Inside a modern farmhouse in Lanarkshire
From the outside Ryelands Farm is more or less what you might expect of a large rural property, but once you’re inside, it’s a revelation.
Located in a tranquil rural spot close to the village of Drumclog and about four miles from the historic market town of Strathaven in South Lanarkshire (and 30 miles from Glasgow via the M74), Ryelands is a traditional stone farmhouse with around 1.23 acres of land.
Architect Jack Blackwood had already known of the property for some years before he approached the farmer who owned it, and he was drawn initially by the location.
Ryelands had been rented for a number of years at that stage and was very run down, but Jack and his wife Lynda could see the potential to transform the property.
Over the years since, the couple have altered this period farmhouse to create a quite remarkable contemporary home, splitting the work over a number of phases, starting with the main building, which they upgraded before extending into the adjoining stable to create the new living room.
Picture: the living room, Galbraith
Today, Ryelands combines light-filled and contemporary living spaces, such as the fantastic double height sitting room, which is an extension of the original house, with rooms that are spacious yet have a cosier ambience, like the timber panelled dining room and the main living room with its wood-burning stove and, again, with its wood panelled feature wall that wraps round into this space from the dining area.
Picture: the kitchen, Galbraith
When you want to retreat from the world on a winter’s day, this living room comes into its own with the stove lit, but when you crave brightness and volume, the sitting room is the ideal spot with its French doors and windows on three sides bathing this space in light.
A glass and timber staircase leads up to the galleried landing, which has a small study space, and from here you have access to two bedrooms – which were added as part of the extension.
Picture: the dining room, Galbraith
This sitting room also opens into the large family kitchen – big enough for another dining table – again creating a lovely flow of space.
There is a utility room to the rear of the kitchen and a bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor, while the master bedroom is upstairs, along with a shower room and a further bedroom.
In redesigning the house to create today’s generous and flowing five bedroom home, Jack was very conscious of his needs.
The couple have two grown-up kids, Alan and Gillian, so the house had to work for family living and be practical for a rural lifestyle.
Picture: an outdoor seating space, Galbraith
You arrive to the rear of the house, on the north side, where you can park in the carport and stow muddy footwear before heading into the main living spaces.
When upgrading the property, Jack was also able to upgrade fundamental aspects such as insulation, double glazing and heating, improving the comfort of the home and reducing its running costs.
An oil-fired central heating boiler is complemented by an 18kW air source heat pump, and solar panels provide electricity.
Picture: the wood burning stove is a feature of the living room, Galbraith
The wood-burning stove in the living room was handcrafted in Scotland by Dowling Stoves –just one more example of the attention to detail poured into this house.
Throughout, Jack wanted to balance the character of the original period property with the more contemporary living spaces, which is what led him to install timber wall panelling.
Hardwood flooring picks up on the tones of the timber. “I wanted to keep things more traditional in the older building, and then as you move towards the newer sections I wanted you to walk through a time span so you get the sense that this is different while keeping the space flowing,” he says.
While the kitchen has quite a traditional feel with its panelled timber cabinetry, the bathroom and shower room are very contemporary.
Picture: the bathroom, Galbraith
The former has a freestanding claw foot bath – a nod to a more traditional aesthetic– which is offset by the Mediterranea wallpaper by Fornasetti for Cole & Son, which adds visual impact.
As an architect, Jack can clearly visualise space and is well used to handling major projects through his work with BSP Architects and the construction firm Cousins Scotland.
Picture: one of the bedrooms, Galbraith
Indeed Jack had a break during this project at Ryelands as he spent some time working in Libya. When he returned he also built a new house to neighbour Ryelands, but entirely separate from it.
“When you come in here, no one overlooks the property, but we liked the added security of having another house in this location,” he says.
With both the light-filled sitting room within the extension and the separate living room, this house works very well throughout the year, whatever the weather.
“We use this space right through the summer months,” Jack says of the sitting room, “and when it gets to winter, we always come in the back door and pick up a bucket full of logs and put the fire on in the living room.”
Ryelands truly is a house for all seasons.
Ryelands Farm is being marketed at a fixed price of £450,000 with Galbraith.
Words: Fiona Reid