Unique Stepaside home with colourful character and cosy upgrade for €1.45m

Architecturally designed, one-off house has four bedrooms and five garden zones

  • Address: Mutiara, 5 Kilgobbin Heights, Stepaside, Dublin 18
  • Price: € 1,450,000
  • Agent: Colliers International
 

The copper front door tells a lot about Mutiara, a one-off, single-storey architect-designed home in Stepaside. “We imported it five years ago from Germany, where it was handmade by Biffar. It has the same design on each side and is lacquered so it will not go green. It was so expensive we used to laugh that if we ever divorced we would take one door each, and if we stayed together we would use them as coffins,” says artist Anna Kennedy.

She and her husband, David, will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary on February 14th, and are now downsizing from the home David designed in conjunction with architect Michael Griffin.

Copper doors and entrance hall
Copper doors and entrance hall
Kitchen with units by Arena
Kitchen with units by Arena
Dining area
Dining area

The name, like the house itself, has a colourful origin. “We had bought a raffle ticket from a nine-year-old neighbour, and the prize was that a stonemason in Cabinteely would carve out the name of your home if you won – which we did – and had about 10 minutes to decide what we wanted the name of our home to be. We had just stayed in a place called Mutiara in Malaysia, which means pearl of the Orient, so we decided to go with that,” says Kennedy. A self-taught artist, she says that when she began painting, she spent lots of time in the National Gallery looking at the Old Masters’ work. After deciding that portraiture was her preferred form, she duly won first prize in 2014 for the American Art Awards and also established an online art course during the pandemic.

“People say our home has quite an American feel to it because of the open grass area to the front,” says Kennedy. It also has the feeling that this is a home whose owners just love colour, from the turquoise Moroccan-themed livingroom, with a Kahrs oak floor, a handmade Irish sycamore mantelpiece to the lights that were sourced in Istanbul. There is more colour in a zebra-pattern floor covering in the dining area – which was extended to fit the couple’s favourite table – and even the Arena kitchen, with its bubble-gum pink units.

Moroccan-themed livingroom
Moroccan-themed livingroom
Front room
Front room
Dining area with mosaic table
Dining area with mosaic table

The entire house was upgraded in recent years, with a new roof, high-spec Rationel windows, insulation, external lighting and a high-tech security system. It now has a Ber of C3.

While new owners may not wish to have such flamboyant colours in their home, it is only a cosmetic change, as the bones of a fine four-bedroom 217sq m (2,336sq ft) are all there.

Of interest are the gardens that surround the property. “There are really five different zones around the house,” explains Kennedy. “We have formal planting of tree ferns to the front, while one of the side gardens has a Japanese influence with a water feature.” Moving around the house, an outdoor dining area has a mosaic table that will seat 12 comfortably. This has sockets set into the table, which were installed for individual teppanyaki plates, and this area is framed by an aluminium fence with computer-generated design: “We saw this at a first-prize garden in Bloom so we bought it, but new owners can change the design if they wish,” says Kennedy.

To the rear is a large lawn with a custom-built swing where views stretch to the mountains in the distance. Lastly, a relaxation garden has a granite waterfall, with rocks sourced from Stepaside Park.

Though their home has been great for entertaining, the Kennedys are now downsizing and have placed their most unique property on the market through Colliers International, seeking €1.45 million.