Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Scottish Cottage (2)

Fay's Cottage - the house I was blogging about back in July, is almost finished, and about to go on the market. It has been a long haul, but worth it I think, and nobody who has been in the house has failed to say what a pretty place it has become. Not that it wasn't always a warm, pretty, welcoming cottage - just that now it is a brand new, warm, pretty, welcoming but infinitely bigger cottage, so subtly renovated and extended that it still has something of the character of the much older listed building that lies at the heart of it.
The work involved changing the layout of the original house, to give a bigger bedroom at the front of the house, a brand new shower room, and a small but pretty kitchen with fresh white units and a window (where the fireplace once stood) looking out over the open countryside on the edge of the village. The kitchen itself opens onto a very large sitting/dining room (so you could cook and talk to your guests at the same time) with double doors opening onto decking, and spectactularly beautiful views over the ancient woodlands of Kirkmichael house, just about to be tinged with their autumn colours at this time of year. A hand built staircase (complete with carved newel post) leads upwards from this living room to a light filled upstairs bedroom (though I think if it were mine, it would immediately become a study!) and there is plenty of storage space where a door opens onto the roof space of the old part of the cottage.
Although it retains the look of the original cottage, everything that you would want to be new (like the sewage pipes and the central heating) is completely new. There is a brand new combi boiler to provide oil fired central heating (there is no gas in our village). The interior is fresh and light and clean, carpeted throughout in neutral shades, the whole thing a pretty palate upon which you can impose your own personality.
Outside, there is a long back garden fringed by lush hedges, a big plot of land to one side with off road parking, and space for a garage and workshop. Ricketty old wooden garages once stood here, and although they have been demolished, and the ground turfed, there would be no problem with replacing them with a newer garage. The piece de resistance is the tiny, picturesque stream that runs through the garden, with its rustic wooden bridge (Like a willow pattern garden, as a neighbour remarked) constructed by my woodcarver husband. There are even new metal railings, courtesy of my brother in law. The garden is largely grass at the moment, but there would be plenty of room for a vegetable garden and a greenhouse, and even a summer house. These ancient cottage gardens are very fertile, and the garden and the house gets the sun all day long. At this time of the year the house martins are soaring over the garden, preparing for their long journey south - and sometimes from the upstairs window you will see the heron, from the heronry up at Kirkmichael House, flying lazily past, trailing his long legs behind him. In short the cottage, which is close to some of the best golf courses in the country, or indeed any country, is an idyll, a dream place, on the edge of one of the prettiest conservation villages in southern Scotland. As you can imagine, we can hardly bear to sell it, but the right person is out there, and we feel quite strongly that the house itself will surely find them. I would show you a picture, but at the moment, Blogger doesn't seem at all inclined to let me post one!

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