Interiors: Time and effort restore Three Gables cottage and land to former glory
Dawn and Richard Bell transform their Jedburgh house, which had been converted from three cottages
In 2008, Dawn Bell wasn’t desperate to move when her itchy-footed husband Richard wafted the details for the Three Gables, which stands on a hill outside Jedburgh, in front of her. “In a moment of weakness, I agreed to take a look,” she says.
Having spotted a big kitchen window from the outside, Dawn raced around the house before stepping into the view that really sold the place to her. Converted to one house from three separate cottages 18 years ago, the detached five-bedroom property has lots of floor space and high ceilings. “The walls are two to three feet thick in places, but the interior needed attention,” says Dawn.
Initially, the couple lived in the kitchen as they peeled back walls and floors. Dawn and Richard used the positions of three original chimneys to reinstate fireplaces (fitted with log-burners) restoring character in the family room, adjoining sitting room and dining area.
Upgrading the central heating and installing new radiators was another big project, as was re-wiring and addressing the floors.
Dawn and Richard opted for carpet in the family and sitting rooms as well as the bedrooms, while a new floating floor of engineered wood was fitted in the dining room. The latter is effectively a dining hallway, the front entrance opening directly to it.
One staircase leads from this space to two bedrooms that share a shower room, the latter revamped with fresh tiling and furniture. A second staircase (from the family room) leads to three more bedrooms and the family bathroom. “We tackled one side of the house, then the other,” says Dawn,
With most of the house transformed, the old kitchen suddenly looked a lot worse. So, last year, the couple knocked down a wall that divided the room from a passageway, creating a larger, more functional space. The new space is an exercise in contemporary style. High-gloss black units contrast with light walls and solid timber worktops.
Today’s furniture is a mix of old and new. A few of the pieces, including the large dresser in the dining area, as well as the table and chairs there, came from Barker & Stonehouse in Newcastle.
The textiles - including cosy throws, curtains and patchwork blankets on the beds - reveal something of Dawn’s talents. In the 1980s, Dawn studied at the then Scottish College of Textiles in Galashiels, and is now employed by Lochcarron of Scotland in Selkirk.
The couple used environmentally friendly paints by Ecos in all the rooms. “They have fewer shades but that made the decisions easier for us,” says Dawn.
The couple have also invested time and effort in the land here, which holds a large paddock and a timber stable block as well as garden space to the front, side and rear.
At the back, Dawn and Richard added raised beds (where they grow fruit and veg) and decking that is reached via the kitchen as well as the family room. There is plenty of space for some rowdy hens too.
Dawn and Richard are hoping that the Three Gables will go to a family with outside interests and who have the same appreciation as they do for the majestic sunsets that can be admired at this time of year behind the beautiful Eildon Hills. k
The Three Gables is for sale with a guide price of £450,000 through Jamie Macpherson Property (01896 820226, www.macphersonproperty.co.uk)
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