Look inside: Period elegance on one of Dublin 4′s most prestigious roads for €10m

Comfort, luxury and an abundance of space at Victoria House on Ailesbury Road

Address: Victoria House, 81 Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Price: €10,000,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
View this property on MyHome.ie

If you’re a lover of period style and elegance, you’ll find much to admire in this fine, fully refurbished house on one of Dublin’s most desirable streets. When it last went on the market, in 2014, Victoria House was in the top 10 most expensive house sales of the year, snapped up for €4.41 million, according to the Property Price Register. The buyers extensively remodelled and extended the house, sparing no expense to create a superb period home in walk-in condition with just about everything a wealthy buyer might demand, including a home cinema, a hidden games room, a sunroom, a bespoke Hampton conservatory, a richly appointed Clive Christian kitchen, and a self-contained two-bedroom guest apartment off to the side. There’s even a room dedicated solely to storage, completely wrapped in floor-to ceiling cupboard.

The owners lovingly restored all the coving, cornicing and ceiling roses, and got their engineers to reinforce the feature staircase; they also hired Bloom gold-medal-winning landscape architect Jane McCorkell to reimagine the magnificent south-facing back garden to make it a tranquil space for relaxing and al fresco dining. The garden backs on to four acres of grounds belonging to Danesfield, the German ambassador’s residence, so all you see behind Victoria House is a lush, green vista. A decade ago, this level of renovation would have cost a small fortune – if you were getting the same work done today, you’d need a pretty big fortune, so it’s a good thing that new owners will have absolutely nothing to do except settle in and enjoy this exquisite new chapter in their lives.

Number 81 Ailesbury Road is spread over a generous 550sq m (5,910sq m) of pure comfort and luxury, with no end of storage and living space, and is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald, asking €10 million. This will be one of the more expensive house sales in Dublin this season, although number 7 Ailesbury Road, another superb, completely refurbished period home, is going for a cool €12 million.

You enter the front garden of Victoria House via electronic security gates, and there is parking on the gravel drive for six cars, with charging points for electric vehicles. You go up railed granite steps to a pillared entrance porch with tiled floor and into a grand and gracious entrance hall, with ornate cornice, arch and stained glass window. Up a few steps to the left is the guest cloakroom/WC with lovely mosaic tiled floors timber-panelled walls with a mirror set in, and hanging and drawer space. To the right are the magnificent adjoining drawing room and dining room, separated by sliding double doors and both boasting intricate cornice work, centre rose and feature marble fireplace with cast-iron inset.

All the windows in this listed building have been skilfully replaced, including the twin sash windows to the front of the drawing room looking out on to Ailesbury Road. At the back of the dining room, a glazed French door leads out to cast-iron steps down to the back garden, which the owners installed.

At the end of the hall, the space opens out to an atrium-style reception area, with the feature staircase wrapped around it. Here’s where you’d put the 25ft Christmas tree when December comes. On the hall return to the back is a cosy living/family room leading in to a classic, light-filled kitchen filled with an extensive range of Clive Christian wall and floor units that chime nicely with the period features. There’s a large island and lots of white marble worktops, plus a four-oven Aga, a large larder and integrated glazed display cabinets, plus a Miele dishwasher and Fisher & Paykel fridge-freezer. The kitchen had been moved from its traditional garden level spot to this former reception room by the previous owners. The current owners considered moving it back down, but realised that this configuration brought the whole hall level to life, so they put in a classic kitchen with ornate details that would blend beautifully with the existing cornicing.

From the kitchen you step into the double-height Hampton conservatory, which has glass on all sides and above, making it the perfect summer spot to relax. A three-sided gas fire ensures the conservatory is also warm and cosy during the winter months. From here, another set of cast-iron steps lead down to the back garden.

On the first-floor return is a shower room with more of that tasteful mosaic tiling on the floor, and walls partly tiled in marble. The bedroom at this level has original cast-iron fireplace and two windows looking out to the back garden, and is being used as a home office.

The luxurious main bedroom suite on the first floor runs the width of the house, and has a beautiful custom-built wardrobe with hand-painted silk panels. A discreet door leads in to a gorgeous en suite with mosaic tiled floor and four-claw roll-top bath, recessed WC, and twin wash-hand basins set in a timber vanity unit. There’s also a very large walk-in wardrobe/dressingroom with an added attraction – a big make-up storage unit concealed behind the mirrored end wall. The second bedroom – a large double – looks out to the back garden and has a feature fireplace and an en suite. On the second-floor return is another bedroom looking out to the back garden.

There’s a lot going on at garden level in number 81. Busy families can enter the house through the covered side passage and into the downstairs hall. To the front is a large utility room, plus a handy shower room and WC. At the end of the utility room, where the coal bunker used to be, is a nice, cool wine cellar. The fifth and sixth bedrooms – both doubles, one with en suite – are at this level, one looking out to the front, the other looking out to the back. The great thing about Victoria House is that the garden level really is the garden level, and not a basement. To the rear at garden level is the bootroom that is a complete storage area, and behind a hidden door is the games room, which leads out to a sunroom – the lower storey of the Hampton conservatory.

To the left of the side passage is the latest addition to Victoria House: a self-contained luxury guest apartment, which measures 60sq m (527sq ft). It has its own hall, an open-plan kitchen/living/dining area with patio door opening out to the back garden, two bedrooms and a shower room/WC, and would make a great granny flat or living quarters for an au pair. There’s also a garage adjoining the apartment.

At the end of the back garden is another nice feature: a small, charming summer house with wifi connection, ideal as a kids’ playhouse or a yoga/gym area.

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