Although Sandyford is often associated with the 1,000 or so companies based there, parts of the suburb nestle into the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. The fact that the M50 is within a six-minute drive, with the airport half an hour away and Dundrum a 10-minute spin, means that families who want a better work-life balance have literally headed for the hills.
This is certainly the case for the owners of Undercliff, a cleverly positioned property in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. Its elevated site ensures there is maximum sunshine from dawn to dusk, while it takes in the panorama of the Dublin skyline.
Its owners had originally lived in Ranelagh, and while they loved their home, they needed a larger space for entertaining. Twelve years ago they took the bold decision to sell up, move and rent in Enniskerry, while designing their dream home for a 0.3 acre plot in Sandyford.
While the couple admit they love design, they had seen a home “which was a modest enough bungalow” that had been totally transformed in New England style. With a subscription to Veranda Magazine and a large storyboard which they added to daily, “after a while it became really evident what we were looking for”.
Lots of wood, built-in furniture and a hallmark for comfort are the ingredients for New England style. A bit like a good suit: a simple but beautifully tailored design ensures it does not date, and that is what they have achieved at Undercliff.
Light was also a huge factor as the couple “lost the sun each day at 5pm” in their Ranelagh home, so the property was designed to maximise the light. This was achieved to great effect, especially in the hallway along the bedrooms — off which a veranda runs — as it has eight floor-to-ceiling paned windows alone.
Master craftsmen Conor Redmond and Vincent Hatton were tasked with tongue-and-groove panelling in the hallways and ceilings in addition to an abundance of built-in storage in the multi-function, open-plan living room. Here a hand-painted fireplace has a balanced gas flue for instant ambience and heat, and views stretch across Dublin city to Howth and beyond.
A 12ft island is the focal point of the kitchen — which has the benefit of a large adjacent utility for catering. Here and in the boot room, carpenters Redmond and Hatton were at work in the line of painted wainscoting, that delineates the dining space. This is also echoed in the hallways and adds much texture and interest to the walkways in the property.
The exterior of the house may look like it has painted cedar cladding, but it is in fact expensive but durable Cedral cement boards, which were added when the house was constructed in 2010. “It has never been painted and all it really needs is a wipe down. While it cost a fortune to install, it still looks as fresh as the day it went up.”
The views from every room — even the utility — are quite something and where the couple see deer, rabbits and an abundance of bird life.
In addition to the four-bedroom, 250sq m (2,691sq ft) house, which has heady scents of summer jasmine along its multiple verandas, the split-level property has a 93sq m (1,000sq ft) studio. Currently set up for photography, it is suited to a variety of uses, including a fitness studio, games room or home office. It has its own entrance, plumbing, heating and loo.
Lying on a 0.3 acre site, the property has parking for several cars and the gardens are mainly set to the front to take advantage of the westerly aspect and view. They are accessed by concertina doors off the kitchen that give a seamless connection in summer and have morning to sunset sunshine.
The owners love the “sky, sense of space and the countryside, and the abundance of walks on the doorstep” from their home, which is surrounded by agricultural lands.
Undercliff is now on the market through Sherry FitzGerald with an asking price of €2.25m.