Primark design head’s Monkstown three-bed on market for €695,000

Colour and comfort define Sinead McDonagh’s south Co Dublin home, where she has given each room its own atmosphere

Address: 5 The Orchard, Monkstown Valley, Monkstown, Co Dublin
Price: €695,000
Agent: Lisney Sotheby's International Realty
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“Move over, grey” is the advice from Sinead McDonagh, global head of design, home and lifestyle for Primark. “We get a lot of cold, grey days and nights in Ireland, so I would recommend go dark and luxurious in your livingroom”.

McDonagh, who studied fashion at the London College of Fashion before moving into homes and interiors, is required to forecast interior trends for the retailer, which has 398 stores across 14 countries.

She says the biggest trend she is seeing for 2022 is minimalism, noting after the past couple of years where people’s homes became their sanctuaries, they now want clean slates — which was also the name she gave Primark’s first collection of 2022.

At her home at 5 The Orchard in Monkstown Valley, she has created a different atmosphere in every room, from the Scandinavian feel of the fresh white walls in the kitchen, with calming green accents, to the lush dark and moody navy in the livingroom, with striking contrast from an acid yellow velvet sofa sourced from


Being interior savvy and knowing the tricks of the trade gives rise to bespoke creations. On a trip to Paris, she bought an artwork which she duly had printed on to specialised woven paper — imported from the UK — by her local printing shop in Dún Laoghaire. The paper being peel-and-stick meant she could hang it herself, but a bigger bonus is “the fact that when you want to take it down, it just peels off and doesn’t damage the wall”.

This technique is applied in two of the three bedrooms in her 86sq m (925sq ft) home. In the children’s room, unicorn paper which she designed herself will delight any young child, while the lush tropical green in the guest room echoes the tranquil feel given by the plants throughout the house. “Green is great as a colour accent as it helps to calm, promote positive thinking and invigorate.”

The rear garden is a bit of an oasis behind her detached home. Laid out with low-maintenance AstroTurf, the lawn is bordered by mature plants to give year-round colour, and a spot for entertaining under the stars.

With swathes of colour from roses, peony roses, Crocosmia Lucifer and Acers, the front garden is also a bit of a giveaway that someone who likes colour and form lives inside.

With two small children, the family are trading up and have placed their turnkey home, which has a Ber of D2, on the market through Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty seeking €695,000.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

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