DEREK Kilcoyne admits that it was the school catchment area that initially attracted him and wife Michelle to their home in Glasgow’s Jordanhill.
Looking in this popular area of the city, found a substantial three-storey period family home that has proved to be as versatile as it is convenient.
The property at 111 Southbrae Drive is a large semi-detached, five-bedroom Edwardian sandstone house. Derek and Michelle bought it in August 2007 when their son Andrew, now seven, was just weeks old. Though the house had been well maintained, the couple wanted to bring it fully up to 21st-century standards.
They took the house back to its bare bones, lifting floors to install underfloor heating in the kitchen, hallway and bathrooms, re-wiring, re-plumbing, plastering walls, replacing the front windows with new double glazed units in a period style, knocking down a wall to create a large open-plan kitchen and dining room, turning a large bedroom into two bathrooms and extending the old bathroom to make it a larger third bedroom. They also replaced the kitchen and each of the bathrooms and utility, and installed a modern A-rated boiler.
In addition, they put in a home vacuum system – with Hoover ‘plug’ points on each level – and installed a home network system for wi-fi. They also added televisions to most of the bathrooms.
Michelle’s keen eye for decorating and finishing the house was put to good use, both in terms of enhancing period details such as the stained glass windows, and fulfilling the needs of a busy family. White Corian worktops combine with chocolate brown units in the kitchen, with a lime green textured wall adding a splash of colour to the dining area. The five-ring gas range cooker – which also has an induction plate – is faced by an island, with wine fridge concealed within the units. Michelle has chosen plain white walls throughout, using tiling, feature wall coverings or colourful furnishings – such as the red velvet sofa in the lounge – to add a touch of pizzazz. Her love of crystals is evident from the striking suspended ceiling lights in the hallway, as well as the use of crystals in vases and on cushions in the master bedroom.
She chose a tiled Amtico floor covering for the kitchen, downstairs hall and WC, with a neutral carpet laid elsewhere. Meanwhile, each bathroom is individually finished, with wallpaper-style Porcelanosa tiles in the downstairs WC, a mix of matt and gloss white and oatmeal tiles in the family bathroom, light slate-style tiles in the en-suite, and an all-white affair in the lower-ground shower room. This is a home that has been lovingly and painstakingly brought back to life.
“The people before us had painted the house well, but things like the electrics had not been done for 25 years,” says Derek. “The plumbing and kitchen hadn’t been done either, though they had landscaped the garden beautifully by hand. I wanted to make sure the fabric of the building was sound. There was no point refurbishing and not doing things like the electrics. Once you start that, you then have to re-plaster and so on, so it was a case of going in for a penny, in for a pound.”
He adds: “As we were going to these lengths we decided to take down a wall in the kitchen – it was a very small room before, so we opened it up. We closed off the original kitchen door and turned that space into a cloakroom.
“We did start to live here when doing the work but Andrew was just a baby, and as we still had a house elsewhere, we moved there for two months.”
The effort has undoubtedly been worth it. A glazed entrance porch welcomes you into this stylish home, with a bright entrance hall leading down to the lower-ground level and up to the first floor. The 20-foot-long dining kitchen has views over the rear garden, with a door leading directly down to the patio. The 19-foot-long lounge, which has a new stone fireplace, overlooks the front garden, while the newly created downstairs WC is indulgently finished. There is another room on the ground floor that the family have used for many purposes over the years – as a spare bedroom, a separate dining room, study and a playroom.
Stairs leading up to the first floor are met by a beautiful stained glass window that dominates the hallway. Derek fitted lights to illuminate the window at night – he also had it double glazed on the outside to protect the window from the elements. There are now three bedrooms upstairs, along with the family bathroom and the master en-suite. The lower ground floor has another bedroom – though Derek has used this as a cinema room in the past – and a shower room and large utility that has access to the garden. There is also a huge storage space the same size as the lounge. Outside, the garden has been terraced, with a patio area leading down to the lawn, which is bordered by trees.
It’s clear from Derek that the house has proved itself time and again in terms of its flexibility. “When Andrew was younger we used the spare room downstairs as a dining room and we had two sofas and a TV in the kitchen,” he says. “At that point we used this room like an open-plan living space, which is what we wanted so we could cook, talk and watch Andrew.”
He added: “We rented the house out for a while and the people who had it then used the lower ground floor as a granny flat. For us, the biggest difference came when we took the kitchen wall down, though, for me, the underfloor heating has been a great success. Previously the house was quite dark and dreary – the living room ceiling was painted yellow – but painting the house white has made it nice and bright, and has brought out the period detailing in things like the stained glass and the cornicing. It’s now a lovely bright and airy home.”
• 111 Southbrae Drive, Jordanhill, Glasgow, is for sale at O/O £575,000 through Rettie (0141-341 6000, www.rettie.co.uk)