogany wardrobes and a blue en suite bathroom. Behind this, past the hot press in a bank of original built-in cupboards, is another large bedroom with a rather wonderful green wash basin and black glass splashback. The family bathroom is fitted out in pink and the second back bedroom has a wide window looking on to the balcony.

This well-loved home is full of potential, and is in a handy spot between Rathgar and Churchtown, hence the Dublin 14 postcode; it is close to Dundrum and a short walk to the Luas at Windy Arbour, and it’s directly across from the gate into the beautiful wooded ramble to the River Dodder.