‘Huge house was part of our plot’

Fam­ily needed space for three kids and host of pets

Evening Express (City Final) - Home Life - - DREAM HOMES - By Marie-claire Jones

WITH three young chil­dren and a menagerie of pets in tow, the Gardyne fam­ily had one pri­or­ity when they were look­ing out for their dream home – it had to be big. And when they heard about the plans for a new de­vel­op­ment at Dar­roch Wood, they couldn’t re­sist find­ing out more. “This has been our third house in Aboyne so we were fa­mil­iar with the vil­lage when we first heard about the plans,” said full-time mum Ni­cola, 38. “The more we heard about it, the more in­ter­ested we be­came, and we started keep­ing an eye on it. “We saw the plots were all go­ing to be re­ally big, with large gar­dens which would be per­fect for us, and there was also lots of space be­tween the houses.” Ni­cola and Stephen – a 37-year-old op­er­a­tions man­ager in the oil in­dus­try – bought their house, which oc­cu­pies a cor­ner plot, when it was new three years ago.

And it of­fered plenty of space for them and their three chil­dren – Ailsa, 10, Ella, 6 and An­gus, 3. The huge, fully-en­closed side and rear gar­dens in­clude a play­house and climb­ing frame, per­fect for the young­sters who can run and play out­doors. But that’s not all. Other trea­sured mem­bers of the Gardyne clan in­clude boxer dog Ruby, boxer-husky cross Tiggy and three Maine Coon cats, which Ni­cola shows pro­fes­sion­ally – Storm, Tulli and Vanilla. Bella the Guinea pig and three tanks of trop­i­cal and marine fish com­plete the fam­ily – for now. “We love liv­ing in Aboyne be­cause it has a won­der­ful com­mu­nity feel and the schools are very good,” said Ni­cola. “There’s so much go­ing on lo­cally for the chil­dren, from dancing and swim­ming to mar­tial arts classes and there’s also lots for the re­ally wee kids too. “But it can also be a quiet, pri­vate place to live if you don’t want to seek out lots of ac­tiv­i­ties.” The fam­ily spend most of their time to­gether in the spacious din­ing kitchen which ex­tends out into a gar­den room, over­look­ing their grounds. On a sunny day they have two sep­a­rate decked seat­ing ar­eas out­side to choose from, in­clud­ing one with its own fire pit. And the lo­ca­tion of their five-bed­room house has been per­fect for ev­ery mem­ber of the fam­ily – in­clud­ing the four­legged va­ri­ety. Ni­cola added: “We’re a five-to10-minute walk from the school

PET PRO­JECT: Ni­cola Gardyne, with kids, from left, Ailsa, An­gus and Ella.

WEL­COM­ING: The mas­ter bed­room, left, and the kitchen/fam­ily room. Above, exte

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