KEYHOLE LEARNING POINTS these were mesh secured, rebuilt and repointed. Light pours into the building via large Velux rooflights, and the bespoke metal balustrade separating the dining kitchen level from the lower sitting room area maintains the open style of the split-level room. There are further half levels off this main living area, accessed through a huge sliding wooden door. These lead on one level to a bedroom, dressing area and twin shower rooms, and a multipurpose games room tucked into the roof space on another. One of the biggest challenges, surprisingly, was the cantilevered staircase, which leads straight up to the main living area from the ground floor of bedrooms and bathrooms. While Michael was happy to shift massive steel beams, rearrange floors and leave great swathes of the building’s industrial heritage unmodernised, he almost met his match with the feature staircase. ‘It’s one of the first things you see when you walk through the door and I wanted to create something stunning – a statement piece if you like,’ he says.‘It tested us all. It came in four parts and the material is so heavy it’s a dead weight, and it had to be forklifted in.’ The heavy treads are cantilevered onto long, strong metal beams hidden in the wall and the metal design balustrade was perfectly measured to achieve the right angles and proportions. The staircase alone cost £15,000. ‘The big thing for me was proportion and detail,’ says Michael. ‘Not just with the staircase, which was a challenge in itself, but right the way through the house. I was keen to get it absolutely right - where different metals meet, for example. Rather than hide joints I was keen to make them pure and simple, therefore they had to be really well finished. The real beauty of the building is in the fabric itself – the textures and natural materials which work side by side to create this open, industrial look. It was never going to be a straight forward conversion, but it’s immensely satisfying to have given a dilapidated old garage a whole new lease of life.’ Michael’s pride and joy is this Bruno Vio log burner which reflects the industrial style of the four bedroom house The trick with this kind of building is to leave its character wherever possible and don’t be scared to leave things in the wall, or its imperfections exposed. Go for minimal intervention and celebrate the changes. Always liaise with your neighbours and explain what you are planning to do to help get them on side. If necessary undertake free repairs to ease discussions. Pay attention to detail. It’s easy to cut corners or hide imperfections, but the greatest satisfaction comes from the seamless joints, the subtle design ideas and the points of difference. Divide a large, open plan room into split levels to create interest and define living areas Be bold with the main elements – expose the whole roof structure, go for a sculptural staircase and be happy with the imperfections of an old building. The simplicity of the furniture pushes all the attention onto the architectural details – like these banks of small square windows which are the only windows to look directly onto the street, via the narrow frontage USEFUL CONTACTS Car turntable, easyturn.co.uk Sandblasting Blastaway Services Ltd, Malton Kutchenhaus, kutchenhaus.co.uk Vertigrow (terrace), vertigrow.co.uk Bruno log fires, stovesonline.co.uk Stairs installation A&J Stead Ltd 01653 693742 Balustrade manufacturer, eeingleton.co.uk (Sheffield) Bathroom suppliers: various, including, lussostone.com As many original features as possible were given space in the house N 136 Yorkshire Life: October 2020
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