Entering number 14 Chelmsford Avenue in Ranelagh, Dublin 6, is a bit like walking into a shop that’s full of carefully chosen items arranged perfectly, as if styled for a magazine. The pale green front door opens directly into a sunny, southeasterly square room painted the same colour, which sets a restful tone and, like the blond floorboards, unifies the property upstairs and downstairs, inside and out.
Since buying the two-bed, mid-terraced redbrick in 2008, the owners have combined their imaginative flair with the skilled excellence of Wedge Design to maximise its 77sq m (829sq ft). They have undertaken renovations and improvements, from painting the interiors and replacing the windows in the early days to insulating the attic, repointing the brickwork and reworking the bathroom in 2012, to fitting a new kitchen in 2016. It feels much cosier than the D2 Ber implies; the property is for sale through Owen Reilly, asking €750,000.
The owners’ relationship with Wedge began when they commissioned a storage unit, sideboard, kitchen table and bedside lockers, and the craftsman’s background in industrial design is evident in the bespoke kitchen. Precisely detailed plywood units have pop-out doors and drawers with a pale blue/grey veneer, while the floor-to-ceiling units on the middle wall are fronted with oak in a timeless mid-century style.
Light flows through an original northwesterly window and bounces off the white Corian worktop, where notches cut on a slant form a pristine draining board on the peninsula that divides this space from the dining area.
The high-quality fittings include tiles from Fired Earth: sky-blue subways on the splashback, and vibrant encaustic tiles on the diningroom floor. This room, part of the original return, is lit by newish full-height windows and double doors to the pretty patio garden, where whitewashed and granite walls contrast with carefully arranged pots and plants in what feels like a lovely party-overspill space.
Previous owners moved the stairs to the inner corner of the livingroom, and more space-saving tricks are on show – and sometimes concealed – upstairs. A big bedroom at the back has a raised ceiling and a lowered floor, with storage behind a door and a lovely green view over the carefully kept gardens of Berystede on Leeson Park.
A room beside this is too small to count as a bedroom but has a window and enough space for a sofa and storage. Beside this the bathroom has crisp white wooden cupboards and tiles, and blue panelling; the shower is over the bath and the washing machine is under the hot-press. A steel ladder leads up to a mezzanine workspace in the converted attic, with bookshelves as balustrades and two Veluxes above.
At the front the main bedroom is also painted that soft green and has a cute cast-iron fireplace. The window looks out to the quiet avenue, a short T off Chelmsford Road, with lanes and boundaries marked on the first Ordnance Survey – and shadows of the Swan river – surviving in the streetscape.
At one end is an entrance to Ranelagh Gardens, a one-hectare haven for wildlife and local people that was laid out in 1769 and is most famous for an event that took place on January 19th, 1785. From here Richard Crosbie took flight in a hydrogen-fuelled balloon, which he landed across the bay in Clontarf, and his feat is honoured by a statue in the park. It’s also echoed in the quirky wallpaper of Seagreen boutique, which is just up the road amid Ranelagh’s many amenities – countless cafes, restaurants and pubs, two supermarkets, a bookshop and pharmacies, as well as primary and secondary schools, the Luas and frequent buses.