Italianate home is labour of love for developer couple in Blackrock, at €2.15m

Property professional David Rhatigan and his wife Laura built Bayview House, on Newtownpark Avenue, 15 years ago in the style of a grand period home

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Address: Bayview House, Meadow Close, Newtownpark Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Price: €2,150,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
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When David and Laura Rhatigan built Bayview House in 2007, they wanted to create a grand house in the Italianate style, and they wanted it to look as though it had been there for 100 years.

Bayview House is just 15 years old, but it could easily be 150 years old, such is the attention to detail the Rhatigans put into their project.

David is part of the Rhatigan property development dynasty, son of the late property developer Brian Rhatigan, and a senior sales adviser at Sherry Fitzgerald, so he and Laura know quite a bit about building a house.

The house is inspired by nearby Glendower House, built in 1837, where David’s sister lives. The Rhatigan family purchased lands around Glendower House, which includes Meadow Close; they also built The Meadows, an enclave of 11 Regency-style homes nearby.


Bayview House is unique, though. Sitting pretty on the corner of Meadow Close and Newtownpark Avenue, the house is impressive but not imposing, fitting the couple’s idea of having the house stand out in just the right way. A gravel drive has room for several cars, and the double garage has room for at least three classic cars – and a bike or two.

Entering the through a pillared portico – the pillars reclaimed from an old railway station – you stand in a wide, double-height hallway, and your eye is immediately drawn up to the lovely stained-glass atrium through which the light pours in from 27ft up. At night time, with the uplights on in the hall, the atrium looks particularly magical, says Laura.

You also immediately notice the intricate cornicing and ceiling roses which have been painstakingly created to give the house its sense of 19th-century grandeur. The couple say they “went to town” on the coving and cornicing: with the detail repeated throughout the house, it looks like that was a pretty big town.

To the right of the hall is a grand drawingroom, with big marble fireplace and high ceilings, and to the left is a study/libary/family room with a sandstone fireplace.

With the period details all in place, including sash windows, it’s easy to imagine these rooms having been here since the mid-1800s and not the mid-noughties. Rooms on the ground floor boast ceiling heights of 12ft, well able to take a large Christmas tree.

Double doors lead into the diningroom and kitchen to the rear. This part of the house is perfect for entertaining guests, and it’s no surprise to hear the house has been rented by both the embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho and more recently by the US embassy to house top officials.

The house has a sense of security – officials could drive straight into the automated garage, and go through the utility room and into the kitchen, says David.

Solid oak floors run throughout the house, and the underfloor heating and internal vacuum system are two features the Victorians would really have appreciated. The Ber is D1.

The garden is modest but functional and private, wrapping around the house, and busy diplomats won’t have much work to do in maintaining it.

The upstairs landing looks down over the hall, and there are two hooks on the upper wall where the Stars & Stripes and the tricolour used to hang side by side when the US embassy’s second-in-command was a tenant here. This would be the perfect place to put a big tapestry and give the hall your personal touch.

There are five double bedrooms upstairs, with a big marble fireplace in the main bedroom and room for a sofa. The house has been staged by The Interiors Project, so you get a good idea of the elegant living afforded by this space.

All bedrooms have en suite bathrooms, and there is also a main family bathroom. The fifth bedroom is accessed via a short staircase off the first floor, and feels sufficiently separate to be used as a home office/art studio, with views out to Dublin Bay and nearby Glendower House.

Above the garage is another large space that can be used as a home cinema, home gym or a den for teenagers.

The couple lived in the house themselves when they first built it. “You have to live in a place to really get an idea how it’s going to work practically,” says David. But now it’s ready for another family to make their own, and live in grand old style with all the modern comforts.

Bayview House, which covers 322sq m (3,466sq ft) plus a garage of 81sq m (870sq ft) is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald, asking €2.15 million.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist