My Hum­ble Abode

Beau­ti­ful homes from around Scot­land

No. 1 Magazine - - NEWS -

Who: Al­lan Wood is an En­gi­neer­ing Manager in Saudi Ara­bia Where: Braid­wood, La­nark­shire What: Semi-de­tached Cot­tage

‘I’m proud to be Scot­tish and I like to dis­play that in my home’

My busi­ness part­ner, Angela and I bought this run­down, semi-de­tached cot­tage as a busi­ness trans­ac­tion, we were go­ing to ren­o­vate and flip it.

There was ab­so­lutely no emo­tional or phys­i­cal at­tach­ment to this house what­so­ever, at that stage. I had a lovely two-up two-down house in Rose­bank, which I never en­vis­aged leav­ing.

The house had no curb ap­peal and it had been un­touched for 60-70 years.

Al­though it seemed like a solid built semi, once we started you could tell it had been cheaply done and there was no in­su­la­tion at all. The only thing go­ing for this cot­tage was the room sizes, there was a large kitchen, two good-sized bed­rooms, large fam­ily bath­room and lounge. We could see the huge po­ten­tial and de­cided to buy it. At this point, Angela took over the whole project, she was turnkey – a one-stop shop, and I had very lit­tle to no in­put from then on.

Af­ter a lengthy plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion with plenty of is­sues set­ting us back, we couldn’t wait to get started.

We lit­er­ally ripped the cot­tage apart, knocked walls down, added a large ex­ten­sion to the back of the house, re-con­fig­ured rooms and lay­out, re-wired and re-plas­tered. The house was then fully in­te­rior dec­o­rated by my won­der­ful busi­ness part­ner.

We in­creased the size of the house by 50 per cent.

We were then left with three bed­rooms, an en-suite, a din­ing room, lounge, fam­ily bath­room, open plan kitchen and sun-room, and my pièce de ré­sis­tance – the loft space, it’s to die for! It was around about this time I de­cided I would per­haps like to keep the prop­erty for my­self!

When it came to the in­te­ri­ors, my full trust was given to Angela.

This didn’t phase me at all, be­ing my ex-wife and still my best friend, she knows me bet­ter than I know my­self. She se­ri­ously couldn’t have done any­thing any bet­ter, it has turned out ex­cep­tion­ally well.

I have a neu­tral pal­ette, and a fair di­vide be­tween tra­di­tional and mod­ern with a Scot­tish twist.

I like nice fur­ni­ture – clas­sic pieces and I love Laura Ash­ley, Sil­ver­birch Gar­den Cen­tre and Clyde Val­ley in­te­rior stores.

I’m proud to be Scot­tish and like to dis­play that in my home, per­haps this is where my love of stag heads came from.

I’m old school, I love tar­tan ef­fects and wools as a fab­ric. My favourite room is the lounge, the tar­tan suite and the fire­place – I was told by Angela I wouldn’t be get­ting a real log burner, which was one of my pref­er­ences so that was a won­der­ful sur­prise. The views out­side are mag­nif­i­cent, with the wild flow­ers and trees be­yond, it’s not ev­ery­where you have a frame of the out­doors like that. There’s a sense of calm­ness in this room – it’s nice to un­wind in here. I also love the fam­ily bath­room with the old over-head cis­tern, ra­di­a­tor and free­stand­ing bath.

I’m a keen artist, so we trans­formed the garage into a stu­dio for me to throw my paint and tools about in.

It means I don’t have to worry about up­set­ting my house; it’s a real lux­ury. Then I have my sum­mer­house where I can hang all my art and en­joy them when hav­ing my last Dram­buie of the night. It is an­other fab­u­lous space to en­joy.

Work­ing and liv­ing full-time in Saudi with only a few weeks back home, it was im­por­tant to have plenty of space for friends and fam­ily vis­it­ing.

I like that there are dif­fer­ent spa­ces to entertain in, it’s mul­ti­func­tional, and re­ally serves well as a great fam­ily home when fam­ily do come. I think that’s why Christ­mas is my favourite time of year, it’s the only time when the full fam­ily come to­gether, and this will be my first Christ­mas in this home, which will be lovely to have ev­ery­one around for!

Al­lan and busi­ness part­ner, Angela, orig­i­nally bought the house to ren­o­vate and sell on, how­ever af­ter the work was com­plete Al­lan de­cided it made the per­fect home for him. Dur­ing the work the size of the house was dou­bled; Al­lan says the house is a per­fect fam­ily home and this year he is host­ing Christ­mas!

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