DAVID Sleight sits back and admires the comfortable home around him. Twelve months ago he bought the second-floor flat after spotting it for sale during a chance drive through Glasgow’s West End.
Having contemplated moving house for around four years, the prospect of buying a two-bedroom off-plan flat in a stone-fronted Manor Kingdom development in the city was too tempting to resist for David, who is contract management director with Thales, a global defence and aerospace company.
While his full-time job takes him all over the world and is demanding on his time, David has also managed to carve out a secondary career as a respected cricket commentator with BBC Radio Lancashire and BBC Radio Manchester. A life-long supporter of the sport, he successfully manages to juggle both challenging roles during the cricket season, between April and September. David, who is also chairman of the Cricket Society of Scotland, admits that it was because he spotted this flat during his ‘quieter’ months that he grabbed the chance to move. However, moving home in May – at the start of the cricket season – meant he had to enlist help in order to turn the shell of the flat into the luxury apartment he enjoys today.
“When I saw these flats for sale I came down for a look and knew this was exactly what I needed,” says David. “Within a week I had put down a deposit. I had considered moving for a while but if you don’t need to move then mustering up the motivation to do it is hard. But when I saw this flat I knew it was where I wanted to be. The fact that it was the winter meant I had the time to do this.”
He adds: “I chose this flat as it is unique in its layout. About a month before I moved in the cricket season was just beginning and I knew I would never be able to get the flat done. A friend suggested I get someone to do it for me so I called Margot Paton from Chelsea McLaine. She looked round my old flat and asked what pieces of furniture I wanted to take, though she suggested starting afresh. She did a really fantastic job and took away all the stress.
“I remember sitting in a meeting in Munich and I got an email from Margot with a photo of this sofa sitting in my lounge. That was quite weird but was really good at the same time. I would come home and Margot would have installed new pieces, like lamps. It was good fun. The one thing I was really short of was time but that problem was removed by Margot.”
David chose the kitchen and bathrooms himself, selecting natural wood units, a granite worktop, green glass splashback, black slate floor, induction hob and wine chiller for the kitchen, and a mix of subtle beige striped and black mosaic Porcelanosa tiles for the ensuite and striking checked tiles for over the bath in the main bathroom, where he also installed an extra shower. He sourced a bank of mirrored cupboards for both bathrooms, and commissioned a bespoke bookcase for his beloved collection of cricket books from Neville Johnson in Glasgow, along with bespoke bedroom furniture.
The line of the long living room bookcase cleverly echoes the curved edge of the Porcelanosa bathroom sinks, while Margot continued the silver, black and beige tones and checked theme of the tiles between rooms – from the sumptuous Osborne & Little-covered dining chairs and bedroom throws to the mix of Chelsom, Endon and Heathfield lamps.
The kitchen is semi-open plan to the living room where an L-shaped Orior sofa, covered with a warm beige Zoffany fabric, takes centre stage. The bespoke bookcase lines the rear wall, while the glass-topped bespoke Northcroft dining table provides plenty of space for entertaining. Three full-height windows open onto a decked balcony with glass balustrade.
Both bedrooms fittingly overlook the local cricket ground – a sheer coincidence David assures me. Opulent tall headboards, covered with Zoffany and Designers Guild fabrics, set the theme in each bedroom. Both rooms have abundant fitted wardrobes, though David got bespoke bedside tables and bookcases made in wood to tone with the heavy doors. The apartment benefits from two vast walk-in cupboards, one of which David is considering turning into a home office. To maintain continuity between rooms, Margot decided to get David’s cricket pictures re-framed by Milngavie-based artist Gordon Wilson.
“The flat was a complete blank canvas,” Margot says. “I had seen David’s former apartment to see what he liked. Cricket is a huge part of his life so it was a must that he take all his cricket pieces and that these take centre stage for him. I did a neutral backdrop because the cricket pieces are quite colourful with lots of blues and greens. We re-framed them all to make them a bit more contemporary. I would send David photographs of furniture and other pieces when he was working overseas, he would say whether he liked it or not, I would then order it and put it in place for him coming back. The flat suits him beautifully – it is understated but high quality and easily managed.”
Cricket is indeed a fundamental part of David’s life, but it was a stroke of luck that he entered commentating. “Five years ago I went to see Lancashire play Scotland in Edinburgh and I met Chris Mallaband from BBC Lancashire,” he says. “Chris interviewed me for the BBC for much of the match. A few days later I got a phone call asking if I would like to do radio work more regularly. The feedback I get is that I am good at explaining points of the game – the fact that I have to explain complicated concepts either verbally or through writing in my work has probably helped me with my cricket commentary.”
He adds: “I love my job, my cricket and my flat. It is modern and convenience living but has some real character. That’s what attracted me to it in the beginning.”
Chelsea McLaine (0141-942 2833, www.chelseamclaine.co.uk)