Accessed via granite steps, with two storeys to its front and three to the rear, No 59 Hollybank Road is an elegant, terraced house, and one of the finest properties on what is arguably Drumcondra’s most desirable street.
Built in 1886, this redbrick-fronted residence opens into a hallway where the original timber floorboards have been polished.
There are fine interconnecting reception rooms where the matching marble fireplaces and the original fold-back doors create a lovely sense of symmetry. The same amber-coloured floorboards are underfoot here and the extremely delicate coving is notable. The ceiling height is three metres. One room’s box bay frames and twin sash windows to the front provide a natural spot for furniture so you can easily accommodate two or three sofas here.
The dining room is to the rear and filled with mid-century furniture the owners sourced on eBay, including a pair of G-Plan 6250 swivel chairs of the same variety that accommodated villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the control centre of his Japanese volcano lair in the 1967 Bond film, You Only Live Twice.
Staying with the Bond theme, descending the stairs to garden level feels a bit like entering the lair of another of the secret agent’s nemeses. Here the poured concrete flooring by Concrete Concepts gives way to a large and superbly naturally-lit kitchen with walls of glazing on two sides.
There’s a family room to the left that is used by the current owners as a fourth bedroom and underfloor heating throughout. A wall of bamboo washes the space in soft green light and provides a privacy screen between it and the house next door.
The real star here is the kitchen island, where a Bora extractor has been set into a four-ring induction hob. It has been painted a deep marine blue and drops a level to connect with a mahogany-topped, mid-century table, the steel base of which has been powdercoated in the same rich shade. The design, by Alan Brown, also includes cabinetry that extends the length of the room and includes acres of storage, the secret to all tidy homes.
The house has four double bedrooms, the aforementioned at garden level, one on the hall level return and two more on the first floor. The main bedroom spans the width of the house and has been designed in the manner of a fine hotel room with its calacatta marble detailed en suite set behind the bed in a broken plan fashion that can be accessed from either side of the bed.
The house’s teak-clad extension, meanwhile, has a zinc roof and large Rayners’ aluminium glass sliding doors that open out to a patio and lawned garden.
The gardens of the homes on the north side of Hollybank Road are impressive. Extending to 41 feet and very private, the low boundary walls of number 59 allow for both western and eastern sun, with a sun-trap area in front of the large and discrete garage.
Measuring 33.5 sq m (360sq ft), and accessed down a level via a set of steps, this structure has stylish old steel windows, and offers the potential for conversion into an office space, with separate access via the lane to the rear. You could also turn it into a home gym or use it to house cars as the lane allows for vehicular access.
Acquired by the current owners for €440,000 in 2011, according to the property price register, today number 59 extends to 190sq m (2,045sq ft) and boasts an impressive B3 Ber rating. It is for available for sale through agent Sherry FitzGerald seeking €850,000.