“It’s hard to fathom that you are just a block away from Rathmines Road, as it feels like the middle of the country,” says the owner of 13 Church Gardens, a fully refurbished two-bedroom period home.
Purchased in 2010 for €200,000, according to the Property Price Register, in what was an intra-family transfer, the house was “an old two-up, two-down cottage with a lean-to at the rear”. “Everything beyond the blue room [a reception room to the front of the house] is an extension, which trebled the size of the property,” says the owner of the 125sq m (1,345sq ft) house, now in turnkey condition.
The owners also purchased land to the rear for a small garden and while the renovations were taking place all that remained was the front and adjoining walls.
The extension, designed by ODOS Architects, added a large eat-in kitchen by Poggenpohl with Neff and Liebherr appliances, a utility, a bathroom and a good-sized livingroom on the ground floor. An internal glazed patio opens via concertina doors, allowing it to be an integral space for entertaining during summer months.
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To the rear off the livingroom is another garden space that was formerly a piggery in times gone by. “When we first looked over the wall to the plot we had bought to the rear there was a cabbage that had grown to about two metres wide under all the pig manure,” recalls the owner.
Upstairs, the principal bedroom is bathed in light thanks to much glazing and has a separate walk-in wardrobe and an en suite; the house has two bedrooms and three bathrooms in total.
All of the walls were treated and insulated and new terrazzo flooring was put down, warmed by underfloor heating throughout the ground floor. In addition, all the original sash windows have been refurbished, a new boiler was installed in 2020 and the whole place was painted in 2022, so all new owners have to do is unpack.
One of the briefs for the architects was to increase the storage capacity of the period house. “Anyone who has lived in an apartment in Dublin becomes obsessed with storage, so we needed lots of it.”
To address this issue, storage was added in the form of a walk-in hot press, walk-in wardrobes in the principal bedroom, an attic conversion and further space under the stairs. Major storage was added in a wall of presses with bi-fold doors opposite the patio area that now hold the utility units with two metres of shelving storing the family’s sports equipment and toys. In addition, both walls in the kitchen are storage spaces, allowing the place to be streamlined and clutter free.
“When we did the kitchen we were 12 years younger and had no kids, so we also didn’t want it to look like a kitchen but more like a party room.” To achieve this they added an LED system where colours change and the lights rotate for the many parties the couple have thrown.
Now their children have learned to roller skate on the terrazzo floor, they need more space. “It is the location more than anything that has kept us here. The kids were born here and it is our first proper home but we need a bigger garden. We will really miss our neighbours as the whole street sits out in the summer and part of the attraction here is most definitely the community.”
Number 13 Church Gardens is now on the market through DNG, seeking €895,000.