It may have taken 25 years, but the renovation of this Duddingston Village house and garden was worth the effort
ANNA and Eric Paterson, the owners of Hillview, on The Causeway in Edinburgh’s Duddingston Village, are not afraid to be creative and think outside the box.
Even before you step into their home, the Westfield II kit car parked outside – a replica of the 1950s Lotus 11, which Eric built with friends – shows the couple know a thing or two about ‘cool’. They hope to drive it on the route of the Italian Mille Miglia, a 1,000-mile, open-road endurance race that took place in Italy between 1927 and 1957. Stirling Moss won the race in 1955 in just over ten hours. “We’ll probably take a week,” Eric reflects.
While this may seem disconnected from the couple’s home, it certainly seems their taste in cars is reflected inside Hillview, the terraced house at 4 The Causeway they spotted in 1987.
The couple shared a vision of what the house could become, while the overgrown enclosed garden to the rear was a project waiting to happen. As Anna says: “It’s been a 25-year project.” Number 4 had three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, with a living-room to the front; a narrow room in the middle which the couple used as a reading room; and the kitchen in a rear outshoot.
The house evolved when the neighbouring number 6 became available two years later. Previously an artist’s studio space, as Anna says: “We wanted to bring it back to being a complete house.” Number 6 gave the couple additional accommodation on the ground floor, which they arranged as a study-cum-workshop, utility area and shower room.
Initially they used this area for storage and as a workshop until Hillview went through its most substantial overhaul six years ago. “The house didn’t work until we did this,” Eric says of the zinc-clad extension, which replaced the former kitchen.
The extension allowed the couple to flip the living space round, placing the living-room at the rear, where it overlooks the garden. This living-room is open plan to the kitchen and this in turn is open to the south-facing dining room.
As well as extending the house, the couple also opened up the doorways between the spaces, creating today’s internal flow, and levelled the ground floor before laying the stone tiles with underfloor heating.
From the street, Hillview appears traditional and understated, but once inside, the ground floor is entirely contemporary, from the super-sleek cream kitchen, to the living-room with its freestanding Scandinavian wood-burning stove.
The mature garden is stunning. The Patersons installed the timber garden house as a means of creating a better connection with the garden, and added the pergola four years ago.
The couple worked on the extension design with Glasgow-based Ian Alexander of JM Architects. The project was completed in six months by “brilliant” local builder Bruce Collie.
The aesthetic upstairs has more period detailing. All three bedrooms have simple, understated fireplaces while the couple added tongue and groove panelling to the bathroom along with a cast iron claw foot bath.
After 25 years at Hillview, this will be a hard home to leave – and a hard garden to leave. This is a unique house. It’s also a house where it feels like home as soon as you walk in through the front door. k
Offers over £525,000; contact Rettie & Co (0131-220 4160 or visit www.rettie.co.uk)
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