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

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