The exterior of number 29 Garville Avenue in Rathgar, with its detailed door frame and shiny four-glazed windows, signals something special in the two-story Victorian red brick. And true readers of interior design magazines may recognize the award-winning design by Ash Wilson, who won the Living Space – Europe category in the 2020 International Design and Architecture Awards. Number 29 is about two-thirds along the tree-lined road that connects Rathgar Road and Rathgar Avenue, with a mix of period houses in pairs and terraces far away from it.
The owners have lived here since 2009, when they renovated the house – “a love job” – and built a wide, bright L-shaped kitchen and playroom across the back, designed by architect Pat Kerr, then from Brazil Associates. Ten years later, with a larger family, they engaged Wilson to reconfigure the interior space according to their changing needs; she opened it up to integrate the playroom with L, changed glass, enlarged the ceiling lights, added a quiet dramatic gas fire and planned the kitchen, which was built by Jonathan Williams.
In addition to these great things, her award-winning design also included adjustments and touches that make it all sit together seamlessly: thick door handles, herringbone floors from Hardwood Floor Company and lighting fixtures that, as she puts it, “celebrate the curve” of the kitchen ceiling rather than compete with the.
There is also drama in the colors; in the rear reception room, the ink blue walls, bookshelves and the ceiling, about 12 feet above, started the fine plaster work which is in fine condition given that the house is from 1860. The interconnected reception rooms, with the front room painted in an off-white color , makes a good party place, with its restrained furniture and large fireplaces (the house is Ber-free) that benefit from an integrated sound system.
The rear room, which leads on to the kitchen through large glass doors framed by the original architraves and shutters, is a cozy getaway; the front room overlooks the garden at the front through a bay window.
Outside the hall is a closet that was previously a bathroom but now swallows all coats, bags and shoes on the way to the kitchen. And behind it, which replaces the old slope, is a nicely decorated and mosaic-floor guest toilet and utility room, which has good attic storage. A door opens from here to the side aisle; go left for the isolated garage, now decorated as a gym and den, or go right for the garden.
Out here, a wide patio wraps around L, with a dining table – which reflects it inside the large panoramic window – and a sofa placed in front of the sun; the square southwest garden, 68 feet long, is mostly in grass with a playground at the end shaded by birches and a giant box.
When you look back at the extension and enter through the large sliding doors to the living room, it is easier to appreciate the curved roofline that sails above the island, where the brass goods provide subtle, cool modernity and the wooden units and pantry press with glass front are compensated by a Calacatta marble splash under a of two deep light wells.
A bedroom currently used as a study, with beautiful ribbed obscure glass panels in the double doors, occupies the extended upper floor and there is a horizontal window from which you can take in the treetops while sitting, or when you stand up you can admire the undulations of the zinc-clad kitchen fence.
Two double bedrooms face the front and two, including the largest, are at the rear; most have discreet fitted wardrobes and very appealing fireplaces. The delicate renovation also added ceiling lights to the double-phase roof to draw light from the north and south.
This fine-tuned family home, with 260 sqm (2,800 sqm) of well-thought-out space, is beautifully decorated for another family – the owners describe the road as very close, and since 2015 only four houses seem to have been sold. Number 29 is on the market through Mullery O’Gara with a starting price of 2.25 million euros.
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