Rathmines Victorian with calm colour inside and an oasis outside, for €1.125 million

Modernised, flexible four-bed with garden office in a convenient location

  • Address: 95 Leinster Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6
  • Price: € 1,125,000
  • Agent: Lisney

Stepping in from the hum of Leinster Road in Rathmines, Dublin 6, to the garden of number 95, the third along from the junction with Harold’s Cross Road, is to discover a haven, hedged in purple copper beech and bordered by a birch.

One of a pair of houses built for two sisters in 1864, the terraced redbrick has been minded very carefully, and the current owners have reconfigured and upgraded it to suit their needs. They moved here from Portobello with their small children in 2004 and made the most of the location, within walking distance of shops, schools, town, sports clubs, and a handy stop-off point for everyone’s friends.

Now, with everyone in the household able to work from home, the owners have found the right time to move out of the city and consolidate the elements of their outdoor lives for which they do a kind of reverse commute: bee-keeping, horse-husbandry, orchard-tending, and more. Their immersive love of nature imbues the pollinator-friendly planting.

Before they undertook any work, they brought the plans to a session of Open House, the Irish Architecture Foundation’s annual festival. There, for a charity donation – “the best €90 we ever spent” – they discussed the options with architect Yvonne Farrell, who advised them to “make it an adventure, from front to back”.

Inside the front door, there is calm drama in the hall, painted in Little, Greene’s Obsidian Green, which carries all along the right-hand wall of the house; on the left side a cool white, Slacked Lime, continues through the reception rooms and upstairs, amplifying the airy spaces.

A previous owner opened up the two reception rooms so they can be used as one, in which the current owners have hosted 40 people for dinner (they hire tables for such events). They can be closed off by folding doors to give two cosy sitting rooms, each with a stove, original sash windows, working shutters and simple cornicing. The black marble fireplace in the front room has a beautifully animated pattern and the ceiling rose here, as in the hall, is original.

Further down the hall, the understairs utility has ample storage and next to this is a smart shower room. Then the space opens up to a long kitchen-dining room, within the footprint of the original return, with a huge marble island and glossy units in cream and dark red. There are three floor-to-ceiling windows that bring the garden into the room; one slides open to a side patio.

Hooked on to the end of the house and supported by two steel poles is a sail-like cover that shelters the benches on a gravelled square. These are the first indications of the engineer-owner’s woodworking talent, on full display in the cabin at the end of the garden which is an insulated workshop and office. Close to this are two more areas in which to enjoy late sunshine – or to keep a car, as a double gate opens to Leinster Place.

The garden is an urban oasis bounded by granite walls, with flat slabs curving a path through the grass, and flowers bustling on either side.

Upstairs, the half-landing is lit by a window in the barrel-vaulted roof and in reworking what were the maid’s rooms, in 2006, the owners took Farrell’s advice and simplified the corridor so it opens to two bedrooms and a timeless bathroom.

Up again, a large double bedroom looks over the back. Spanning the front, the main bedroom has a white marble fireplace and two windows looking south to the mountains, beckoning the owners to their next adventure.

Number 95 Leinster Road, Rathmines, Dublin, 6, which covers 204sq m (2,196sq ft) and is Ber exempt, is for sale through Lisney with an asking price of €1.125 million.

This year’s Open House festival runs from October 15th-17th: see openhousedublin.com