Prestige property: a Victorian villa that has been extended to suit modern family life
Rupert and Wendy Fleming bought the property in 2017 and have enjoyed living there since with their two twins and golden retriever, George.
“Wendy is a sucker for an old house, while I saw the cornice and fell in love,” recalls Rupert, who needed a bit more persuasion than Wendy to take on the house, due to the sheer amount of work required to bring it up to modern-day standards.
“We went for coffee and started to chat about the potential of the house and plot, especially a possible west-facing extension,” he explains. “Before we knew it, we were back for another look and putting in an offer.”
Although structurally sound, the house was in need of a lot of TLC, and the renovation work included upgrading its plumbing and heating system, installing new insulation, a full re-wiring, as well as redecorating every room.
On moving in, Rupert remembers: “It was the ultimate homage to the trends of woodchip wallpaper, and Artex walls and ceilings.
“Our friends popped round the day we moved in and declared us ‘mad’ – and maybe we were, but we saw the potential.”
A design director and architect for Dunfermline-based Flow Design Architects, Rupert was responsible for the open-plan kitchen, dining and family space added on to Priorsford House’s west-facing elevation.
The planning permission process went smoothly, as the design did not require any structural alterations to the original building, and included the removal of a conservatory.
The Flemings’ key consideration for the external look was to create something contemporary which could both contrast and complement the existing house, with the roof lines and materials used by the design.
Inside, the couple wanted to include as much glass as possible. Wendy says: “The west-facing extension gave us the opportunity to create a large outdoor terrace that would capture the afternoon and evening sun, facing onto a newly-lawned garden – it’s the perfect spot for a G&T.”
The accommodation within retains a traditional appearance throughout, with its beautifully floored entrance hall leading elegantly to a large bay-windowed family room, and generously proportioned living room with an attractively coffered ceiling, both of which are warmed by striking feature fireplaces.
The house’s open-plan kitchen, dining and living space provides the heart of the home, and it benefits from a central island/breakfast bar, Range-style cooker with induction hob, and offers ample room for both a dining table and sitting area.
Large sliding doors bring the outside in and provide access to the raised patio seating area that Wendy extols for entertaining.
“The previous owners were keen gardeners, so there was a really good stock of perennial plants at the house already,” she adds.
“There’s also a couple of pear trees, some apple trees, and a few plum trees – crumble heaven!
“Our kids were keen to have a big lawn area for football and slip-and-slide in the summer, so we seeded that when we finished the extension.
"There’s a beautiful copper beech tree around the front of the house, but we got permission to take down a few less attractive trees, which really helped to open up the garden and managed to get much more daylight into the house too.”
The Flemings are now moving over to Northern Ireland to be closer to Wendy’s kin, and while the location has been a boon for their family, Rupert and Wendy admit they will miss the “gin terrace” which has afforded them many fun-filled evenings together.
Priorsford House, Tweed Avenue, Peebles, Scottish Borders, is priced at offers over £775,000.
For more information, contact Blackwood & Smith
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