The open-plan kitchen in this restored €895k Ranelagh home is sociable and well-designed

‘The best thing about living here,” says Cathy McKenna, “is that life is almost completely pedestrian! We walk absolutely everywhere – the school run is three minutes on foot, we walk to the shops, the park, and in to town for work. We only have one car and we hardly use it. It’s actually the thing that most bothers me about moving further out of town to get more space, that we won’t be able to do everything on foot. We are definitely bracing for change.”

Cathy and her husband, Justin, bought their semi-detached, double-fronted Victorian period house on Killeen Road, off Dunville Avenue, in the heart of Ranelagh, back in late 2011. According to the Property Price Register, the purchase price back then was €410,000. Now, “three babies later”, as Cathy puts it, their immaculate home is on the market and the McKennas are on the hunt for a larger house and a garden in which three boisterous little boys will have plenty of room to kick balls, bounce on trampolines and generally burn off all the excess energy. All credit to Cathy and Justin that a relatively small house that’s home to a family of five looks as picture perfect as it does.

No 4 is in what estate agents like to describe as ‘turnkey’ condition, ready for new owners to move straight in and unpack their boxes. As such, it’s not likely to hang around for long. Family homes in Dublin 6 are experiencing their moment in the sun at the moment, according to Jane Young of Youngs Auctioneers.

“Anything that’s in walk-in condition is absolutely flying,” she says, “with multiple parties bidding and strong prices being achieved. The location and the convenience are key. We’re seeing a mixture of cash buyers and those buying with a combination of cash and mortgage finance. We’ve had a number of recent purchasers relocating from the UK, so there’s a Brexit factor at play. Properties in need of work are slower to shift, because people are nervous about how much building work is going to cost, and how long it’s going to take.”

The McKennas renovated and extended their house immediately after they purchased and moved in during the spring of 2012. The work has resulted in a BER of B3, very toasty for a period house.

Architect Larry Pierce, a family friend, worked with the couple on the project, and designed the small extension to the rear of the house on the left-hand side. The impact of this extension is that, turning left from the entrance hall, one enters directly into one long open-plan room, with an area to sit and relax to the front, the kitchen in the middle, and the dining area to the back, with bi-folding doors opening from here out to the small garden. This is low-maintenance, thanks to an artificial grass lawn and planting that looks after itself. An awning makes this a shady space for children when the sun is too strong, and the pedestrian side access is handy for bringing bicycles in and out.

The open-plan kitchen/dining/living space is sociable and well-designed, facilitating the person cooking to keep an eye on children playing and chat with anyone sitting at the table; it looks not just smart but magazine ready. The kitchen has bags of storage and counter space. Off the kitchen is a utility area with under-stairs storage and laundry appliances, and a handy family bathroom with a corner shower.

To the right of the entrance hall is a more grown-up sitting room, with an attractive fireplace, to which Cathy and Justin can retreat when the children are in bed. Upstairs there are three double bedrooms and a family bathroom. The attic is accessed via a Stira staircase.

“I used to live in the area when I was a student,” says Cathy, “but I didn’t realise until we moved to Killeen Road what a great sense of community there is. We have really lovely neighbours and we are going to miss them.”

Dunville Avenue has excellent shops. There’s Morton’s, of course, but also The Best of Italy, and Green Beards. The revitalised Swan Centre in nearby Rathmines is the place to head for a supermarket shop.

Agent Youngs (01) 497 5581

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