A happy marriage of old and new beside the Forty Foot for €1.5m

One of the oldest houses on Sandycove Avenue has been renewed and refreshed and is ready to move into

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Address: 16 Sandycove Avenue East, Sandycove, Co Dublin
Price: €1,500,000
Agent: Janet Carroll Estate Agent
View this property on MyHome.ie

The owners of 16 Sandycove Avenue East didn’t know what they were letting themselves in for when they bought this period property in south Co Dublin back in 2001. The end-of-terrace house, built in about 1845, had been in the same family for 150 years and was in serious need of a top-to-bottom refurbishment. The floors needed to be replaced, the ceiling coving needed restoration, and a complete replumbing and rewiring was required. Luckily, a family friend offered to take on the job at a reasonable price, and what could have been a money pit instead became a happy home by the sea, just around the corner from the Forty Foot, Sandycove beach and the James Joyce Tower and Museum.

One of the two oldest properties on the road, number 16 now looks renewed, refreshed and ready to move into and is on the market through Janet Carroll estate agents, seeking €1.5 million. The house has been fully insulated, with three layers of insulation under the floors, and all the windows have been replaced. A new boiler was installed in 2021, and the house now has a C2 Ber – a good rating for a period property. The owners also added a two-storey extension to the back, with kitchen/diningroom downstairs and bedroom and family bathroom upstairs, bringing the floor space up to 189sq m (2,034sq ft), with more scope to extend out to the side. The downside is that the back garden is small, but it is private and west-facing, and safe and secure for small kids to play in, laid out in low-maintenance astro turf with a bounce pad underneath to minimise bumps and bruises.

A wide front door with fanlight opens into a roomy hallway, and looking up to the high ceiling, you can see the lovingly restored, very intricate coving and ceiling roses, done with consultation from the Auld Mould Company. Don’t even think about what that job might cost if you were getting it done today. To the right is a lovely, elegant livingroom, with pristine period features including bay window, picture rails and cast-iron fireplace.

Bespoke bifolding doors lead through an impressive period arch (one of three in the house) into a sittingroom to the rear, which is now a very informal TV lounge/home office. There’s also a fireplace here, but it’s concealed behind bespoke wall-to-ceiling cabinets – new owners can either leave as is or simply take out the cabinets to bring it back to its former formal state.


The kitchen/dining area has old-style floor tiles and is cleverly laid out to make full use of the limited space, with fitted wall and floor units, granite worktops, a double sink and recessed lighting. Tucked neatly in here are a NordMende double fridge-freezer, a Neff oven and a five-ring induction hob. Bench-style seating wraps around the dining table, creating a cosy vibe at mealtimes, and French doors lead out to the sunny back garden.

To the side of the kitchen extension are two Barna sheds, both wired for electricity; one is in use as a utility room and is plumbed for a washer and dryer, while the other serves as storage for bikes, trikes and golf clubs. If you have a mind to, you could build a whole extension here to mirror the existing one, subject to planning permission.

Upstairs are four bedrooms, the main bedroom has sash window, a cast-iron fireplace, a ceiling rose and coving, and an en suite. The second biggest bedroom has built-in wardrobes and a generous closet space. A smaller bedroom to the front is a kids’ paradise, featuring a custom-built elevated bed with a den/play area below and a big wardrobe beside it. The steps leading up to the bed cleverly double as drawers, and there are lots of shelves and secret nooks to put your precious things.

The main bathroom has a Jacuzzi bath and a wall-mounted vanity unit and fitted vanity mirror. Another bedroom to the back would make an ideal guest bedroom or au pair’s room.

Outside is a lovely, landscaped front garden behind gates with an ornate sandstone-paved garden path, mature lawn and plants. There’s no off-street parking, alas, and no parking permit system in place, but the owners say they have never had trouble parking outside. The main traffic here consists of swimmers heading to and from the Forty Foot, so don’t bat an eyelid when you pass someone on the street wearing nothing but their Dryrobe.

The neighbourhood speaks for itself, with Glasthule close by and Dalkey just a stroll away. The area is well served by schools including the Harold national school, Castle Park and Loreto Dalkey, and the Glasthule Dart station is just minutes away.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist