Sunshine makeover in Rathgar for €1.595m

Stylish four-bed Victorian house was completely reworked to add light, warmth and colour to create a vibrant, family home

 

Many homeowners try to stay faithful to history and heritage when converting a period property. Increasingly modern glass boxes are added to the rear of Victorian homes in an attempt to marry the traditional with the contemporary.

In the leafy suburb of Rathgar, 10 Winton Avenue tells a different story. From its exterior it seems like your run-of-the-mill terraced house, but the interiors are testament to its occupants, Carol Liebrecht and Frank Barrett, who have masterfully combined contemporary and traditional styles without going overboard on either.

The result is a pared back family home with a simple but sophisticated style throughout.

It is not only the space that creates the wow factor here, it is the perfect marriage of old and new, balanced with quirky elements, such as the hand printed striped runner on the staircase, which Liebrecht imported from Skinny laMinx in Cape Town.

Purchased in 2011 for €905,000, the couple engaged John Fleming and Associates to recreate their dream space.

The entire house was gutted and South African native Liebrecht needed warmth – and lots of it. Every inch of the property is now insulated, in the attics, under the floors and in the walls. The property now has an energy rating of C1 – a formidable task for a 260sq m Victorian house.

 

Colour

Breaking with tradition of returning the honeyed patina on the original pine flooring, the couple added a modern twist by deep sanding and liming the boards. Despite being originally laid in the 1860s, they now appear fresh faced and crisp.

The original white marble fireplaces in the reception rooms had also yellowed over time “and felt like an eyesore as the rooms were so fresh” according to Liebrecht.

In a bold move and what may appear like sacrilege to purists, the couple painted the marble with a white matt paint, which now showcases the impressive horseshoe hearths.

 

Light

Cool blue walls, sisal rugs and occasional art hung in salon style give a contemporary feel to the reception rooms.

In an extension to the rear, lies the kitchen, informal dining and livingroom. A vast walnut island takes centre stage – as the couple love to entertain, and an open butler’s pantry allows for easy clearing at dinner parties.

All the upper cabinets in the kitchen are open – allowing bursts of colour from pottery to add interest. A glass wall in the living area brings elements of the garden inside and floods the room with light.

The main bedroom is on the return, and like the rest of the house is cool, simple and understated.

The bathrooms were inspired by The Soho Grand Hotel in New York and come with all the bells and whistles, including two rainwater shower heads, subway tiling and Victorian fittings.

It is difficult without succumbing to too many superlatives to give 10 Winton Avenue the justice it deserves in its transformation.

What lies inside the period facade of this Victorian property is a stunning family home. For sale through Sherry FitzGerald asking €1.595 million.

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