Good prospects in Whitby

SEA­SIDE SPE­CIAL: A base­ment con­ver­sion and rooftop ter­race have helped cre­ate the per­fect East Coast get­away. Sharon Dale re­ports. Pic­tures by Jeremy Phillips and Ger­ard Binks.

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Homes -

FTER al­most two years of search­ing for a hol­i­day home in Whitby, Kate Sharpe was suf­fer­ing from prop­erty fa­tigue.

“I spent hours trawl­ing the in­ter­net and look­ing in es­tate agents’ win­dows and we al­most bought but there were is­sues with the prop­er­ties and so I’d just about de­cided that it wasn’t meant to be,” she says.

She had al­most given up hope when she spot­ted Rooftops Cot­tage. Down one of Whitby’s char­ac­ter­ful yards, it cer­tainly looked the part out­side. In­side, its Tardis­like pro­por­tions were a big sur­prise. The ground floor had a large sit­ting room and kitchen and on the first and sec­ond floors, were three bed­rooms and a bath­room. It also had a coal cel­lar with ac­cess from in­side the house.

“Our home in Ret­ford is quite mod­ern so I wanted the quintessen­tial sea­side cot­tage and this was it. It had the beams but it was also very roomy and had a lot of po­ten­tial,” she says. “It all hap­pened very quickly. I came straight down to see it, re­ported back to my hus­band Matt and put an of­fer in straight away, which was ac­cepted.”

The cou­ple bought the house in De­cem­ber 2009 and with the help of her fa­ther Robert, an elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer and keen DIYer, Kate set about mod­ernising and ex­tend­ing. It took eight months and the first job was to find lo­cal con­trac­tors and sup­pli­ers.

“I didn’t know where to start but I spot­ted a house nearby that was be­ing done up and asked to look round. That’s how I found Stu­art Brown, a cab­i­net maker, who is fan­tas­tic. He then rec­om­mended other trades­peo­ple,” says Kate, who made the four-hour round trip twice a week to over­see the project.

It’s a won­der­ful place to sit and look out at the rooftops and the har­bour.

The1970s pan­elling, in­ter­nal doors, stairs, ra­di­a­tors and win­dows were all ripped out to make way for cot­tage-style fit­tings. The fire, which was just a square hole in the wall, was re­placed with a wood burn­ing stove and a proper fire­place made from re­claimed bricks and a beam that Kate found at Fenby’s recla­ma­tion yard.

The kitchen, which had a toi­let in one cor­ner, was com­pletely re­vamped. The units came from How­dens and Matt came up with the idea of cre­at­ing bench seat­ing with hid­den stor­age. The be­spoke cush­ions are made with striped linen from the Nat­u­ral Cur­tain Com­pany.

The cel­lar, reached via a wooden step lad­der, was tanked and con­verted and is now a TV and games room with its own

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