When 10 bedsits became one designer home

This Victorian property in Rathgar, formerly in bedsits, has been carefully restored and upgraded with a touch of contemporary flair and comes on the market for €2.95 million

You can – if such things matter to you and you have €2.95 million budget – have the same floor as both Nigella Lawson and the Saatchi Gallery.

Even if the celebrity associations of wide plank Douglas fir flooring are of little interest to you, it's hard not to be impressed by the careful and sophisticated restoration of this period property on Terenure Road East. For sale by joint agents Sherry FitzGerald and McGuirk Beggan, the property offers 373 sq m (4,150sq ft) of living accommodation, and five to six bedrooms.

The owner Sharon Beggan lives there with her husband and three children. She is an interior designer, who went to Dublin's NCAD and London's famous art college, Central Saint Martins, before going on to work on projects in the UK.

“When we bought the house, it was in 10 bedsits,” she says, which is difficult to imagine, such is the thoroughness of the job that she has done in returning this once-elegant house to its former glory.


Contemporary flair

Beggan has made this happen with a contemporary flair and brought some changes to the original layout. At garden level, there are now three bedrooms, a family room/den and a utility room. It is a layout that works particularly well for growing families. Funky fairy lights illuminate the hallway and an Orla Kiely print faces the stair risers.

On the first floor, there is a lovely drawingroom in formal style, a study and a kitchen/dining room, which runs front to back and has every mod con you could dream of, including some you may not have thought of.

There is also an Aga, of course, plus a futuristic lighting system that lets you choose exactly where and when to illuminate. You could experiment for hours . . .

“I didn’t want it to look like a kitchen from a showroom,” says Beggan – although I can imagine plenty of interiors magazines that would be delighted to feature it.

Christmas wreaths

To the rear is a study, which is currently used by Beggan as a design studio – she will be making her sought-after Christmas wreaths from here shortly.

There is a guest bedroom on the return and the top floor has another bedroom, the family bathroom and the master suite, which includes an ensuite and dressing room.

But those bathrooms – these are no small afterthoughts or utilitarian spaces, but wonderful rooms in their own right, where Beggan’s flair for mix and match comes into play with eclectic pieces including repurposed console tables, fireplaces, black marble flooring, roll-top baths and state-of-the- art showers.

The house is underpinned by the original wonderful proportions, elegant panelling and plasterwork and a palette of Farrow and Ball throughout. Outside, there is off-street parking for a fleet of cars and to the rear is a large lawned garden.