Comfortable restoration without ostentation on Ormond Road for €1.695m

Owners of this period five-bedroom redbrick in Rathmines have updated the property over decades

Address: 27 Ormond Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6
Price: €1,695,000
Agent: DNG
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There’s nothing like a local landmark to tell you you’re nearly home. For residents of Ormond Road in Rathmines, it’s when they turn east off Palmerston Road and see the distinctive spire of the church at Beechwood, which was opened in 1914.

The owners of number 27, which predates the church by 20 years, have enjoyed this view since 1989. The first time they walked in they felt at home there, seeing light, grand proportions and potential beyond the nine bedsits. “It was a chipboard palace,” he says with a laugh. With small children in tow, and mostly with their own hands, they worked their way through the house, removing partitions, false ceilings and cupboards. “You’d never know what you’d find behind a door; a wardrobe, a sink, maybe a cooker. It was full of surprises,” she says.

The couple didn’t do up the house all in one go, but lived in each section as they went along. Their care and dedication is evident throughout; it’s a comfortable restoration without ostentation. “Our names might be on the deeds, but we are only gatekeepers,” she says.

The hall has original boards, stained dark brown; the owners replaced the decorative plasterwork and papered the left-hand wall in a gorgeous grey and gold art deco pattern. To the right is a fine big livingroom full of southerly light, with new-old features including replacement floorboards, a pinky marble fireplace they bought from Buckley, and a leafy ceiling centrepiece.


All told, the house has five bedrooms and four bathrooms in a Ber-exempt 227sq m (2,443sq ft) footprint, but because the owners have made every room work hard over the past 35 years, the layout is very flexible.

For example, the lowermost section, down a few steps from the hall, has a bedroom (which was their first kitchen) as well as a studio, two shower rooms and a kitchen/livingroom that form part of an extension built about 15 years ago. There are French doors to the garden and the 5ft-wide side passage. This area would suit a relative or a student living independently, or could be reconfigured as an open-plan kitchen/dining/livingroom.

Up the stairs, which the owners stripped, spindle by painstaking spindle, the cosy living room has a cute cast-iron fireplace with inset stove. Off this is another kitchen on the upper floor of the extension; this is the part of the house they use most now. A guest toilet has dramatic botanical print wallpaper and smart grey paintwork, and there is a bedroom in the original return that would make a quiet study.

Upstairs, at the front and through a little original lobby, are two double bedrooms with tall four-pane windows. New owners might open these into one room to make a main suite, as the light is quite lovely, but would need professional advice before planning any works in this protected structure.

At the top of the house, off a roof-lit landing, is the current main bedroom, with a view towards the city and the Spire dead centre; you can keep count of cranes and planes. The large main bathroom, recently redone, is also on this level and a laundry room is tucked in beside it.

The gardens demonstrate the owners’ love of reusing and repurposing stones and other things they have found over the years. At the back, he has built a veranda with a pond, and they reduced the garage to a small shed, beside a pedestrian gate to the lane that runs out to join Annesley Park. A trellis along the wall is threaded with branches as well as climbers, and the roses, laburnum and lilac thrive despite the northerly orientation; on a spring morning it is full of sunshine. At the front, gravel paths meander towards the blue doors to front and side, past well-stocked beds and a wild corner, all sheltered by a lofty, late-blooming laburnum that draws the eye, once again, towards the Church of the Holy Name.

Number 27 Ormond Road is for sale through DNG with an asking price of €1.695 million.

Joyce Hickey

Joyce Hickey

Joyce Hickey is an Irish Times journalist