Renovating an older house can be a costly business, but the architect owner of number 50 Hillside was able to modernise this semidetached home to the highest standards while keeping to a tight budget. Rather than embark on expensive construction work, the owner cleverly used the existing footprint of the house to turn it into an ideal home for a small family or someone looking to downsize.
This three-bedroom house, built in the early 1960s, measures about 118sq m (1,270sq ft) with an additional 9sq ft (97sq ft) in the garage. It is now on the market through Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty, seeking €875,000.
There is ample scope to extend over the garage or to the rear of the house, and with this in mind, the owner made sure that any extension can be easily done without having to rip out the existing features.
For instance, the kitchen with its lovely tiled cooking area, can be left completely intact, and the large, square peninsula to the back wall doesn’t even have to be moved – it can be easily doubled in size to create a full island in a new, extended kitchen. And you don’t even have to take down any wall cabinets, as there are none; all the storage is under the peninsula or in a roomy pantry next to the garage. There is a nice feature shelf made with offcuts from the peninsula’s wooden worktops where the cookbooks are kept, but otherwise the kitchen looks clean and minimal.
The washer and dryer are installed in the garage along with the bicycles, which get regular use; the house is close to the famed Metals, the old atmospheric railway line which is a popular walking and cycling route between Dalkey and Dún Laoghaire. Suspended from the garage ceiling is a Sheila Maid for drying and airing clothes.
There is a sunroom to the rear to make the most of the south-facing back garden; rather than tear it out, the owner repaired and repainted the wood-and-glass structure, putting in nice lighting and furnishings to make for a cosy conservatory.
The lovely, landscaped back garden is big enough to accommodate an extension (subject to planning permission), and the owner points out that many of the neighbouring houses have been extended, one of them almost doubling in size, without losing too much precious outdoor space.
The owner’s resourcefulness is evident in the interior design of the house, from the Balterio flooring downstairs to the polished timber floors in the three bedrooms upstairs. The owner also put a lot of resources into making the house energy efficient, putting in triple-glazed windows, internal wall and loft insulation and a new gas-fired central heating system and boiler to bring the house up to a creditable B3 Ber rating.
The spacious main bedroom overlooks the back garden, getting lots of morning light, and has a neat, recessed wardrobe. The owner decided to eschew the en suite and instead put in a fine family bathroom, with lovely floor and wall tiles, a bath and a level-access shower with a monsoon shower head. After tiling the bathroom, the owner took the offcuts and made a lovely mosaic tiled floor for the shower.
The two front bedrooms have views over Dublin Bay all the way out to Howth, and you can also see the nearby Joyce’s Tower in Sandycove from here. You can get on your bike and be down to the famed Forty Foot bathing spot within minutes, and then be back up relaxing in the sun on your hammock in the back garden – weather permitting.
You can also walk down to Dalkey village within minutes and enjoy the upmarket restaurants, cafes and shops. There are plenty of schools in the vicinity, including Castle Park School, Rathdown School (which became co-ed in 2022) and Loreto Dalkey.