Smart homes in Foxrock for €1.65m and €1.5m

A Paul Brazil designed five-bedroom house full of high tech features and, around the corner, a spacious four-bed bungalow with an upstairs apartment and rambling grounds


It’s a house that practically thinks for itself. Designed by Foxrock’s favourite architect Paul Brazil, Annamoe is high tech and high spec from first to last. There’s underfloor heating, a water pump for maximum pressure, an integrated music system that can take up to 12 different iPods, a central vacuum system, TV and internet, security gates with intercoms on each floor, and windows that close themselves when it starts to rain. All this gadgetry is skilfully hidden, however, and first impressions are of a classically elegant, contemporary home.

There are open fires in the drawing room and living room, solid light oak doors, hardwood floors, a kitchen that opens into a sunny conservatory, and little touches that architects loved to provide back in the days when money (for some) was no object. At Annamoe, this means tiled window sills outside, elegant skirting and coving within, a wine fridge, six-burner gas hob and oven, boot room with its own sink and utilities, and generous storage at every turn.

There are four bedrooms on the first floor, two with en suites, and a fifth upstairs again with another en suite, plus a smaller room with sloping eaves that could potentially be a sixth (tiny) bedroom, study or playroom.

Outside is a large and relatively secluded garden, with a lawn and large patio area that wraps around one side of the house. In the original plans, this was to have been an extra living room, with a further bedroom above, though now it means you get three sets of French windows (from the kitchen, adjoining family playroom, and drawing room) and a real sense of the outside in terms of light and space.

Great parties
All that said, it’s the type of place that whispers, rather than shrieks, of money, and as a home to a young family it has, according to the current owners, who are selling to move overseas, been ideal.

“I have four brothers,” says the owner, “and 14 nieces, nephews and grandchildren. This house has seen some brilliant summer barbeques for the whole lot of us.”

He also adds that the cement floors upstairs, designed to take the underfloor heating, mean it’s highly sound proof. “We’ve had great meals and parties here, and the kids have slept right through.”

Parties with large volumes of children notwithstanding, the house is in perfect decorative order, and new owners will have little or nothing to do but unpack. Prices on leafy Hainault Road, just a short walk from Foxrock village, range from the €2.6 million achieved for another relatively new-build five-bed, Cranford, in August last year; to €610,000 for a smaller four-bed No 46 last month.

At €1.65 million, Annamoe sits squarely in between, no more than you’d expect from a house this clever.

Open viewing on Saturday 1pm-2pm, and by appointment.

Around the corner from Annamoe, Sorrento on Hainault Park is a puzzle box of a house. From the front it appears to be a fair-sized bungalow, with velux windows in the roof hinting at some additional living space above. Inside it’s a different story. Somehow the relatively unassuming exterior hides four bedrooms on the ground floor, plus kitchen/dining room, living room, large games room, and an indoor heated swimming pool with his and hers changing rooms, plus sauna. French windows lead out from the pool area to the enclosed back garden.

Then, upstairs is an apartment that isn’t completely separate: it has its own front door, but, once through that it is accessed from a staircase within the “main” house downstairs. It’s currently being used as a granny flat (albeit for a grandfather), but would also, obviously be ideal for an au pair, guest flat, or for those adult children who either haven’t quite managed to leave home, or who, as increasingly happens these days, have returned back home. The upstairs space comprises two bedrooms (one en suite), a bathroom, a sitting room, a kitchen and utility room.

And if that weren’t enough accommodation, outside, the large and secluded back garden has been partitioned to include a separate dog run, lawn, and two summer houses, one currently a playroom and the other a gym. Oh, and there’s a double garage too. This being Foxrock, there are security gates, not, I think, because of any particular threat, but because in this neck of the woods they’re de rigueur. There’s also an enclosed front lawn, driveway and patio area.

Sorrento is priced at €1.5 million, and for comparison it’s worth noting that the five-bed Number 9, considerably smaller, with five bedrooms, but, again, with its own swimming pool, sold for €970,000 last September.

Sorrento has been well kept, and what work the new owners will need to do is largely a question of taste and style, as the current décor favours peach tones, swagging, patterned glass and parquet. Still, with all that accommodation, plus the location in the heart of Foxrock, there’s plenty to make Sorrento an attractive option.