It is a real luxury to have a house that is close to the city centre but in a quiet position.
It is the reason why homes in Edinburgh’s Grange are so eagerly sought after and this coupled with the proximity to some of the best schools in the country means that they attract the family market. Dalrymple Crescent is a fine example of precisely what buyers are looking for; a charming and peaceful street just a short distance to the city.
Number four Dalrymple Crescent, is now a beautifully presented detached family house which suits its wonderful location.
But it wasn’t always the case, When Fiona and Stuart Anthony bought it four and a half years ago, it had been lived in by the same family for forty years. Fiona says: “They had obviously loved living here and it had served them well, but it needed updating to make the most of it.”
The couple lived in the property for eighteen months while they decided exactly what needed doing, and then moved out for six months, such was the extent of the work needed. Bathrooms and kitchens were reconfigured and replaced and they brought back the upper floor into use - its two bedrooms and a shower room is now a great space for their sons. The also restored many of the original features, such as cornicing and replaced the front entrance of the house to bring it back in keeping with its era; it was constructed in 1862 but by the time the Anthonys took over, the fashions of the 1960s and 70s had taken their toll with an open plan minimalist Scandinavian style involving a lot of wood panelling and lowered ceilings. Fiona says; “It was what was fashionable at the time, but we really wanted to restore the original feel of the house with some modern comforts like under floor heating.” The front door is now back in its original place, rather than the house being entered from the side.
In carrying out the work, they have updating the house for a new century - and made it very family friendly into the bargain. On the ground floor they have created a very modern dining kitchen with a central island, a big Rangemaster oven at the heart and ample storage.
It is a sunny space; Fiona, who is originally from New Zealand says that her origins meant it was very important to get as much light into the living space as possible and it has aspects to the north and south so the sun lights it all day.
French doors from the kitchen lead to the patio and back garden but there is also an adjacent study area which connects the kitchen to a family sitting room.
A shower room and a utility room with a further back door to the garden means this whole area could supply all the living space you would need, but in this house there is also the more formal part which is a really useful adult space in a house designed around a young family. The sitting room is situated at the front of the house and has a large south facing bay window.
The master bedroom is at the back on this level too, with views across the garden and there is a further double bedroom on the ground floor, as well as the main family bathroom. Fiona says that having most of your living space on the same floor requires an adjustment: “Just a bit of lateral thinking really.”
Upstairs the two boys’ bedrooms share a shower room and an additional study or playroom. Fiona says: “The boys have got views to the Royal Observatory and Arthur’s Seat from up here and now they are getting older they really love having their own space.”
The house sits well back form the quiet street and is screened by a mature hedge. There is plenty of off street parking, garage and private south facing front garden, but it is the large walled back garden that is a real draw here.
As well as kitchen garden area which provides everything from potatoes, broccoli, strawberries and raspberries, it has a large lawn area - essentially for rugby games for the children. It is bordered by mature shrubs and so is pretty low maintenance but provides plenty of space for entertaining or for the children’ to play. Fiona says: “What we’ve loved about it is that it is very safe, but then the whole street is quiet, with very little traffic, so our kids have always been in and out of their friends’ houses and gardens and vice versa. It is a perfect place for them to go out and play.”
The communal spirit extends to the adults too: “It is a very sociable street, with parties and get togethers and barbecues etc, all year round.”
4, Dalrymple Crescent has been a wonderful family house throughout its history, and its latest incarnation will ensure that it continues.