The owners of Simmonstown House bought it in the late 1980s and transformed the Edwardian redbrick divided into apartments into a charming guest house that frequently took an overspill of guests from the Shelbourne hotel.
Renowned throughout the art world as a serene and quiet sanctuary, the daughter of the owners says her mother is also an artist and “used the house as her canvas.” Well-known artists exhibiting at Imma, the Hugh Lane and Douglas Hyde galleries stayed with her over the years including Louis le Brocquy, Anne Madden, Graham Knuttel, and musicians too, including members of the band Faithless.
As well as meticulously restoring the house to its natural Edwardian character, the owners built an extension on to the back of the house, which is located in a quiet cul-de-sac on Sydenham Road in the heart of Ballsbridge.
The semidetached property, which has been a family home since the owner stopped running the guest house, is now on the market with Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty, seeking €1.95 million. With an area of 268sq m (2,884sq ft), the house has six bedrooms, six en suite bathrooms and a separate studio in the garden that could be used as accommodation or redeveloped into a home office or studio.
The front door has stained glass panes and its colour shines through into the bright entrance hallway. Two formal interconnected reception rooms lie on the right, painted a dark blue. The drawingroom features a marble fireplace and has a deep bay window overlooking the front garden. It leads through to a diningroom, also featuring a marble fireplace, which has double doors that open on to a beautifully maintained back garden.
A well-established star jasmine creeper adds drama and beauty to the back garden, which is planted with heritage roses, mature shrubs and is gravelled, allowing for easy maintenance. A laneway running alongside the house has two parking spaces and at its end and wooden gates open into the garden, providing private access to the studio which has a kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom.
A kitchen-diner at the back of the house is down a short flight of steps from the hall, has white timber units and smart tiled floors and there is a lovely family room with French doors opening on to the garden. There is potential here to knock these rooms together to create a large, open-plan contemporary kitchen.
The first floor has four bedrooms, all of which are en suite. A small room to the front of the house is being used as a study, and there is a family bathroom on this level, as well as a hot press. Two further bedrooms, also en suite, are on the second floor, and there is an attic space above this which could also be brought into use, subject to planning permission.
It’s a meticulously maintained house bursting with character and potential that is sure to appeal to a family in search of a standout home. The owners undertook significant upgrades when they renovated the property such as re-roofing and recently installing triple-glazed windows, but the Ber is still quite a low F grade.
Sydenham Road is around the corner from the offices of Meta, owner of Facebook, off the Merrion Road, just beside Serpentine Avenue and the Intercontinental Hotel is at the end of the road. Sandymount village is a short stroll away, as is the strand, and the Dart station at Sandymount is a six-minute walk away. Many of Dublin 4′s premier schools are also within easy reach, such as the Teresian’s, St Michael’s and St Conleth’s.