Period-style detached seven-bed in Rathgar for €3.75m

House offers a number of surprises such as an atrium dining room, sauna and temperature-controlled wine cellar

Address: The Gables, Oaklands Drive, Rathgar, Dublin 6
Price: €3,750,000
Agent: Lisney Sotheby's International Realty
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The Gables, a house off Highfield Road close to Rathgar village, made headlines when it sold for £535,000 at auction in 1996. “The boom in Dublin house prices continued yesterday,” read a report in The Irish Times at the time, under the headline: “Prices through the roof”.

Plus ça change. After nearly 30 years, the market is booming again, and The Gables, Oaklands Drive, Rathgar, Dublin 6, a detached 489sq m (5,263sq ft) seven-bed, is back for sale having remained in the ownership of the couple who bought it all those years ago. After paying what was then a considerable sum, they finished developing the top floor of the house, fairly recently upgraded the kitchen and bathrooms, and have kept it in meticulous condition. Now, after rearing six children, they are ready to downsize. The Gables is seeking €3.75 million through Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty.

The house has a number of surprises such as a grand atrium diningroom off the entrance hall, a sauna off a downstairs shower room, a serious temperature-controlled wine cellar in the mews/garage at the back of the house, some small stained-glass windows, and on the top floor, a large family room with a mezzanine space.

The Gables, originally built in 1990 in the back gardens of two Highfield Road Victorians, is a modern home – with a B1 Ber – designed in period style. Its most striking feature is a triple-height inner reception hall off the oak-floored front hall; it has a mahogany and cast-iron staircase circling up to the top floor with a Velux in the roof filling the space below – with a dining table at its centre – with light. Ornate plasterwork, a colourful centre rose, a fireplace inset with tiles, period furniture and a blue-and-gold V’Soske Joyce carpet create a period feel that’s repeated through much of the richly decorated house.


The bright reception rooms on the left of the hall that run from the front to the back of the house are divided by two sets of French doors in wide Georgian-style arches. The drawingroom at the front opens into a conservatory at the front of the house, which in turn opens into a large, private front patio. The sittingroom and diningroom at the back look on to the back garden through a wide conservatory-style bay window. Both reception rooms have Adams-style marble fireplaces.

The Dalkey Design kitchen/breakfastroom off the diningroom is all modern, with pale oak units, a Silestone-topped island, a pale white Aga and a large American sub-zero fridge.

A hallway off the kitchen – oak-floored, like many of the rooms in the house – leads to an enviably large utility room with a Belfast sink and marble-tiled floor. A shower room beside it has Villeroy & Boch sanitary ware and a Finnish sauna off it. The hall then leads into a good-sized study with a fitted Oakline desk and bookcase at the front of the house.

Upstairs are five bedrooms off the large first-floor landing, four doubles and a single, two of them en suite, one with a wash-hand basin. They’re all decorated in different styles, with different patterned wallpaper. All have built-in wardrobes. The main bedroom has an en suite shower room with a high Velux window and twin Villeroy & Boch sinks. The smart family bathroom has pale grey porcelain-tiled walls and floor, a shower and an oval bath. The landing is also large enough to accommodate a blue Oakline bookcase/computer desk.

There’s a large picture window on the staircase leading up to the top floor, where there are two more bedrooms, a tiled shower room and a large high-ceilinged family room; this could be an au pair or guest quarters, a teenagers’ hideout or a place busy parents might escape to. It has a timber floor, timber-panelled ceiling, a small study area overlooking the front garden and a window at the other end overlooking the back, and a wood-burning stove. Stairs lead to a mezzanine with a Velux window that one of the couple’s daughters used as an art studio.

Outside, the walled back garden is all patio and relatively small given the size of the house; it’s partly divided by a trellis fence and has outdoor lighting making it an outdoor dining space at night.

The 100sq m (1,076sq ft) mews/garage is being used for storage and as a home gym. It has a fitted kitchen and potential to be converted into more accommodation. The wine cellar is concealed inside this space: with wine racks variously labelled “dessert wine”, “South African”, “Rhône” and so on. It’s clearly owned by wine connoisseurs.

There’s plenty of off-street parking at the front of The Gables behind tall electronic gates. Oaklands Drive is a road off Highfield Road leading to the entrance of St Luke’s Hospital. It’s a short walk from Rathgar village.

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about homes and property