Sitting Pretty, Hovingham: 01653 628208.
Pam Roberts, near Easingwold: 01347 838201.
Howdens, Malton: 01653 695027.
Farrow & Ball at The Olive Branch, Easingwold: 01347 823402.
Inside, it’s still managed to hold on to its period charm. The original slender Georgian beams span the ceilings in much of the cottage and a later Victorian fireplace is a handsome addition to the living room. The walls are enormously thick, a reassuring sign of age and a great excuse to create window seats for cushions in fabrics from GP& J Baker and Laura Ashley.
Even the original outhouses remain, perfect for storage and a useful place to put freezers and washing machines that would otherwise clutter up the small but perfectly-formed kitchen from Howdens. The outbuildings also help to create a secluded courtyard area, filled with topiary, hanging baskets and pots gleaned from Castle Howard plant centre.
The walls have been painted using Farrow & Ball paint,
The houses that continue to do well seem to be those where the owners cherished them.
mainly the quietly grey Old White and creamy Off-White. Pure new wool carpets from Calverts and Roman blinds by Pam Roberts and Sitting Pretty finish the look.
I’ve been in the restoration game long enough to know that you’re never supposed to get emotionally involved with any house you intend to sell. But I don’t subscribe to that philosophy. After all, how can you expect someone else to fall in love with a house if you haven’t bothered to pump your own heart and soul into it?
In the next few years it will be really interesting to see what happens to the property market. One thing I’m sure of is that the days of cheap and cheerful makeovers are numbered. Lots of things affect how much a house is worth but the houses that continue to do well seem to be those where there is a real sense that the owners cherished them.
It’s certainly true that some of the wilder excesses of personal taste will put off potential buyers – exuberant colour schemes, stone cladding and swirly carpets all spring to mind – but, for me, the difference between a house and home always comes down to one thing. It has to have heart.
Dene Cottage is for sale with Carter Jonas for £210,000. Tel 01904 558200.