The owners of Belvedere have kept this beautiful property close to its original design with period restoration, writes Trish Dromey
Some people set about transforming the properties that they buy, while others, like the owners of Belvedere on the Ballinacurra Road in Limerick, put a lot of effort into keeping them, as much as possible, the way they were.
A fine redbrick midterrace property built in 1890, Belvedere has all the exterior detailing and features of the Victorian era. Its three-sided canted bay window and round arch porch with elaborate leaf shaped stucco mouldings, are described in detail on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage website, which
laments the loss of its sash windows.
When the owners bought the property in 2011 it was very well preserved and, despite the replacement of the windows with PVC, had a huge number of original features.
“It had belonged to the same family for several generations,’’ reveals the owner, explaining that the kitchen and bathroom required work and the house needed upgrading to make it comfortable for 21st century living. “The biggest problem was draughts,’’ she adds.
The owners consulted their neighbours about the work they had done and carried out a lot of research before implementing changes which brought the BER rating up from an E3 to a B3,
which is exceptionally good for a property of its age.
“We put on external insulation on the walls on the side and at the rear and we took up the floorboards and put in high density insulation between the joists, “ she says, adding that the floors in living and dining room were re-laid with reclaimed timber.
“We liked the house because we wanted ‘old and interesting,’ with high ceilings and cornicing. “This has cornicing and picture rails, original flooring and three original fireplaces.
“When we took out some fitted wardrobes in the main bedroom we were pleasantly surprised to discover a cast iron fireplace behind it,’’ she reveals.
Once they had done insulating and rewiring they upgraded with an energy efficient gas heating systems and remodelled both the kitchen and bathroom.
Behind the front bay window is a high ceilinged sitting room connected by an archway to a dining room at the rear. Painted a neutral shade of grey green, the rooms have a number of original Victorian features including two attractive marble fireplaces.
Adding plantation shutters for privacy and light control as well as a stove for extra heat, the owners decorated with restraint, using a mix of modern and old style furniture and bringing in colour with paintings and prints on the walls.
The kitchen has kept its original quarry floor tiles while the dilapidated cupboards has been replaced with smart shaker style grey green units with a hardwood topped breakfast counter.
In the chimney breast a Falcon stove has taken the place of the broken AGA the owners found in 2011.
At the rear there is a single storey section with a small study/workroom as well as a utility room/ shower room tiled in black and white.
On the first floor there is a front facing master bedroom with period features including a cast iron fireplace and painted original floorboards which are found almost everywhere except the ground floor.
There is a second bedroom at the rear as well as a black and white bathroom, which is by far the most modern looking room in the entire house.
It still has the cast iron bathroom that was there when the couple bought the property but now has tree patterned wallpaper and a modern shower cubicle, wall cabinet and large mirror.
The second floor has two bedrooms including one, which is reinforced to use as a gym.
The dormer window at the front still has its original exterior cornicing.
Belvedere’s front garden has a pedestrian entrance with a cast iron gate while its long lawned garden at the rear has a garage with vehicular access on to the South Circular Road.
Located within a five minute walk from the Crescent Shopping Centre, the property is around two kilometers from the city centre and is within easy reach of local schools.
The couple, who bought the property in 2011 for €285,000 now need something smaller than a four bed house with over 1,700 sq ft of living space.
Seeking offers of €489,000, Frank Lyddy of Sherry FitzGerald is expecting strong demand for a sympathetically restored period house in a very central Limerick location which he says has charm and character as well as an impressive B3 energy rating.
VERDICT: A lot of work has gone in to making this a warm and comfortable home and effort has been expended on keeping it looking like a Victorian house which hasn’t had a lot of work done to it.