Toys in the fireplace and a washing machine under the hob maximize this D6 tram pad

No7 Cormac Terrace, Terenure, Dublin 6W

asking price: €435,000

Agent: Moovingo (01) 5169995

By the 1920s, Terenure had become Dublin’s ‘tramway town’. It had three large tram depots on site and also large tranches of tram workers’ shacks, but if you were one of those tram workers,

Terenure was also a ‘small town’ because the notorious William Martin Murphy, owner of the Dublin United Tramways Company (DUTC), was notoriously short on cash.

Not only did he pay his tram workers well below par (which ultimately led to the 1913 lockout), but he housed his crews in much smaller houses than other Dublin transport workers could expect.


The open living room

Terenure’s main tram depot was located opposite St Joseph’s Church. It is now an Aldi and its two stone arches (for the trams in and out) can still be seen today.

The second DUTC depot was located on what is now the Terenure Library site. Finally, the Terenure to Blessington steam tram depot was next door. The latter operated road-rolling coal locomotives that pulled two short stub wagons behind them.

William Martin Murphy (he also founded this newspaper in 1905) built trams not only in Dublin, Cork and Belfast, but also in London, Hastings, Bournemouth, Poole, Paisley and Buenos Aires.

The first trams wore distinctive symbols. The No. 15 (which has since evolved into a bus route) was known as the “Red Triangle” and the No. 16 as the “Green Cross”. In those early days, most Dubliners could not read, write or “arithmetic”.


A tram about to enter the old main depot in Terenure (now an Aldi).

The cottages at Cormac Terrace, Terenure were built for workers on these routes in the 1920s. While workers’ huts built on a large scale by the Dublin Artisans Dwelling Company (DADC) during this period were typically around 400 square feet, Murphy’s workers’ huts were less than 300 square feet.

Today No7 Cormac Terrace is for sale. Its current owner acquired it five years ago after 60 years of doing nothing. Incredibly, even though it was originally almost 300 square feet, it was always a two bedroom house.

No7 later had two annexes that were added to create bathroom and kitchen spaces, but these also served to confuse the configuration for modern living.

Immediately after naming an architect (who received permission to demolish the two older additions to build a new one), No7’s owner called in tiny homes consultant Wesley O’Brien.

Known in the real estate industry as “The Space Man,” O’Brien is a consultant to small home buyers and offers expertise in maximizing limited spaces. His work has been featured many times on these pages.


Open living and dining area

He does this by reconfiguring floor plans, realigning spaces and spaces, providing inventive storage solutions and equipment enclosures, and optimizing furniture and fixture choices to work best with small spaces.

As property prices have risen back to Tiger-era levels, more and more young couples and singles are being confined to small cottage homes. O’Brien is in demand and helps transform them into plausible modern family homes.

“While architects are great at figuring out how to get approval for most new spaces, usually by looking at what the neighbors have managed, they’re often not so good at organizing that space internally so it’s used efficiently can be,” says O’Brien.

While the new master bedroom extension also allowed for a bright open-plan living, dining and kitchen area, improvements were needed to the plans.


Wesley O’Brien is a small home consultant. Photo: Bryan Meade

His first recommendation was to break out a tiny entry hall to increase the open living space. Next, the front bedroom door was moved from the right of the front door where it restricted access and also ruined the bedroom’s usability, and placed it further down the wall so that it came in at the center of the room.

“This allowed us to install a lot of storage space in the built-in closet. We’ve also lowered the ceiling here to create a concealed space overhead to house the boiler and water tank, but also to provide additional storage space accessible to Stira.

A flat wall cavity is now faced with cabinet doors. These contain the fuse board on top and another has a Dyson cabinet with the upright rack flush inside.

O’Brien recommended underfloor heating, which eliminated the need for wall-mounted radiators and greatly expanded the options for furniture and decor.

“Without radiators, we pushed the beds flush against the windows and a wall in both bedrooms. In Ireland they say never do this, but that’s because windows used to be drafty and leaking. With modern windows, that’s no longer a reason to worry.”

He is particularly proud of the kitchen. “There’s a full size washer/dryer, oven, fridge freezer, microwave and compact dishwasher and you wouldn’t know it.”

Bespoke cabinetmaker Carrick Kitchens was brought in to create more irregular but sophisticated arrangements. The washing machine is hidden just below the hob and the oven is built into the opposite base cabinet with the microwave above. Every single device is considered to create more space.

Removal of the chimney freed up space and a proposed wood burning stove (the house is now insulated to B standard) was canceled leaving a chimney empty to accommodate a stack of baskets.


Clever joinery in the kitchen includes all the full size appliances you would need

“Actually, they’re used to store children’s toys and clothes,” says O’Brien. A mini two-seater sofa gives the impression of more space, and combining it with a small armchair (instead of a three-seater) makes the living space more flexible.

Then comes the practical. “The floor looks like wood, but it’s wood-look ceramic tiles. You need tiles for a kitchen, but these are warmer.”

At 370 square feet, No7 has the living space of a much larger home. As the family moves on, it is now being sold with its own parking space via Moovingo for €435,000.

Thanks to William Martin Murphy, the 15 lines (now buses) are right outside the front door. Toys in the fireplace and a washing machine under the hob maximize this D6 tram pad

Fry Electronics Team

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