By Ruth Kennelly

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Forma Interiors Magazine, Volume 3 Issue 3.

Living the high life.

Apartment dwelling in Dublin has, until recently, been a matter of compromise. As the cost of real estate and labour increased so did the compromise. The design desires of architects and designers were regularly hampered by the reality of construction costs, leading to below standard accommodation.

Mountbrook Homes, the developer behind the apartment complex entitled Hollybrook on Brighton Road in Foxrock could have continued this tradition but instead they chose to adopt a different approach “We want to offer the best, no expense was spared in the show homes” explains Frank O’Donovan of Mountbrook, “there is nothing like it anywhere in Ireland.”

 if only we all had the chance to enjoy the high life

So what’s different about Mountbrook? As one of the residents noted “it is the nearest to an American standard of accommodation” in Ireland. The walnut paneled entrance lobby with its pale limestone floor and de rigueur concierge gives the impression of a plush New York hotel.

According to Matt Greene of Architects Campbell Conroy Hickey Partnership, a different Interior Designer was commissioned for each of the three show apartments in order to develop homes that would be suited to various life styles. For instance a fusion of New England / Regency was selected to decorate one of the show apartments. It’s pale palette of muted pinks, purples and creams complement the grey felt wall coverings, regency striped fabrics, canvas and gingham perfectly to create a light, airy, delicate interior.

The kitchens throughout the development display an array of high specification materials such as galaxy black granite countertops and fully integrated appliances. The bathrooms are awash with marble and limestone, their wall-hung sanitary suites enhancing the luxury feel of a top end hotel. One of the master bedrooms in the show apartments has been treated to a mirrored wall on one side, which adds greatly to the sense of space. In the living room pale limestone fireplaces from Belle Cheminee, large enough to balance the proportions of the rooms, blend effortlessly into the overall scheme. Texture is a well considered element in these show homes, with canvas, satin, felt, wool and wood excellent employed through out the space.

Security has become an imperative feature in the design of contemporary apartments, with CCTV a regular sight in the car parks of city centre developments. Hollybrook has left no stone unturned in this area. With a sizeable percentage of residents expected to live overseas for part of the year, 24-hour security, with CCTV, alarm, access control, personal security safes and lock-up facilities, has been provided for each and every apartment. In order to soften the defensive edge, the developers have fitted internal alarms in the apartments, which greets dwellers with a ‘good morning’ when they arise.

It is hard to believe that out of the large site of a family home, were born 44 luxury apartments, varying in size from 117 sq.m to 360 sq.m, and a substantial garden. Light and space are used to great effect in Hollybrook, with the large deciduous trees surrounding the development adding further interest to the all ready stunning views. According to Matt Greene, the development was designed with the original foliage in mind. The landscaped gardens have a seasonal theme to ensure a perennial array of colour.

It is truly stunning what can be achieved with one million Euro, if only we all had the chance to enjoy the high life. Although In the current climate, where the building of new homes is almost over-supplying demand, high-spec properties are beginning to slowly appear. Rumour has it that, due to rising competition, builders have to offer real value for money and higher standards of construction to simply stay in the game. It may be awhile before other Dublin developments can rise to Hollybrook’s level of design and final finishing but expectations and standards have certainly been re-established.


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