Former coach houses turned luxury, contemporary home in Bray for €1.1m

Stunning, energy-efficient three-bedroom home featuring sustainable materials and earthy colours

Address: Carlisle Mews, Duncairn Lane, Bray, Co Wicklow
Price: €1,100,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
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Converting a disused 1860s coach house into a luxury contemporary home with an A2 Ber rating sounds like a daunting task.

But the owners of Carlisle Mews relished the challenge and hired some of the country’s finest contractors to craft a stunning, energy-efficient three-bedroom home using sustainable materials and simple, earthy colours.

The owners actually converted two adjoining coach houses, both derelict commercial properties, to create this designer mews home, which has since been featured in Image magazine and Home & Design magazine, and has piqued the interest of TV and film producers.

The owners had previously bought and renovated a small property just across the lane, so it was a short five-metre move into their new home on this quiet, private lane just a two-minute walk from Bray Dart station, the seafront promenade and the well-known Harbour Bar.


The owners didn’t skimp on the budget when doing the conversion, engaging RIAI Architect of the Year winners, Culligan Architect, and using the best consultants and craftspeople around.

The attention to detail is evident throughout, from the breathable insulation and repointed stone walls to the rear and the lime-harling finish to the front, to the completely new roof laid in natural slates, the brick and charred-timber extension to the rear and the real terrazzo floors by Portuguese stone company RMC.

With walnut flooring and joinery and Rationel triple-glazed window, this house has been designed to be a forever home – and built to last. Carlisle Mews in Duncairn Lane, Bray, Co Wicklow, extends to 180 sq m (1,937 sq ft) with an impressive A2 Ber rating, and is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald asking €1.1 million.

Some of the interior brick walls of the original 19th-century coach house were curved to make it easier for the coachman to drive his horse and carriage in, and the architects have left sections of these exposed as a feature of the design; they also used the curved walls as inspiration for the stunning double-height entrance hall, with a solid walnut staircase curving up to the landing, which has walnut floors.

To the right of the hall is a guest loo and behind that is a utility room. The main living area downstairs is completely open plan and set in a loose T-shaped configuration. The main livingroom space has a brick fireplace with a bronze Charnwood stove, and the curved wall creates a natural separation from the rest of the downstairs.

The centrally positioned kitchen section commands a view straight across to the livingroom, to the dining area at the back and to the lounge/den at the front. The owners have two small children, and can work in the kitchen while keeping an eye on the kids.

The kitchen has a huge three-metre island, white stone worktops, top-of-the-range Siemens and Bosch appliances, and natural wood cabinetry. The diningroom extension has large roof lights over exposed ceiling joists, and bench seating at the dining table makes efficient use of space, while a three-piece Rationel window gives views out to the sunny south-facing back garden.

There are three generous double bedrooms upstairs, and the main bedroom has a full-height roof with exposed joists and a lantern roof light, allowing you to look up at the stars from the bed. Bespoke wardrobes give ample storage, and there’s an en suite clad in terrazzo.

The main bathroom is clad in brown terrazzo and walnut and has a feature double-sized stone bath with stone taps and a bunker-style window for light and privacy. All the bathrooms in Carlisle Mews are sealed wetrooms.

The bedrooms are laid in natural-wool carpets by Cormar, and the owners used breathable, environmentally friendly paint on the walls. With natural, non-toxic materials used throughout the interiors, this house would be well suited to anyone with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

The back garden is long and south-facing, ensuring lots of sun throughout the day. There’s a wide section at the end of the garden where the evening sun comes in, and the owners got planning permission for a garden room and hot tub in this area. There’s also potential to purchase an adjacent unused garden space which is overlooked from the livingroom area, which would give you a very generous back garden to play with.

The owners have fallen in love with Bray, and have made lifelong friends here, so they won’t be moving very far from Duncairn Lane, and already have their eye on another house renovation challenge.

This is a chance to buy a superb home in this buzzing seaside town, with no shortage of amenities, shops, sports facilities and a wide selection of schools in the vicinity. The Dart station is just a two-minute walk away, and bus routes are nearby. Bray’s seafront promenade is always popular, with its holiday atmosphere, and the cliff walk to Greystones is just a stone’s throw away.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist