“I never drove a child of mine to school,” says Mary Byrne, whose sons and daughters attended St Pius X national schools, Our Lady’s School and Terenure College, all within a few hundred metres of their home at 111 Fortfield Road in Terenure, Dublin 6W.
The family bought the 1930s house, which was named Darragh, in 2001, and in 2006 set about renovating and upgrading it to modern standards with far-sighted underfloor heating; the Ber is C3. They extended sideways and upwards to incorporate the garage, and created a fine home for a growing family, with 279sq m (3,003sq ft), five bedrooms and a large attic room. With most of the children grown, the house is now on the market through DNG with an asking price of €1.7 million.
The front garden is 20m (66ft) wide, with grass and gravel and an abundance of pots and a wrought-iron side gate in a brick arch. The extension matches the original part of the semi-detached house, so it is double-fronted, with double bay windows on each side of the classic 1930s round-headed porch.
The door, with original leaded window panes, opens into a wide, marble-tiled hall with light coming from upstairs through metal banisters that Byrne installed to replace the original solid wooden panels. She designed and decorated the house as a showcase for her interior design business, which she had set up in Rathfarnham Shopping Centre in 1999.
The creamy marble floor continues to the right into the newer part of the house, where there is a sitting area in the bay to the front, and a second bay faces the side garden. An L-shaped sofa fronts a gas fire in the middle section, which is open to a large kitchen/diningroom with ample cream-painted wooden units and an island, all topped with marble. There are lots of rooflights and a big window over the sink. Off this, to the right, are a guest toilet and a storage lobby, with a door to the side garden.
The kitchen opens to a glassy sunroom from which you can go back through the livingroom, Byrne’s favourite spot for cosy evenings in front of the TV, and through another set of half-glass double doors to the front sittingroom; both of these rooms have modern polished marble fireplaces with open fires.
The whole of the downstairs is interconnected, with bonus space on the pretty veranda that runs across the back of the house, offering shade and shelter all year round. “I’m out here every day from April to September,” says Byrne, recalling barbecues, family parties and evening get-togethers heated by a wood-burner. The southwest-facing garden exceeds 30m (100ft) and mature trees along the boundary walls give a very countrified feel as it is not overlooked.
Back inside, the stairs split at the turn, with the main bathroom and an en suite bathroom in the newer part to the right. The main bedroom is to the front in the original bay, and there are three more good-sized bedrooms. New owners might consider turning the two back bedrooms into a main suite, with dressingroom and bathroom.
At the top of the second staircase is a huge bright room, lit by one large Velux, that Byrne says each of the children got to use depending on who was doing exams.
Number 111 is close to the junction with Greenlea Road, across the road from Lakelands Park on the college grounds and a stick’s throw from Bushy Park. At this end of Greenlea Road is Smyths’ shop and post office, The Favourite, and Terenure village is at the other end; the area is well served by buses.
Across the road, in the grounds of Terenure College, Lioncor’s proposal for a housing development that includes 364 apartments across four blocks and 21 houses is the subject of first- and third-party planning appeals, on which a decision is expected from An Bord Pleanála in December.