The seamless lines between a new kitchen extension and the back garden at 23 Hollybank Avenue Lower in Ranelagh allowed the family who live here to celebrate Christmas dinner outside during lockdown. “It worked out really well as we had my mother and father-in-law over. We all wore our ski gear and as it’s such a sheltered area and gets westerly sun, we had a really good day,” says the owner, referring to the new composite deck area.
The Newcastle-designed kitchen is the hub of this home, which is just a seven-minute walk to the popular village of Ranelagh. A lovely feature is an entire wall of hidden presses lurking behind wooden panelling that runs along the left-hand side of the kitchen. You would be forgiven for thinking that this is just for aesthetics but, in fact, this is where each of the three children who currently live here have separate lockers to store their stuff, allowing the 137sq m (1,475sq ft) house to be streamlined and clutter-free.
It is really a lovely home and the off-white palette – with Little Greene’s French Grey Pale in the kitchen – really bounces light inside. It provides a super backdrop allowing colour from art and furniture to take centre stage. Some of the family’s vast collection of books are stored within new built-in units in the front drawingroom overlooking the front garden, which is framed by a maple tree with Chinese wisteria providing bursts of purple around the new front door in early summer.
The family undertook quite a bit of work since they purchased their home back in 2007. Firstly they converted what had earlier been described as an airing cupboard upstairs into a bathroom, a convenient move when they had an au pair after baby number one arrived.
The main job undertaken was the kitchen extension: “When we bought there was a bathroom at the back. The kitchen wasn’t well laid out and the rear deck was broken.” They credit Ronan Carey of Newcastle Design for suggesting they plumb and electrify a shed in the back garden to house the washing machine and dryer. Indeed many will appreciate the lack of noise that laundry machines generate to keep up with a family of five, and with the back garden feeling like a room itself, it’s just a few steps away.
Along with a new front door, they also upgraded windows in the attic: “McMullan & O’Donnell Windows [from Dungannon in Northern Ireland] were amazing. They drove down in the early morning, never even stopped for a cup of tea, and had all the windows fitted in the one day. I was really impressed as our engineer had told us it would be a tricky job.”
There is a great flow through the house from the drawingroom through a central livingroom and into the kitchen. There is also direct access from the hallway to the kitchen, which allows privacy in these elegant rooms as they can be closed off if necessary.
Upstairs the principal bedroom occupies the entire width of the house, so the room is bathed in light thanks to two large windows, one of which is a bay. Two further bedrooms, a single and a double, also occupy this level.
On the second floor the converted attic would make a fine home office, and this level also has a new bathroom.
The owners will miss the neighbourhood they have called home for the past 16 years. “It’s such a friendly place; all the kids play together on the street and there is an annual carols for charity at Christmas,” they say. Their Hollybank home, which has a Ber of D2, is now on the market through DNG, seeking €975,000.