A picture perfect smithy cottage close to the city hits the market

Winton Smithy Cottage, Pencaitland, is a charming five-bedroomed stone-built family home situated in the idyllic countryside, offering a truly private escape in a very desirable area of East Lothian.

This beautifully presented property has a private driveway leading to an extensive garden, a triple garage, stand-alone studio and paddock.Owner Behzad Afshar has lived here for exactly ten years, having moved out of Edinburgh with his wife, Katherine, after their two daughters had left home to go to university, and having to undertake the daily school run was no longer a bind for the couple.

The drawing room. Picture: Coulters

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Behzad says: “The house was an old smithy, parts of it dating back to at least 1847. It was developed by the last owner who added a wing in 1994, but the addition followed the style of the traditional build.“After we moved in, we refurbished, replacing the kitchen and bathrooms, and we converted the conservatory into a family room by adding a proper roof. It gave the house a much better flow.”The new family room is located off the dining-kitchen, while the larger sitting room is situated in the new wing.

The master bedroom suite.

Two of the five bedrooms are downstairs, along with two bathrooms, and the other three bedrooms are on the first floor. The master suite boasts its own shower room and a dressing room and is accessed by a private stair. One feature that has been retained is a fascinating main staircase –described by Behzad as “a piece of art” – and it is enclosed in glass with metal treads held up by an undulating tree trunk.He adds: “The last owner commissioned an artist to create it, I’ve seen the invoice and I was shocked by how much it is worth. It is definitely a talking point.

The staircase is described as a work of art. Picture: Coulters

Such features keep the rustic idea of a smithy, but update the style so that it suits a modern home.Interesting touches, such as the stone wall in the kitchen and the stone fireplaces in the living rooms, mirror the traditional exterior of the 19th-century building.Wooden lintels above the doors and windows and natural wood panels and worktops in the kitchen give a country feel to the interior of what is a very sophisticated house.

The kitchen

Katherine is a landscape artist and this was another factor which originally attracted the Afshars to the house.The couple converted the property’s detached stable block into an artist’s studio and sewing room, which has plenty of natural light to aid artistic endeavours thanks to a circular window which overlooks neighbouring fields.

The back of the house, with family pet, Tia

The block could be turned into a one-bedroomed apartment, but it has given Katherine an ideal work space with an idyllic commute. Behzad’s journey to work is not so bad either. His career is with family property business AMA, based in the centre of Edinburgh. He commutes daily but this usually involves a journey of only half an hour or less.The garden is a particular feature of Winton Smithy Cottage and has become Behzad’s domain.He has planned and planted it with the help of a gardener two days a week to help with the heavy jobs.The land wraps around the house and includes landscaped gardens and a paddock, totalling just under one and a half acres.

The view of the front pond from the kitchen door. Picture: Coulters

There are two ponds, the smaller at the front is set opposite the kitchen, while the rear garden pond is larger and is stocked with ornamental fish which have to be protected against herons.For the family dog, a Bichon Frise called Tia, the garden is perfect as it is enclosed and private.Behzad and Katherine are moving to spend more time with their daughters, but will miss the tranquillity the smithy has always afforded as a comfortable oasis in easy travelling distance of the city.

Winton Smithy Cottage has five bedrooms, four public rooms and an acre and a half of gardens.

Offers over £995,000, contact Coulters on 0131-603 7333.

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