Tranquil, ultra-modern Rathfarnham home in sylvan setting for €2.45m

This dreamy and luxurious home comes with yoga studio and sauna and is accessed by a bridge over the river Glin

Westerly House, Glinbury, Whitechurch Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16
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Address: Westerly House, Glinbury, Whitechurch Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16
Price: €2,450,000
Agent: Hooke & MacDonald
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“When we built this, I was thinking of my dream home,” says developer Leona Melia, standing at the small bridge over the river Glin that leads into the 0.54-acre grounds of Westerly House. This stunning contemporary house of 375sq m (4,036sq ft), surrounded by private, mature woodlands, is indeed straight out of a dream, and as you step into it you feel as if you’re floating in ultra-luxurious space.

Westerly House is the pièce de résistance in Glinbury, a development of 12 houses just off Whitechurch Road in Rathfarnham, built, and restored in places, by Melia and her husband and business partner, Eddie O’Connor. It’s a mix of contemporary houses along with a restored 19th-century lodge that was most likely the home of the owner of a water mill that once stood on the river. Glinbury may be in a busy suburban setting, but the only sounds you’ll hear are birds singing, the gentle flow of the river Glin and maybe the odd thwack in the distance as a golfer tees off at Grange golf course across the road.

Before we enter the house, Melia brings me along the river walk, which is part of the grounds, up to a seated area with a firepit overlooking a weir, the only thing that seems to be rushing in this peaceful setting. The route takes us past the purpose-built yoga studio adjoining the house, and alongside the gardens, landscaped by Paul Crossan, with specimen trees such as cycad, maple, bonsai, ilex and juniper. Tucked away on its own bank of the river, Westerly House exudes tranquillity.


The front porch is behind a line of tall cedar slats, allowing commanding views while sitting in the porch, without being on view yourself. Everything in Westerly House is tall, from the 6m double-height entrance hall and atrium-style hallway to the 3m ceilings and high doors and the 6m-tall crafted dark-oak panelling in the hall. The expertly engineered state-of-the art cantilevered staircase features a glass balustrade and concealed handrail, seeming to float in the open space. Underneath the stairs is an indoor garden that brings the outside in.


The livingroom is designed to tie in with the kitchen, and kitchen designers Pedini have matched the boiserie walls in both rooms to create flow. The tall picture windows all have concealed box blinds, and the sliding pocket doors between the rooms allow for opening out the spaces or keeping everything separate as needed.

No expense has been spared in the craftsmanship, from the burnt-larch panelling to the leather upholstered cabinets in the livingroom to the Noir Desir sink in the guest loo, which Melia assures me is the priciest wash-hand basin in Ireland.

The kitchen is a chef’s dream, with matt-lacquered furniture, stone worktops, an integrated stone sink, sleek metal shelves, an extra-wide fridge-freezer and a huge central island, with Quooker tap, flip-up sockets and an Italian extractor hood, and all the workspace you (or your chef) need to knock up gourmet dinners for your guests. The Siemens appliances, cooking facilities and coffee machine are suspended in a floating frame – not something you would see in every kitchen.

Seated garden area

But perhaps you would rather not do the messy cooking here in front of your guests. Never fear: behind a subtly concealed door in the boiserie panel is a second service kitchen, mirroring the main one but on a more compact scale. There are matt lacquered doors, stone worktops and a big Blanco stainless-steel sink, plus loads of storage, a tall larder with interior drawers and an additional fridge-freezer. Behind the service kitchen is a wine connoisseur’s paradise: a full wine store with controlled multizone wine cabinet by Caple.

Also downstairs is a large office with ample workspace and storage space for two people to work harmoniously side by side. It’s painted in attractive charcoal and mustard shades, an antidote to the usual drab grey you would associate with the office. Comfortable Italian office chairs finish the job nicely. There’s an ample utility room opening out to the back patio, and a plant room containing a heat recovery system, hot-water tank and all your smart home data, wifi and electrical equipment.

Going up the cantilevered stairs, you get a good view of the huge feature chandelier by Hicken Lighting, with no fewer than 42 bulbs. There are three large double bedrooms on the first floor, and the fourth bedroom is on the second floor. All have en suites and enviable wardrobe and dressing space along with room for extra-large beds.

The main bedroom has full-height Pianca walk-through wardrobes done in Bourgogne oak with grey matt glass doors. Your clothes will find the perfect home here, with steel shoe racks, drawers, pull-down rails and even pop-out hangers.

Bedrooms two and four also have large Pianca wardrobes, with a TV and media area, while bedroom three has a walk-in wardrobe finished in cashmere matt material. One bedroom has a large private balcony looking out to the back, while the top-floor bedroom has a balcony commanding lovely views over the river.

Outside is a private grassy side garden and a large patio with barbecue area. A path winds up from the patio to the spacious yoga studio, which has large sliding doors on two sides opening out on to the riverfront; there’s an en suite shower room and sauna here too. Calm and tranquillity are built in.

A contemporary house like this could easily feel cold and clinical, but the emphasis on natural materials and the close connection with the sylvan setting makes Westerly House a warm and attractive prospect. Melia is most proud of the craftsmanship and attention to detail that has gone into the property. “I’d move in myself if I could,” she says. Whoever does move into this property will certainly feel they’re living the dream.

Westerly House has a an A2 Ber and is for sale through Hooke & MacDonald, seeking €2.45 million.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist