Pick of the Plots
Jane Cooper-watson’s priority was to maximise the stunning views when building her new hilltop home
Amazing views and a stunning hilltop location inspired this Yorkshire couple to build themselves a bigger and better property
luck and timing played an important role when it came to creating a dream home for hairdresser Jane Cooper-watson and her husband melvyn, a building project manager. Having decided to downsize, they knew it would be hard to match their picturesque former location, but fortunately within weeks, a neighbouring plot came on the market with even better scenery. ‘We were intending to buy something more compact but then this land came up, which meant we had a chance to design a bigger and better house,’ explains Jane. ‘ We couldn’t justify building a smaller property on a piece of land this size so we just went for it.’
Bought in September 2014, the plot had a bungalow on site, which was demolished and replaced with three new properties, including Jane and melvyn’s. ‘ We’d built our last home and were ready to create another,’ says Jane. ‘We took time with the build to make sure it was done right meaning that we couldn’t move in until the following July, along with our dog Nancy.’
the planning and design of the house was very much dictated by the hilltop position and amazing valley views at the rear. this and the desire to create an open-plan feel for the ground-floor space
prompted the couple to combine the kitchen, dining and sitting room areas but position them on different levels with the impressive bay windows and French doors at the back. For character, oak trusses and beams became a feature, too. ‘Barn-style houses have always appealed to me so we brought this style to our new home,’ says Jane. ‘People often say that it doesn’t feel too new and has a lived-in look, which I’m particularly pleased about. I’m sure this is down to the oak beams.’
Living in a rented property while the build took place gave Jane and Melvyn the time to search for the right fittings and fixtures, such as the feature lighting. High ceilings allowed them to incorporate statement pendants to draw the eye to the eaves. ‘I like individual lighting styles,’ says Jane. ‘A mix of pendants, candelabras and wall lights all adds to the character.’ The kitchen was also a considered design and includes an Aga, butler sink, flagstone floors and lots of display shelving. ‘ We had a wood kitchen in our previous home and felt this property would look nicer with a painted one,’ says Jane. ‘The units are a very pale green but the colour changes with the light, which is something I love.’ By planning the whole house around their
requirements, noisy work areas, such as the utility and laundry, were housed in separate rooms, meaning the kitchen could be kept solely for cooking and entertaining.
Jane decided to go for a cohesive look overall rather than different schemes in each room. Pale wall shades were used throughout, with characterful pops of colour and tactile textures coming from soft furnishings, mixed in with chic modern pieces and Jane’s favourite Christmas decorations. Vintage furniture added character and personality. ‘I think my decorating style is quite authentic because it’s not about new things but gradually gathered items that I’ve carefully put together,’ she reflects.
Future plans include adding a new porch area at the front of the house to bring the oak-beam look to the façade, but for now, the couple are happy with their home. And after such a busy time planning and creating it, they are finally able to sit back, relax and enjoy those views they love so much.
decorating tip ‘Mix old favourites with new pieces to add interest’
main bedroom The iron bed makes a bold design statement. the Sheherazad double bed, £344, Maisons du Monde, has this look
bathroom Wood tones add colour. roberts revival radio, from £149.99, John Lewis