A simple cosmetic refurbishment was all that was required to highlight the classic qualities of this stunning Bishopton home
Don’t be fooled by the look of this period Renfrewshire home ... inside it is a thoroughly modern marvel
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HOUSEHUNTING can be a laborious process. What makes it all worthwhile is the feeling you have found your perfect property, as soon as you walk through the front door. Karen Callaghan recalls the moment she walked in to Eastfield, the beautiful Bishopton villa which is this week’s Hot Property. “I saw the beautiful hallway, with all these wonderful original features and thought – wow,” she smiles. “It was so eyecatching – it took my breath away. I knew right at that second I really wanted the house.” Karen and her husband run a decorating business, so the cosmetic work needing done was far from daunting for them. “We could see beyond the décor,” says Karen. “We knew the roof was good, the structure was sound, and all that was needed was just a bit of a makeover. “There was a lot of 1970s pine panelling everywhere and the smaller rooms were quite dark, so we changed all of that.” The hallway, with its richly coloured timber panelling and original fireplace, is not the only nod to the past at Eastfield. Ornate cornicing and wonderful herringbone parquet flooring have been sensitively retained and restored.
“The flooring was a real surprise – it had been mainly covered up by carpets when we bought the house,” says Karen.
“Once we discovered a little of it I went round lifting corners and peeking underneath, to discover if there was more and it turned out it was in most of the main ground floor apartments. It’s fantastic.
“The amount of time and workmanship which must have gone in to creating something like this is phenomenal. It seemed a real shame to leave it covered up.”
The ground floor also includes an elegant drawing room, which has a three-frame west facing bay window and twin sash and case windows overlooking the gardens, plus a formal dining room, pleasant sitting room with a corner bay window and a former butler’s pantry.
To the rear of the ground floor, there is an inner hallway and living room, which connects to the spacious open plan kitchen, with its wonderful original range and French doors to the garden.
This level also includes a useful cloakroom with wash hand basin and downstairs toilet.
At the mid-landing level lie a single bedroom, which could also be used as a study, a modern
We could see beyond the décor. We knew all that was needed was just a bit of a makeover
bathroom, a linen cupboard and an additional WC. There are two beautiful, original stained glass windows on the mid landing too.
Off the first floor landing are a shower room and five bedrooms, one of which is currently being used as a dressing room.
Outside, the gardens are private and secluded, with terrace, pathways and pretty plants.
Having lived in both new-build and period homes previously, Karen admits she likes the ‘quirkiness’ of older properties.
“This house has a lovely feel to it, and an interesting history,” she says. “It was built in 1925 for a local doctor and his wife, who actually ran the surgery from the premises. There was a main entrance for the family and a side entrance for the patients, who had to ring the doorbell to be shown in to the waiting room in one of the turrets.”
Karen adds: “There was a consulting room, which is now our little snug, and a dispensary off it, which we have knocked through.
“There are still bells in the house too, which would allow the doctor and his wife to summon the maids wherever they were.”
She laughs: “They no longer work – or I think my daughters would have had a great time ringing them when they were younger.”
Eastfield is located in Bishopton, one of Renfrewshire’s residential hot spots thanks to its lovely local amenities, and its easy access to Glasgow and the airport.
The Braehead shopping complex, retail park and leisure complex is within 10 miles of the property and there is plenty more to see and do, from the regenerated waterfront at Greenock to wellregarded schools, local golf courses such as Old Ranfurly, and excellent marinas at Inkerkip and Largs.
“The location is perfect, particularly if you have growing children – everything is close by,” says Karen. “I liked the space in the house – it’s big enough for a family to spread out and not have to be in each other’s pockets but it’s not enormous.
“It’s also full of light – there are so many windows, including the beautiful stained glass ones, that light just streams in.”
The house is also warm and cosy in the winter, Karen explains.
“With so many fireplaces, you would be daft not to use them,” she laughs. “In the colder days, it’s fantastic to be able to sit in the living room with a coal fire.
“The hallway is a lovely spot to sit in – it’s so unusual.”
She adds: “This has been a lovely house to live in – just the right blend of traditional and contemporary features, and a brilliant family home.”
AGELESS QUALITY: The property’s original wooden flooring had been covered up by carpets, but has now been lovingly restored to its former glory.