Not a blade of grass out of place in opulent Foxrock home on Brighton Road for €3.5m

The house, with six reception rooms, dates from the early 1990s and has been refurbished into a turnkey trophy home

Address: Serena, Brighton Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Price: €3,500,000
Agent: Mullery O'Gara and Lisney Sotheby's International Realty

Standing on a third of an acre, there isn’t a blade of grass out of place at Serena, an imposing five-bedroom home on Brighton Road in Foxrock. Dating from the early 1990s, and hidden behind sandstone pillars and electric gates, the substantial property was constructed to a very high standard to an architectural design by the late Aidan Powell.

Its sweeping staircase with minstrel gallery has hosted string quarters and speeches while being overlooked from a double-height hall by “one of the largest Tipperary crystal chandeliers on the market”, says the owner, who has moved to Wicklow having swapped city life for wellingtons.

Every room in the 435sq m (4,682sq ft) house is meticulous. “It is quite a magnetic home and when it is set up for entertaining it is a really inviting place.”

The heart of the home is a Christoff kitchen, which was extended in early 2003, when a garage was also incorporated and is now an adjacent family room. A lantern roof was added to the kitchen that now fills the room with light. Its panelled walls, Aga and separate standalone ovens are set around a breakfast bar with a highly polished black granite surface.

Off the kitchen lies an informal breakfast room, which opens out to the garden, as does a small lounge, which is the perfect spot for browsing through morning papers.

Interiors, designed by Helen Turkington, have a high level of detail, from the panelled walls to the electrically controlled blinds and curtains, along with the central vacuum system, laundry chute and the Bang & Olufsen audio system.

A striking two-storey turret adds interest to the front of the property. Though in olden times these structures were used for defence, sometimes when incorporated into a modern build they can look like an appended afterthought, with no real function. At Serena, the upper part of the turret creates a lovely space housing the bath for the principal en-suite bedroom, while at garden level it houses an antique, kidney-shaped desk in an office area off a snooker room. Here the walls have been painted with a red leather effect by decorative artist and muralist Nathaniel Clements to complement the room. It is one of two moody rooms in the house, the other being a subdued coloured room off the kitchen, used as a television room.

As you would expect, the principal bedroom is more akin to a five-star hotel suite. Adjacent to a smart marble fireplace, French doors topped with a Georgian-style fanlight lead to a balcony swathed in the purple blooms of Chinese wisteria. The bathroom here was given a total upgrade just prior to Covid with a new shower, vanity unit and marble tiling.

Gardens are not as large as you would expect but what they lack in space, they more than compensate for in terms of quality and character. Initially designed by Paul Martin, lately Richard Fanning from Rathdrum has been tasked with their upgrade. Quite a bit of old box hedging has been removed and swapped for a more old English garden style of planting, with an abundance of allium, hydrangea, rhododendron and agapanthus. To the front, Portuguese limestone columns were erected to create two car ports – hidden from the elements by twining stems and long pendulous racemes of fragrant wisteria.

Meandering limestone paths lead to the south-facing rear garden, which is mainly laid out in lawn, patio and an entertaining area off the kitchen. Beyond the rear lawn is a charming garden room that offers a bedroom for overnight guests.

With six reception rooms, all of which were upgraded in 2017, and a gleaming kitchen that opens to an entertaining space in the rear garden, there will be much interest in this property on one of Foxrock’s premier roads. Given its size and age, the Ber of C2 is decent considering the property has open fireplaces.

Serena has now been launched to the market through joint agents Mullery O’Gara and Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty seeking €3.5 million.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables

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