ANNE Rodger grins from ear to ear as she admits how she fell in love with West Boghall near Scone when she bought it eight years ago.
After a two-year search, the owner and director of XL Training couldn’t believe her luck when she viewed the two-storey farmhouse, just five minutes from Perth.
“I had looked for a house for such a long time,” she reveals. “I wanted to move to the countryside with no one overlooking and West Boghall was an absolute little gem to me when I finally found it. My work takes me all over Scotland so being based just outside Perth has meant I can travel easily throughout the country.”
The main part of the house dates from 1800. In 1989, the owner altered the building from one-and-a-half storeys to two. The next owner extended it further in 1995, adding a new entrance porch, WC and a second lounge. When Anne bought the three-bedroom house in 2004 she wanted to bring it into the 21st century, while retaining the original character. She chose to replace the kitchen and rework the downstairs space to make a larger family bathroom. She also created an en-suite for the master bedroom, upgraded the electrics and installed downlighters, fitted a new boiler and laid new oak flooring in most rooms. Outside, she transformed the 2.6 acres of land by building stables, installing a summer house, creating a vast riding arena and turning the old piggery into a substantial garage.
“When I bought the house it had all been done very well with some lovely wallpaper, but it was just a bit dated and the place needed opened up,” she says.
“The kitchen was dark brown and the main bathroom had a pampas green suite. I felt the bathroom let the house down as it was a long, thin room. The double bedroom next door had built-in wardrobes that weren’t really necessary so I decided to steal that wardrobe space for the bathroom to open it out. I chose a roll-top bath for that space. The bathroom is now much wider.”
The bathroom is a charming room with an antique blond mahogany washstand converted to form the sink unit, a traditional high cistern and the inviting free-standing slipper bath. Anne chose Dulux’s Khaki Mists 3 for the walls, a subtle tone that she has used throughout the house, along with honeysuckle and cream, colours that blend well with her favoured red and gold accessories.
When tackling the kitchen, Anne decided to rip everything out and start again. She removed a cupboard that housed the old boiler, which opened the room up, and took away a 1980s-style stone fireplace, uncovering the original one with stone lintel in the process. She installed a multi-fuel stove and new surround and made better use of the kitchen space by moving the large Belfast sink into a window recess and created a new recess for the Falcon range cooker by fitting an oak lintel.
“The kitchen previously had a pine floor but it had lots of gaps so I laid a new solid oak floor myself – I am keen on doing work myself though I did call on assistance when I was struggling,” she laughs. “I went to Strathearn Stone and Timber in Forteviot for the oak floor, oak for the kitchen units and a lovely leather hammered granite worktop which is just amazing as it does not show up any marks. My joiner made the oak kitchen units bespoke for me.”
She adds: “I created a window seat and have space for a dining table that caters for eight people. The oak in the kitchen suits the house and will never date. I love the kitchen – at Christmas I warm the mulled wine on top of the stove. It is just fabulous.”
The large original porch to the house had become a disused space so Anne’s joiner turned it into a home office, fitting it out with the same oak units as the kitchen. The office, which is adjacent to the sitting room, has lovely views of the garden. This room, in turn, where Anne fitted a new oak floor, has patio doors that open out to the garden. “During the summer, and often on a beautiful winter morning, I will have these doors wide open – it’s just such a lovely spot to sit,” she says.
While the sitting room features golden tones, the formal drawing room sports plump brown leather sofas and a baby grand piano.
“I bought the piano for my old house as I wanted to learn to play but then I got a horse, which really took over,” smiles Anne. “I was quite happy that the piano fitted so easily into this room though.”
Upstairs, Anne replaced the shower room, installing a power shower, and, after removing fitted wardrobes from the master bedroom and seeing what a large space it is, she also created an en suite.
“There was a ‘dead’ corner in the bedroom so that’s where I created the en suite,” she says. “I love my bedroom – I wanted it to have a farmhouse feel and got my wooden sleigh bed at an auction for £100.
“When I moved here I was so excited as there are lots of places to go horse riding, but there are also so many antique shops.”
Outside, Anne has transformed the land. She has four horses, one of which is claustrophobic, so she built stables with a unique gated system that allows her to have one large stable or to split it. In addition, she created a hay barn and tack room. After removing a large LPG tank and having it concealed underground, she turned a previously disused piece of land into a sand arena. A bespoke summerhouse now sits to the edge of this.
Having loved West Boghall for the past eight years, Anne is now moving on to pastures new. “I would like to undertake a new project, plus this house is really suited for a family,” she says. “I really have loved living here – I just went about with a big grin on my face when I moved here at first.”
• West Boghall, Rait Road, by Scone, is for sale at offers over £430,000 through CKD Galbraith
(01738 451111, www.ckdgalbraith.co.uk)