DREW and Jacky Wilson’s home has definite kerb appeal. The 1960s-built property sits proudly within an ample plot, and boasts outstanding views over Glasgow, East Kilbride and the National Trust’s Greenbank Garden to the rear.
Honey sandstone frames the oak doorway which is protected under a tiled canopy. The white-washed building is a handsome figure on Hillcrest Drive in Glasgow’s plush Newton Mearns.
The couple bought 4 Hillcrest Drive ten years ago when it was a three-bedroom house with additional box bedroom. However, they have dramatically extended and upgraded it to create a six-bedroom home with plenty of entertainment space and a bespoke kitchen. Claiming two master suites on the first floor, they have also given careful thought to the garden area, which they re-developed to create an upper and lower garden, with a hot tub sunk into a deck – all positioned to take advantage of those views.
Built in 1963, the house remained in the same ownership until 2000 when it was bought as a development project – that owner converted the garage into a family room, adding a master bedroom with balcony and en-suite on the first floor, and carried out a general upgrade before selling it to Drew and Jacky. They moved in with their two sons – Alan, now 29, and Ross, 18 – and started again with the renovation.
As well as putting on a complete new roof, they extended the house to incorporate a double garage with the second master bedroom and en-suite above. They installed a new gas central heating system, with two boilers (one for upstairs and the other downstairs). They also turned the original box room into a dressing room for one of the master bedrooms, added double doors into the living room, and between the kitchen and family room, and employed a local kitchen designer to create an all-encompassing eating and cooking space to overlook the garden. They removed a dated wrought iron balustrade that separated the living room and dining space, opening it up to have a more inviting flow, and re-designed the entrance, framing the oak door with glass panels.
While there are now five bedrooms, two en-suites and a family bathroom upstairs, there is an additional sixth bedroom, living room, dining room, family room, dining kitchen, utility room and WC downstairs. There is also a boiler room and the double garage, which has electric doors. All of the bathrooms are finished with stone or modern textured tiling.
Jacky has favoured neutral shades of coffee, cream and mocha throughout, with raspberry tones used for a splash of colour in the kitchen and family room. The couple’s collection of vibrant artwork sings out against this backdrop.
“The original house was quite a small house on a large plot, so was ideal for development,” says Drew. “It had a shallow pitch roof when we bought it, and the garage had been converted. It was an opportunity to take the house and develop it to the way we wanted to live. It was fairly open plan, but Jacky wanted to be able to close off some rooms, so we put in double doors to close off the living room. We added double doors from the kitchen into the family room in order to open that space up and to share light between the rooms.”
He adds: “Though the garage had been converted, we felt we needed to balance the house out, so we built out to the other side to add the double garage and a second master suite – that suite was for our eldest son who was at university at the time, but now that he has moved out our youngest son uses it. We loved the layout of the house as it gave us plenty of wall space for our artwork.”
The family lived in the house for a short while until deciding what they wanted from it. They then employed an architect and team of builders, and completed most of the work over one summer. At the same time they re-developed the rear garden, which was on a slope. They levelled the back off into two designated areas – the upper garden, which flows out from the family room, features a deck with sunken hot tub which has a Japanese Shoji hood over it, and patio area for outside dining. Steps lead down to the lower garden, which is an expanse of lawn bounded by walls and trees.
“The lower garden has been used by the boys as Wimbledon, Hampden and Murrayfield over the years,” laughs Drew. “We really wanted the garden to be an extension of the inside space. We gutted it, levelled it off and brought the garden out from the house. The hot tub is amazing in winter. The Japanese hood allows us to use it all year – I spent six years in Japan when I was in the Navy and have brought influences from there into this house, through the tub, blinds and artwork. It works well here because the house benefits from so much light.”
While the open-plan living and dining room is a relatively formal space with limestone fireplace, plump brown leather sofas and contemporary Tom Schneider furniture, Jacky wanted a more relaxed feel in the kitchen. She avoided wall-hung units, opting for a mix of high gloss white Italian doors and walnut-framed units, black granite worktops and slate floor. The island contains the induction hob and plenty of storage, with a bank of units concealing a large pull-out larder. The tones of the raspberry feature wall are replicated in the family room through the cushions, rug and artwork.
It is clear the couple have loved every minute of this home – talking fondly of large family barbecues and New Year parties – but they are now selling with the intention of down-sizing.
“Alan is now based in Edinburgh and Ross is about to go away to university, so the house is too big just for the two of us,” concedes Jacky.
“I love the space and flow in the house, as well as the garden – we will definitely miss the hot tub,” she smiles. n
• Hillcrest Drive, Newton Mearns, Glasgow, is for sale at O/O £585,000 through Clyde Property (0141-534 3777, www.clydeproperty.co.uk)