‘Trans­form­ing steading was worth the risk’

Cou­ple con­verted dou­ble plot in heart of coun­try­side

Evening Express (City Final) - Home Life - - DREAM HOMES - By Lau­rna Robert­son

CATHER­INE Baikie ad­mits that if it wasn’t for her hus­band Kelvin’s risk­tak­ing, they wouldn’t be the proud own­ers of Sil­ver­stones. The cou­ple had al­ways dreamed of con­vert­ing a steading to­gether. But when they had the op­por­tu­nity of con­vert­ing this prop­erty, Cather­ine was al­most put off by the chal­lenge. “When we came to view the steading it was a dou­ble plot which meant we had two prop­er­ties to con­vert,” said 50-year-old Cather­ine, a book-keeper. “We had quite a dis­cus­sion about whether we could do it or not – I tend to be cau­tious while my hus­band’s a risk-taker. “It was a huge risk but I’m glad we took it.” Cather­ine and Kelvin, a 51-year-old cater­ing unit man­ager for Sodexo, bought the prop­erty in 2003 when it was just a shell. They had lived in the Ban­chory area since 1992 and had been des­per­ate to find a place to con­vert nearby. So when the steading in Crathes came up, the cou­ple had to go for it, and started ren­o­vat­ing im­me­di­ately. Cather­ine said: “It was like all the pieces fell into place be­cause at the same time that we bought the steading, the orig­i­nal cot­tage at the site was up for rent too.” Af­ter con­vert­ing the first steading, they lived in it for two years be­fore sell­ing it in 2005 and fi­nally started work on what would be­come their home. They got an­other lucky break as the new own­ers of the steading al­lowed them to rent it back from them while they worked on their own home. They hired the same team of lo­cal trades­peo­ple to do the job and this time it took a year-and-a-half. “It was sim­pler the sec­ond time around but that didn’t mean it was straight­for­ward,” Cather­ine said. “We man­aged to be on

sched­ule and on tar­get but the wait was very frus­trat­ing.” The cou­ple went for a con­tem­po­rary edge in their steading but also wanted it to feel like the coun­try home it is. And as they had to dec­o­rate the first steading in neu­tral tones to at­tract po­ten­tial buy­ers, they wanted to be a bit more ex­pres­sive in their own home. Cather­ine said: “We went for ex­posed beams and lots of wood but it’s also very mod­ern. “Be­cause we would be liv­ing

ON THE BENCH: Kelvin Baikie at his Sil­ver­stones home in Crathes.

OPEN-PLAN: The liv­ing/din­ing area of­fers plenty of space for en­ter­tain­ing.

RESTF

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