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Art deco original in Foxrock with designer Finnish for €2.95m

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Birchfield, originally an art deco-style house built in the 1940s, was purchased 17 years ago by its current owners with the intention of revamping it completely to maximise the interior light and space. After 1½ years living there to get a sense of the place architect John Meagher of de Blacam & Meagher Architects was commissioned to redesign the house.

Down came the 1980s pitched roof added by a previous owner. Now Birchfield is a striking white L-shaped house with lots of floor-to-ceiling windows and doors positioned right in the middle of lush gardens: inside, the design is simple without being sterile, with white walls and pale oak floors; rugs, art and indoor plants add colour. Outside, limestone terraces and patios filled with flowerpots surround the house, beside a large lawn edged by colourful raised plant beds, tree ferns and mature trees.

Meagher’s design was influenced by a famous Finnish house, Villa Mairea, designed by modernist architect Alvar Aalto in 1938, says the owner. But the garden was given a Moroccan flavour seven years ago by landscape designer Damien Keane when he redesigned a covered outdoor area just outside the kitchen/family room as an outdoor room with a fireplace, lamps, lanterns, urns, dimmable lighting and colourful cushions.

Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Kitchen at Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Kitchen at Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18

At the end of a small lane off Westminster Road, the 428sq m (4,607sq ft) five-bed with a separate 54sq m (581sq ft) one-bed studio on 3,500sq m (0.87 acres) is very private, but still within easy walking distance of Foxrock village. The small studio’s livingroom looks out on to Foxrock golf course. Owner Barry says that with the children nearly grown a six-bed home will soon be too large for their needs and the property is now for sale through Daphne Kaye seeking €2.95 million.

Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18

The double height L-shaped entrance hall of Birchfield gives an immediate sense of a bright, spacious house. There’s a striking open-tread staircase beside floor-to-ceiling windows; straight ahead are the main living quarters, to the right is a TV/games room with a bedroom off it.

The wide drawingroom has, like all the downstairs rooms, solid oak doors and wide plank pale oak flooring. A raised fireplace has a simple timber mantel over it; doors in a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows open onto the garden and a concealed sliding door opens into a small diningroom. Double doors from here lead across a hall to the large open-plan kitchen/breakfast/family room.

The Poggenpohl kitchen has a large island unit, topped like the rest of the worktops with grey Corian. It has lots of storage and a stainless steel double sink. The kitchen area has a tiled floor, but the breakfast room area, which comfortably accommodates a large timber table, is oak-floored. More floor-to-ceiling windows and doors look onto the garden.

Next to the breakfast room, around the corner from the kitchen, is a cosy family space with a raised coal-effect gas fire: this space opens directly into the covered loggia outside – the inside fireplace is directly behind the outside wood-burning fireplace.

A cloakroom/bootroom beside the front door opens into a good-sized utility room which also leads into the kitchen.

The downstairs also features a home office/study with fitted shelves and patio doors to the garden, a bathroom fully-tiled with pale Travertine tiles and the large dual aspect TV/games room with fitted wall-to-wall storage and a concealed screen and projector. The double bedroom is beside it.

Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, all with floor-to-ceiling fitted wardrobes with oak doors. The main bedroom has a fully-tiled en suite with a shower, marble-surround bath and recessed TV as well as a narrow Poliform walk-in wardrobe. Another bedroom has a balcony overlooking the garden and another looks onto a sedum-planted roof.

Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Birchfield, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18

The detached studio has a double garage and a storage room downstairs. Cream-carpeted stairs lead up to a dual aspect livingroom with a balcony overlooking Foxrock golf course’s 8th fairway. There’s a kitchenette between this room and a double bedroom.

There are many seating areas on patios and terraces around the house. Steps over a water feature lead across the lawn to a small archway in a wooded area; this opens into the driveway near the front gates. Designer Keane continues to maintain the garden. The gravelled driveway that circles up from the electronic entrance gates to the front of the house has plenty of room for parking.

Birchfield has a CCTV security system, underfloor heating and surround sound; the house has a C1 BER rating, the studio has a D2.

The property sits at the end of a small lane off Westminster Road off which are four houses – the others include Furzefield, Gorsefield and Thornfield. The last house, lavishly refurbished in 2002, made headlines when owners who bought it in 2017 for €2.475 million sought – and were given – planning permission to demolish and replace it in November 2019.

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