My Humble Abode
Beautiful homes from around Scotland
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!