The village of Ranelagh is known for its shops, bookstores, restaurants, gourmet grocery stores and other independent businesses. But from 1777 until its closure in 1897, the largest company in the area was Toole’s Nurseries, which specialized in trees and covered about 12 acres (30 acres) in the area formerly known as Cullenswood, west of the village, as Deirdre Kelly describes in her book Four Roads to Dublin. The entrance to the nursery from the main road was on the corner of what became Ashfield Road (the trees live on in the names of the neighboring streets, built on the nurseries at the beginning of the 20th century).
Ashfield Road is now one-way from the intersection near the Beechwood Luas stop and since the lock, according to Jerome and Patricia who own number 18, the morning rush has almost disappeared. There is a car park on the road but it is ideal for cycling everywhere, as they do; their purpose-built bicycle storage is protected by hedges in the garden in the middle of the terrace.
Inside, there is a lesson in how to respectfully restore and freshen up a period home. When they bought it 13 years ago, they used their professional knowledge – she city planner, he graphic designer – to create a bright kitchen / dining room that ends on the same building line as the old return and outbuildings, and takes up the full width of the plot. From here, the morning sun shines a welcome light along the hall and looks out onto the private, well-stocked garden where sparrows chirp above.
The kitchen, a style without handles from Kube, has smart details, including a layout on the bar counter / bookshelf / island that makes you unable to see the cooking tube from the dining table, and a long glass splash plate that is easy to clean and reflects light; the newly laid white marble floor does the same job, absorbs sound and feels soft underfoot. In addition to sliding doors, there are three ceiling lights, each 2 m by 3.5 m, which provide light into the center room and the smartly configured interior utility room. Under the stairs there is a pantry and a guest toilet.
Wooden stairs lead up from the kitchen / living room to the original part of the house, and from here you look out the window to the greenery beyond. The middle room has custom shelves and a desk for homework; it is painted in a cozy, enveloping Templar gray and opens through folding doors to the front room. Both reception rooms have gas fireplaces in matching stone fireplaces from Buckleys, and hardwood floors run throughout. The front room is painted in an and-eggy Blue Folly by Colortrend, and Patricia says she finds it especially restful to read here in the evenings in the western light.
Upstairs are three bedrooms; the first, outside the hemisphere, is a cute single with a cherry blossom wall pattern. It has smart fitted wardrobes with wooden doors Jerome designed in the middle of the century. A longer series of these takes up a wall in the master bedroom at the front, which benefits from two large windows, and a square stained glass window at the top of the stairs “throws beams of purple over the ledge,” says Jerome. For a mezzanine terrace house, it’s really bright; the bathroom here, and in the family bathroom, is gilded by Velux.
There are decorative cast iron fireplaces in the bedroom and in the second double room at the back; even with these, the new insulation and windows have given a B of B3. The family is moving to get an extra bedroom and has placed their home of 168 sqm (1,808 sqm) on the market through DNG at a starting price of 1.475 million euros.
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