PLANT A CEDAR:

This glo­ri­ous, tim­ber, Hamp­tons-style home near La­nark has room to breathe in more ways than one

The Herald - Scotland's Homes - - Front Page - Ann Wal­lace

THE first thing ev­ery­one no­tices about Kirk­field Gar­dens – once they have taken in the beauty of the set­ting and been wowed by the stun­ning ex­te­rior of this ranch­style fam­ily home – is its sweet, cedar smell. “Even af­ter seven years, peo­ple still tell us they can smell this won­der­ful, wood aroma,” smiles owner Mark Ruther­ford. “We are used to it, be­cause we are sur­rounded by it ev­ery day, of course – but it’s lovely to be re­minded of it.” Mark and Ca­role de­signed and built Kirk­field Gar­dens in 2009, in­spired by a fa­mous movie house. “We loved the Hamp­tons beach house in the Jack Ni­chol­son movie Some­thing’s Gotta Give, and it in­spired us to build our own home,” says Mark, adding with a laugh: “It seemed a bit of a long shot at first, to cre­ate a Hamp­tons beach house in Scot­land. “We did lots of re­search and even­tu­ally found a com­pany, Log and Cedar Homes, in Doune, who we liked. At the time, we were liv­ing in a 300-year-old house nearby, so we felt like a change. And this re­ally was a change….”

A long tree-lined drive brings you up to Kirk­field Gar­dens, a tra­di­tional Cana­dian cedar lodge with wooden deck­ing and wrap­around ve­ran­dah.

In­side, the ground floor is dom­i­nated by a huge partly open-plan kitchen, din­ing and liv­ing room with solid oak floor­ing, warmed through­out by un­der­floor heat­ing and a con­tem­po­rary fire­place.

Full height win­dows flood the room with nat­u­ral light and bring the out­side in, as Mark ex­plains.

“There are more than 50 win­dows through­out the house and the views are won­der­ful – over the Clyde Val­ley, out to­wards Ben Lomond,” he says.

“Be­cause we built this house on land that was part of our orig­i­nal grounds, we had the lux­ury of time and we could get it the way we wanted it.

“Ev­ery sunny day I would go out on to the plot and see ex­actly where the sun was shining, so I’d know where the light would be com­ing from at break­fast time, din­ner time, sun­set … that’s why the house seems to be built at an odd an­gle but it was all about mak­ing the most of the nat­u­ral light.”

The kitchen in­cludes hand­crafted wood and cream painted cup­boards and a duck egg blue cen­tral is­land and mar­ble work­tops; the sub­tle colours and warm wood con­trib­utes to the re­laxed, airy feel of the house.

The ground floor also in­cludes a study and fam­ily TV room.

A stylish stair­case leads up to the first floor where there are four dou­ble bed­rooms, all en-suite. The bed­rooms are re­mark­able – each one has a high, vaulted ceil­ing with ex­posed beams and far-reach­ing views; one bed­room comes with a sep­a­rate liv­ing room and mez­za­nine level.

Kirk­field Gar­dens also in­cludes two self-con­tained apart­ments, with open plan lounge and kitchen, bed­room and en-suite in each, ideal for teenagers or older par­ents, rel­a­tives or guests. Out­side there is a three-car garage and fab­u­lous stu­dio and mul­ti­me­dia room which could eas­ily be used as a games room, home cin­ema or gym. Wine lover Mark has also cre­ated his own pur­pose-built wine cel­lar out­side.

“There is a lot of flex­i­bil­ity for the new own­ers, plenty of space to adapt the house to their needs,” says Mark.

“Ca­role rented out the apart­ments and that op­tion is

‘‘ We loved the Hamp­tons beach house in the Jack Ni­chol­son movie Some­thing’s Gotta Give and it in­spired us

there, too, for the new own­ers if they wish to do so.

But equally, they could be ideal for older chil­dren, or for grand­par­ents who want to live close by but have their own in­de­pen­dence.”

Mark adds: “This has been a lovely fam­ily home for us, and a great place for us to en­ter­tain and have par­ties and fam­ily get-to­geth­ers, but now our son, Matthew, who is 26, is mov­ing on, we’re mov­ing on too.

“It’s been a plea­sure watch­ing our nieces and neph­ews run about here, mak­ing the most of the gar­dens – they are very pri­vate, and safe.

“I think that will ap­peal to buy­ers too – the fact that it is set in its own, peace­ful gar­dens and yet it’s so close to La­nark.”

Lo­cated in be­tween Ed­in­burgh and Glas­gow (around 30 to 35 miles) Kirk­field Gar­dens is just two min­utes’ drive away from the his­toric town, with its ex­cel­lent rail links and well­re­garded schools. The town also boasts a broad range of shops, su­per­mar­kets, banks, a se­lec­tion of restau­rants and a va­ri­ety of sports and recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing the La­nark Golf Club, home to a cham­pi­onship stan­dard 18 hole golf course.

But it is the glo­ri­ous, un­in­ter­rupted sun­sets Mark and Ca­role will miss the most.

“Sit­ting on the deck­ing, with a glass of wine and some mu­sic play­ing in the back­ground, is our favourite place to be,” smiles Mark.

“We will miss that – watch­ing the sky turn so many dif­fer­ent colours, just en­joy­ing the peace and tran­quil­lity, in our lovely cedar lodge.”

TER­RACED HOUSE: The evening sun­sets and the ever-chang­ing views will be top of the most-missed list for cur­rent own­ers Mark and Ca­role.

THAT NEW HOME SMELL: Guests still re­mark on the scent in­side the home cre­ated by Doune com­pany Cedar Homes. Mark has cre­ated his own wine cel­lar, left.

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