Bespoke finishes and integrated lighting combine in this stunning Dean Path apartment
In 1998, when Lee Marshall came across this property at 62 Dean Path in Edinburgh’s West End, the upper level was a lock-up, while the ground level still had the original stable partitions and cobbled floor from the days when this building was a stable block.
Lee spent a year figuring out how to design the upper level to create today’s contemporary three-bedroom mews apartment before work began in 1999. The management consultant was working in Belgium at the time and would fly back at weekends to check on progress.
Lee’s absence had an effect and the project took 18 months to complete. This timescale was also influenced by Lee’s approach: he wanted to create a home filled with bespoke finishes. Number 62 is entered via a staircase that leads from the ground-level entrance and Lee’s approach on this upper level was: “Let’s knock out every non-supporting wall and start again.”
The result is an impressive open-plan living, dining and kitchen space, which is grounded by the central chimneybreast that was re-installed to help define the different zones. Lee also integrated lighting to designate these areas so that each zone can feel intimate and cosy. The three bedrooms are located behind this living space, along with the bathroom.
Creating this layout proved challenging. “There were building regulations we had to comply with, but also we discovered things as the project went along,” Lee says. “We’d take down a wall and realise the design was going to change as the light had changed.” Bathroom drainage changes were required, while adding insulation affected the depth of the walls.
“This was before the time when we all had mobile phones with a camera,” Lee says. When a design change was needed, it wasn’t as simple as asking the builder to take some photos; Lee had to wait until he was back in Edinburgh.
Being based in Belgium did influence the finished design in a positive way, however. “There were a few architectural shows that I went along to for ideas,” Lee explains. All the lighting in the main living-dining-kitchen space came from Antwerp and Amsterdam.
Lee designed the kitchen and had it made to measure with solid oak doors and a chunky stainless steel worktop. The company commissioned to make it assembled the elements off-site – only to discover the finished product couldn’t fit through the door or the windows. The result was a three-month wait while the kitchen was taken apart and reconstructed on site. The original measurements had been taken before the walls had been insulated and completed internally.
On a more positive note, the traditional cast-iron radiators were reclaimed from a property in Penicuik. “I saw the scaffolding going up and having been in the building previously, I realised they would rip out these beautiful radiators,” he says.
Lee has a keen eye for vintage finds, such as the weathered leather armchair, which he stumbled across in a Parisian flea market. The sideboard in the main living space came from an antique shop in London. In the dining area, Lee chose a glass-topped trestle table to enhance the openness.
Whoever buys 62 Dean Path next will inherit the fruits of Lee’s hard work and inventive eye.
Fixed price £340,000; contact Simpson & Marwick (0131-525 8600, www.edinburghprimeproperty.com)
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