Heritage meets modernity in Donnybrook five-bed for €1.6m

Extended Ber-exempt property has a big garden and is set over three floors

Address: 95 Marlborough Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Price: €1,600,000
Agent: DNG Donnybrook
View this property on MyHome.ie

This charming home on Marlborough Road in Donnybrook, built in 1861, showcases an eclectic mix of heritage and modernity. Spread over three floors with a generous extension, lots of design surprises and a large garden divided into different areas, this is a great family home; it has five bedrooms, two bathrooms and a total area of 210sq m (2,260sq ft).

Well set back from the road, the gravelled front drive provides off-street parking for three cars. The granite steps leading up to a blue front door have been retanked; the door opens onto a hallway with blue carpet and wine-red walls, a striking colour scheme Jane, the owner, has replicated throughout the house.

She and her late husband bought the house in 1979 when their four boys were attending schools nearby, “the location of the house was perfect,” she says, and they added the extension in the 1980s. The couple used a conservation architect and were keen to keep the heritage and character of the 1861 home intact.

To the left of the hall are two interconnected reception rooms; the Ber-exempt house faces southeast so there is great light throughout the day in these dual-aspect rooms. The marble fireplaces are original, as are the coving, cornices, ceiling roses, windows and shutters.


“The upstairs room are so bright I can see how Victorian people moved around the house throughout the day, following the sun, it was very clever really,” says Jane.

Downstairs is a red high-gloss kitchen that came from IKEA in 2010 and is counterpointed by a grey mosaic tile. With a host of children running through the house, the double doors between the kitchen and livingroom on the ground floor were taken out to create one connected, welcoming room that worked brilliantly for casual suppers.

The extension has a large bathroom, which also makes use of the red palette, and two bedrooms with parquet herringbone floors. Access to the garden starts with a pretty courtyard, continues through a designed secret garden and ends with a collection of trees and shrubs including Catalonian jasmine, cinnamon rose, mahonia, oleaster, bearberry cotoneaster and Japanese skimmia.

Upstairs are three bedrooms and a family bathroom at the top of the house. Handsome bespoke wardrobes in the principal bedroom fit in with the heritage of the rooms as the joiner decided to reflect the moulding as he built them. A birch tree here taps gently on the window which might be a tad too Wuthering Heights for some but irresistible to others, as it was to the owners; they adored how it filtered the light through its leaves during the summer.

Jane is selling the house to downsize but says it will break her heart to leave. “I know and love all my neighbours. The house ticks all the boxes for me, I always went with an eclectic, shabby-chic look that suited it so well. It was a happy family home, it always had a lovely vibe.”

Number 95 Marlborough Road is now on the market through DNG seeking €1.6 million.

Miriam Mulcahy

Miriam Mulcahy

Miriam Mulcahy, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property