Rooms with a view that won the heart of Abby
INTERIOR designer Abby Parker has an excellent eye for detail, so buying her first property proved a challenge.
“I knew I wanted an apartment in Harrogate but I rejected a lot before I finally found the right place,” she says.
Her first-floor flat close to the centre of the spa town was certainly worth the wait, though it wasn’t officially for sale when she viewed it.
“I actually went to see a ground-floor flat and told the owners that, ideally, I’d like one on the first floor.
“They actually lived in flat above and ended up selling me that and moving down into the ground-floor one. I was very grateful.
“I knew instantly I walked in that it was the one. It has great proportions with lovely large rooms and high ceilings and it also has a lovely aspect with views over the Stray.
“I grew up on a farm and was used to having views. I didn’t want to feel hemmed in,” says Abby, who bought the property three years ago.
The apartment has a private reception hall, sitting room with bay windows overlooking the Stray, dining kitchen, master bedroom with en-suite, a second double bedroom/dressing room and a house bathroom.
It also has a balcony and shares communal gardens.
Although it had benefited from a sensitive restoration and boasted original Victorian features, including cornicing and panelling, Abby has made it her own with a full revamp.
“The people who had it before did a great job. It has lots of charm. They made the galley kitchen into a lovely large dining kitchen and it is one of my favourite rooms.”
She made the second bedroom into a dressing room/guest room and has painted all the walls in the property in neutral shades.
Colour comes from accessories, soft furnishings and fabrics from Manuel Canovas and Osborne and Little, and her collection of art work.
“When working with clients, I have to take account of their tastes, but here I was able to indulge my own, which I really enjoyed,” she says.
The corridor resembles an art gallery where Abby has framed everything from a letter her brother wrote to her when he was a child, to a favourite poem and a collection of vintage Versace adverts that were presented to her mother, Carolyn Parker, who helped the Italian fashion house with some interior design.
“It’s very eclectic and very personal with lots of photos, too,” says Abby, who is selling the apartment after deciding to buy a house.
“I will miss this place and I’m not in any rush to leave.
“The views up here are wonderful and it’s a lovely retreat. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from the town centre, but it’s very quiet and peaceful.
“I’ve always felt safe and it’s a great place to lock up and leave if you’re going away.”
THE PERFECT RETREAT:
Abby Parker’s Dorchester House apartment in Harrogate.