Upcycling and a great lifestyle combine in revamped North Berwick home
Jennie and Graham Waddell took their time when it came to refurbishing their family home
JENNIE and Graham Waddell didn’t start out looking for a house in North Berwick after relocating to Scotland from Wiltshire four years ago. “We started thinking about lifestyle and what we enjoyed doing. We found ourselves drawn to North Berwick,” Jennie recalls. The couple had lived in the East Lothian town years before, when their three grown-up children, Rebecca, Calum and Duncan, were young.
“This house just had a lovely warm, welcoming feeling as soon as we came in the door,” Jennie says of Beaufort. The four-bedroom property at 5 Marmion Road is just a few minutes walk from the town centre and the train station. The sea views to the front were an added bonus.
The Waddells have moved 17 times in 32 years. Graham, who is now retired, describes his wife, who works as a practice nurse, as being an “activist” when it comes to house refurbishments. “I love it,” Jennie acknowledges. “I felt there was a lot we could do with this house.”
The kitchen was previously on the other side of the hallway, in what is now the family room-snug, which leads into an existing garden room. A cupboard was stripped out to square off the room, creating a more generous dining-kitchen.
The Waddells headed to Christopher Howard for the kitchen, which is handmade with a combination of granite and cherry worktops and a Belfast sink. Jennie sourced the hand-painted Delft tiles from The Original Tile Company to complement the cream Aga.
The kitchen also reflects the softer, more eclectic aesthetic that extends throughout the couple’s home where antique finds and upcycled pieces are combined with softly patterned fabrics. “A good friend said to me, ‘I’ve stopped buying anything new; nothing comes into my house that’s new except for clothes and food,’ and I’ve taken my lead from her in a way,” Jennie says.
Jennie started upcycling as a teenager and now she turns her hand to furniture, as with a cabinet in the kitchen that was given a new lease of life with paint. She’s as handy with fabrics: the patchwork quilt draped over the balustrade on the landing was made during her New England phase.
Jennie says: “My dad was an architect, and I think my interest in furniture and interiors came from living with weirdly cool things when I was growing up.”
The couple transformed this interior by lightening the spaces, from the family bathroom upstairs, where the existing wood panelling was painted off-white, to the garden room, which they laid stone floor tiles (again from The Original Tile Company) to complement the exposed stone wall.
There is space to entertain in this house and for family to stay. And the house has the period features you would expect, from the original timber-panelled doors and plaster cornicing to the fireplaces.
So how will the Waddells follow Beaufort? With Graham having taken early retirement and their kids grown up, the couple are faced with new-found freedom. “Wherever we go next we’ll always have a base in East Lothian,” Jennie says. Graham will miss this location. “Come rain or shine, I’ll be out every morning to walk the dogs on the beach,” he says. It’s why they moved here in the first place after all, for a great lifestyle. k
Offers over £685,000; contact Simpson & Marwick (01620 892 000, www.eastlothianprimeproperty.com)
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