Artist Karla Coffey has a grá for geometric shapes, and this passion is evident in Lacona, the stunning contemporary home she shares with her husband, the award-winning photographer John Coffey. Angles and curves abound in this architect-designed home on Scholarstown Road in Rathfarnham, which the couple built 20 years ago on a 0.85-acre site just a short walk from Knocklyon village in Dublin 16. The house was built to the highest standards using high-quality materials, and it shows: the interior finishes are so pristine that the house, for sale through Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty with an asking price of €2 million, could have been built just this past year.
Karla, whose work is on display at Merrion Gallery, project-managed the build and did all the design, but couldn’t find the right artworks to complement the style of the house. So she created her own striking three-dimensional pieces to enhance the interiors, and these, along with John’s contemporary photographs, bring a new level of design inspiration to the house.
You can see the artist’s touch as you come up the long, sweeping driveway, lined with trees and shrubs. The lush garden wraps around the house, and a large water feature designed by Karla provides an eye-catching focal point to the side.
However, your eye is brought straight back to the sleek, sharply angled facade of Lacona, a light-filled home that extends to 325sq m (3,500sq ft) with a Ber energy rating of B3, and has three reception rooms, a stunning kitchen/breakfastroom and five spacious bedrooms, including a main bedroom suite with an en suite, walk-in wardrobe/dressingroom and private balcony overlooking the gardens.
Even the entrance hall is a design feature, with a double-height ceiling atrium and curved walls enticing you down the inner hallway towards the livingroom, diningroom and kitchen/breakfastroom. There’s a cloakroom/guest WC with tiled wall, part-tiled floor and feature wall-mounted radiator. The livingroom has floor-to-ceiling height windows looking out to the front, and a sandstone fireplace with gas coal-effect fire, while the diningroom has similar floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the back. Both rooms have hardwood floors and recessed lighting.
The superb kitchen/breakfastroom has ultra-modern fitted kitchen units, with feature chrome and glazed worktops, extensive cupboard space, a central island with breakfast bar and 1½-bowl sink unit, and Neff double oven, Smeg gas hob and Gutman extractor hood. There’s plumbing for an integrated dishwasher and room for a large American fridge/freezer. A huge angular bay window faces south, bringing optimal light in from all sides as the family sits down at the table for lunch. The utility room has more cupboard space and is plumbed for washing machine and dryer. There’s a double circular sink unit here, and a laundry chute which brings clothes from upstairs straight into the laundry basket.
To the right of the entrance hall is a large family room that runs from the front to rear of the house. This used to be two rooms, each with its own door into the hallway, but really this room will work brilliantly as an entertainment/party room, for movie night, or for any kind of gathering.
Upstairs is a spacious gallery landing overlooking the hall, with a feature circular window looking out to the front. Each bedroom has its own individual shape and character, but all have plenty of space and light. The main bedroom suite has an impressive vaulted ceiling and dramatic views over the gardens, plus lots of integrated storage space. The dressingroom has fitted shelves with hanging rails and drawers, and a window looking out to the front. The en suite shower room has a double walk-in shower with rainfall shower head, toilet, wash-hand basin, built-in cupboards and circular wall-mounted radiator.
The second bedroom looks out to the rear and has a neat walk-in store area (stoop your head going through the door), with fitted shelves – an ideal secret den for a preteen. Another bedroom has a feature triangular window overlooking the rear and its own en suite shower room, while another small bedroom to the front is perfect for a toddler, with eaves storage for teddies and toys.
The spectacular 0.85-acre grounds are super-private and enclosed by mature trees, hedgerow, plants and flower beds. There are two patio/outdoor dining areas to take full advantage of the sun throughout the day, and to the rear are two timber storage sheds. Then there’s another artists’ touch – a private artists’ studio tucked away behind greenery, where both Karla and John can work in peace and quiet.
Lacona sits behind remote-controlled wrought-iron gates and has ample parking to the front for up to six cars. You can reach the M50 in two minutes, or drive to Rathfarnham and Templeogue villages in less than 10 minutes. There’s an abundance of good schools in the vicinity and also several golf courses, including the Grange and Rathfarnham.