Starchitect Dermot Bannon acquired such a activity aback his new Dublin home was the accountable of a bifold adventure of RTE’s Allowance To Improve aftermost January that bodies came from far and advanced to bolt a glimpse of his anew made-over celebrity abode.
hile 640,000 admirers followed the transformation on TV, for some time afterwards, the commonly quiet Valentia Alley in the arctic burghal suburb of Drumcondra was awash with acquisitive sightseers axis up to bastard a blink at Chez Bannon for themselves.
As the post-broadcast course of interlopers eventually ebbed, tranquillity alternate to the arctic Dublin artery breadth houses were originally congenital for baronial civilian agents in the 1930s. Facing the breadth of Corpus Christi Abbey to the advanced and with actual ample breadth to the rear, Valentia Alley is breadth abounding locals aspire to live.
Bannon, who confused from Bantry Road, which is aloof one alley over, is not the alone bounded who got to fulfil the dream of affective there. His neighbour, Carol Quinn, who lives a few doors abroad in Number 19, consistently admired the houses aback she was younger, growing up on adjacent Joyce Road.
“Dermot’s a gentleman,” she says. “He absolutely is awfully nice and he did a arresting job on his house. He should be appreciative of himself.”
The aforementioned could be said of Carol, who took on a affecting adapt of her own home in 2003. Her admirable architecture continued the abode to 3,487 sq ft – over three times its aboriginal admeasurement – with a added 280 sq ft in the attic.
“No improvements had been fabricated to the acreage for 70 years, so it was in its original, ancient state,” recalls Carol. “I capital big and ablaze open-plan spaces with lots of ablaze and allowance for ancestors and accompany to gather.”
The access was repositioned and the aboriginal kitchen angry into a ample hallway. To the right, bifold doors advance to a academic active and dining allowance overlooking the abbey grounds. A few accomplish advance bottomward to a cosy ancestors allowance with anesthetized doors aperture on to one of two alveolate paved patios to the rear.
Carol has a attitude of elimination the ancestors allowance of appliance and installing tables and chairs to board over 40 continued ancestors associates for Christmas dinner. In summer, it’s all out to the aback for barbecues and garden parties.
During the renovation, Carol salvaged some adorned marble and sandstone arches and columns from St Peter’s Abbey in adjacent Phibsborough.
“They came from one of the old confessional boxes,” she says. “I affianced a Portuguese stonemason, a cool craftsman, to book the sandstone and bout the axial cavalcade of the archway, which now frames the access amid the ancestors allowance and the kitchen.”
The country-style kitchen, with alveolate beam and balk beams, has a ample axial island with blubbery Iroco copse top. Aboriginal red brick salvaged from McKee Barracks is acclimated on affection walls in the ancestors room, kitchen and in the garden.
There’s addition dining allowance in the conservatory to the rear, a arena attic battery allowance and a garage/storage area. Upstairs, the capital bedchamber has a alveolate beam with balk beams, ensuite bath and a balustrade overlooking the aback garden. There are three added ample bifold bedrooms, one ensuite, and a ancestors bathroom.
Outside, aloft the two west-facing patios which get all-day sun, the lawned aback garden, belted by copse and shrubs, stretches to 323ft.
“The garden was abundant aback the accouchement were young,” Carol remembers. “My two girls were mad into camogie and my son into hurling, so we put up 25ft goalposts and they had their pals over and played to their hearts’ content.
“Now the accouchement are developed and I’m downsizing aural the area. I like to airing up to the apple or booty George, my abundant Dane, for walks forth Dollymount Strand. I may break in Drumcondra or move a little afterpiece to the sea, but not too far abroad – and absolutely northside.
“We’ve been abnormally blessed here. Our home has affection and body and, aloft all, it’s lived in. It’s a showstopper, not a showpiece.”
Located off Griffith Avenue, Valentia Alley is a stone’s bandy from bounded shops in Drumcondra Apple and aural walking ambit of the city. The No 11 bus runs to the burghal centre and a host of schools and third-level colleges are aural accessible reach, while the National Botanic Breadth is 2km away.
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