Architect’s stylishly redesigned Phibsborough Victorian villa on the market for €575,000

This two-bedroom mid-terrace home is a ‘warm and cosy’ retreat on a quiet but convenient cul-de-sac close to Dublin city centre

Address: 3 Arranmore Avenue, Phibsborough, Dublin 7
Price: €575,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Phibsborough
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The owners of 3 Arranmore Avenue were ahead of the curve when they redesigned this two-bedroom mid-terrace home 20 years ago, adopting an aesthetic that is currently being mirrored in stylish homes around the city.

The white walls, sleek kitchen and bespoke joinery create a fresh minimalist canvas, which is currently complemented by the owners’ curated collection of mid-century furniture. The design organically grew from one of the owners salvaging pieces from the home where they grew up in Co Leitrim.

You probably wouldn’t take much notice of Arranmore Avenue, a quiet cul-de-sac just two roads over from Phibsborough’s main street, unless you knew it was there. Granite steps lead up to the modest one-storey facade which extends to two floors at the back of the house. The airy entrance hallway of this Victorian villa, with four-metre-high ceilings and original wooden floors, draws the eye to the greenery of the garden at the back of the home.

The dark wooden floors continue into the front room off the left of the hallway. The dimensions of the room are a perfect cube – with a width of 4m – and although it is currently the main bedroom, it could also be used as a living space or a study if you didn’t require a second bedroom. The ceiling is bordered by original cornicing and the large sash window, which floods the room with light, has split wooden shutters that allow you to close the bottom half for privacy while leaving the top half open.


At the end of the hallway, past the inbuilt understairs storage, steps lead down to a large contemporary living space. This section of the home was an early 20th century addition, the owners say, and the modern double-glazed windows installed at this side of the house have a warm iroko wood finish.

The livingroom is sectioned according to two large windows that overlook the garden, meaning you first walk into a reading area towards the back of the room before you enter the main living space.

The owners, one of whom is an architect and the other a college lecturer, say they wanted the space to be connected to the kitchen while also having the option to keep them separate, prompting them to install a bespoke sliding door between the rooms, with the same wood expertly housing the fridge on the kitchen side. The floors in the livingroom are dark wide-board timber and there is birch-plywood shelving on either side of the chimney breast. The fireplace is not in use.

The wide kitchen-diningroom off the right of the livingroom is mirrored by the paved west-facing back garden; glass doors, also framed by iroko wood, fold to create one cohesive entertaining space in the fine weather. The sleek slate-grey handle-free units with Portuguese slate countertops and splashback are so contemporary and on-trend, it’s hard to believe they were installed in 2003. The kitchen, complete with a Smeg oven and five-ring stovetop, is great for cooking, says one of the owners, who is an avid home cook. The washing machine and dryer are kept out of sight in the garden shed, which also has plenty of storage and space for bikes.

Upstairs, the family bathroom has ample storage in the form of birch ply units which comprise a cabinet housing the hot press and open shelving in addition to a large, white medicine cabinet above the toilet. The bath doubles as a shower with a showerhead attached to the wall. The second bedroom, previously used as the main, is also upstairs, and is spacious with plenty of room for a double bed. The original fireplace was refurbished to add character to the room.

The architect owner, who studied at Bolton Street, says her familiarity with the area and the availability of good-quality period houses prompted her and her husband, from Co Antrim, to settle in Phibsborough. When they bought the home for €315,000 in 2002, they say, they didn’t realise what a great neighbourhood it would be to raise a family in; their children can walk to school and cycle to their nearby sports clubs.

The family’s favourite local spots include the Two Boys Brew cafe and the public park at Blessington Street Basin. The family love the area so much they decided to move to a larger home nearby. While this property has an E Ber rating, the owner says, “the house is warm and cosy and draught-free, with morning sun flooding the front and afternoon-evening sun to the rear”. Number 3 Aranmore Avenue, extending to 93sq m (1,000sq ft), is on the market through Sherry FitzGerald Phibsborough, seeking €575,000.

Jessica Doyle

Jessica Doyle

Jessica Doyle writes about property for The Irish Times