Purchased by its current owner in 2004, Melrose, an impressive detached home on Kerrymount Avenue in the affluent south Dublin suburb of Foxrock, took well over a year to renovate. Some of the formal rooms, such as the principal bedroom and television room, were partially extended, while a full informal living and dining room was added to the rear, in a space that now links with the kitchen. A new library and integral garage were also added, giving a generous 448sq m (4,822sq ft), including the garage, of turnkey floor space.
There is extensive use of north American black walnut flooring throughout, along with oak in a library, and bathrooms floored with marble. A much sought-after wood, prices for black walnut lumber due to supply chain backups from the pandemic went through the roof. Today, lumber from a single black walnut tree can fetch $10,000 (€10,375) and has led to the DNA testing of stolen trees.
The property has six bedrooms, three of which are en suite, and the principal, as you would expect, exhibits an attention to detail of a similar calibre to that which is evident throughout the property. The room runs the entire breadth of the house, has its own dressing area, a well-appointed en suite, complete with a free-standing bath on chocolate-coloured marble flooring, and views of the back garden from its private balcony.
It’s simply a superb home with a Ber of C1 and lots of great spaces for entertaining, be it in the formal dining room, plush drawing room, new informal living and dining area or many of the dedicated spots in the southwest-facing rear garden. The family who lives here have celebrated communions and all their big birthdays in the gardens that extend to 0.3 hectares (0.8 acres) and are among the real selling points of the house.
The attic level has changed over the years and is now laid out as a home gym, and its wall-to-wall storage in clever drawers holds all the family’s bits and pieces.
While former owners installed an outstanding French-themed maze garden, its current owner, a keen gardener and cook, relished and added to the copious bounties such as gooseberries, artichokes, plums, apples — both Granny Smith and cooking varieties — lemon balm and a herb selection that would have most restaurants green with envy.
There are even violet artichokes — more tender than their green counterparts, and super additions to flower arrangements — that take centre stage in the finely cut topiary maze, which is cleverly designed to mirror itself.
“The three kids really loved the maze when they were young and were always playing hide and seek, and those violet artichokes die back every winter but in the summer they grow to eight or nine feet tall,” says the owner.
Due to all the trees, shrubs and bushes, which include 120 roses, wildlife thrives here; there’s an amazing array of birds and the lily pond is a splash pool for visiting ducks and an annual incubator for tadpoles, who, as adult frogs, move to the end of the garden.
“It’s been an absolute joy and privilege to live and raise my three children here,” says the owner, who is downsizing locally and has placed her most impressive home on the market through Sherry FitzGerald seeking €4.5 million.