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Split decision – Dublin 8 redbrick brought back to life by clever redesign that turns conventional city cottage layout on its head

47 Arnott Street, Portobello, Dublin 8 Asking price: €725,000 Agent: Felicity Fox (01) 6334431

oshan Firouz always loved the character of older houses and never thought she would go for anything else when it came to where to called home. So, when she saw No 47 Arnott Street in Dublin 8, she was surprised by how much the sleek exterior appealed to her.

No 47 was one of four derelict cottages that were brought back to life, with a very contemporary twist, in 2010. Ropewalk Developments, with the help of RKD Architects, changed the entire look of the row when they replaced the top half of the redbrick façade with black panelling.

Inside, the traditional cottage layout was turned on its head, quite literally. Levels have been added so that the living areas are on the ground floor, with a bedroom below and another above. It was this innovative design that really won Firouz over.

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The dining room and winter garden

“The first time I saw photos of No 47, I loved the clean lines and the simplicity of the architecture,” she recalls. When she finally got to visit it in person, she was very impressed with what lay behind the dark exterior.

“I found the design of this modern house to be clean and simple. It amplified the space and made the house feel bright and airy. The design of the house is very well thought out and ingenious, to the point where on the north-facing full-length windows, I get light reflected from the windows of the Meath Care Centre, which is across the street.”

On entering, all is not quite as you would expect. Stairs down from the entrance hall lead down to a bedroom that has its own small terrace. Also on this level is a bathroom and a plant room, where the boiler and controls for the solar panels are kept.

Up a few steps from the hall is the living room and kitchen. The black kitchen units were designed by Maise Kitchens and are lit up by the stainless steel splashback. There is a gas fire in the living room and a Juliet balcony to the front, letting in extra light.

The dining area was elevated so that it now looks down on the kitchen. Overlooking the street on this level is a winter garden, with glass louvres on one side and a teak decking, with enough space for a small table and chairs and plants of course.

The design of the house worked well for Firouz . “I love the split-level in the living area which is so full of light with tall ceilings. The dining area with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto Arnott Street has become my reading room and office. In the winter I tend to read in the garden room, while during warm weather I love to sit out on the roof terrace.”

This terrace can be found when you go up another level in the house to the master bedroom. Here there is an en suite bathroom off the double bedroom and a large doorway out to the roof.

The original redbrick back wall of the house is joy to behold when you step out onto the roof and reminds you of just how far this building has come. Toughened glass balustrades make the most of the city view, with Trex decking underfoot, and planters and artificial hedging adding a bit of colour.

The old house with new interior has been brought up to a B1 BER rating thanks in part to the solar panels on the roof. After living in period homes her whole life, two years in No 47 has made Firouz realise that modern-day living isn’t so bad.

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The master bedroom with access to the terrace

“Having lived in older houses for so many years, I am now a complete convert to this more modern house. This house is well insulated and stays lovely and warm and never feels damp. It is such an easy house to live in.”

Her short time in her city pad is coming to an end, however. While she will always have a soft spot for Ireland, Firouz, who was born in Iran, is keen to move closer to her children who are living in different parts of the world.

One thing she is definitely going to miss is having the city on her doorstep. “The location of the house could not be better,” she says..

“There are so many lovely independent restaurants and cafes, and the Iveagh Gardens are a 10-minute walk away.”

The style of the house, coupled with the location, is sure to appeal to young couples. A stroll down Pleasants Street will take you right into the heart of Dublin’s restaurant scene. For brunch you’ve got the Cracked Nut, takeout dumplings from Double 8 could be on the menu for lunch, and if an afternoon pint is on the cards, Devitts is the place to go. In the evenings, this part of town is buzzing, with diners vying for an outdoor table in Las Tapas De Lola and friends meeting up for a drink in Camden Exchange.

Residents say the beauty of life on Arnott Street is that you can step away from the noise any time you like and walk a few streets away to the safety of your own home, knowing that you’ll never have to worry about queuing for a cab or missing the last bus again.

So life on this street can be as hectic or as quiet as you choose.

No 47 Arnott Street is for sale through agents Felicity Fox with a guide price of €725,000.

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