‘Transforming steading was worth the risk’
Couple converted double plot in heart of countryside
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.