Inside a converted home in Aberdeenshire which has stunning sea views

Gardenstown near Banff is a picture postcard coastal village with beautiful sea views, finds Kirsty McLuckie.

When Mick and Kim Eason bought their home at 55 Denside, Gardenstown near Banff over a decade ago, they were moving from one extreme to the other.

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Mick says: “We were living in Northamptonshire at the time, which is about as far away from the sea as you can get in the UK, so we fell in love with this house which couldn’t get much closer to the coast.”

The couple were moving to the area with new jobs, both at Robert Gordon University’s Gray’s School of Art.

Mick lectures on photographer and Kim has recently retired as head of fashion and textiles.

Picture: Strutt and Parker

Their creative eyes were obviously drawn to the pretty house which is in the picturesque village of Gardenstown.

The location has an outlook to Gamrie Bay on the Moray Firth, but Mick says that the house needed a little work.

“It was just looking a little tired inside so we have redecorated throughout.”

Picture: Strutt and Parker

The house was built in the 1920s and had served time as a general store, but when the Easons took over the ground floor was being used for boat building.

Mick says: “The previous owners used it as a boat building yard, but we got planning permission to turn it into a family room.

“It had no access from the rest of the house so we put in a staircase from the hall and French windows out to the terrace at the front.”

Picture: Strutt and Parker

The beautiful room, with its wood burning stove, is where Kim works now, creating craftwork and textiles.

The couple also replaced the central heating system and put in double glazing throughout to make for a cosy home, although Mick says that the position is not as exposed to sea breezes as you would expect.

He says: “The whole village is protected by the cliffs so we are sheltered.

“Certainly the terrace at the back of the house is a bit of a sun trap on warmer days.”

Picture: Strutt and Parker

He describes the house as somewhat quirky, and the couple have certainly put their artistic talents into practice and added a great deal of character, finishing the sitting room with wallpaper featuring dog portraits while the resplendent pink walled kitchen matches their outdoor furniture at the front.

Picture: Strutt and Parker

The kitchen is finished with free-standing units topped with wood, a tiled floor and electric Aga and has space for a dining table.

As well as the family room, there is a utility room and store on the ground floor.

The dining kitchen is on the next floor up, alongside the drawing room with its own woodburning stove.

Picture: Strutt and Parker

Because the house is set on a slope, the drawing room has French doors leading directly to the back garden.

The dining room is separate and with a shower room next to it could act as a fourth bedroom if needed.

Upstairs the three bedrooms are coombed and the master bedroom has Velux windows over the bed, perfectly framing the sea views.

Picture: Strutt and Parker

At the back of the house, steps leading up from the terrace go to the vegetable garden with its raised beds which is where Mick spends a lot of his spare time.

Despite being called Gardenstown, most of the houses perched between the cliff and the shore do not have the wealth of outdoor space that 55 Denside does and Mick has enjoyed growing vegetables and fruit.

The couple applied for and received planning permission to replace a shed next to the greenhouse with a summer house but that is a task for the next owner.

There is also planning in place for a cloakroom on the upper floor so there is room for new owners to add their own touch.

Picture: Strutt and Parker

The Easons will miss both the house and the village which has a pub, shop and cafe.

Mick says: “It is a very friendly place with a really strong sense of community among us all.

“It has attracted a lot of creative people and we hold an arts and craft fair in August every year which is really popular.”

Picture: Strutt and Parker

It is also a quiet location for those wanting to live in a village but work in the city and many residents undertake the hour-long commute to Aberdeen, as Mick does.

He says: “You could see it as a bit of a drive but it has been worth it to live in such a spectacular location.”

Picture: Strutt and Parker

55 Denside, Gardenstown is on the market with Strutt & Parker for offers over £235,000.