The house was built in 1896 for Ernest Coats, a scion of the Coats dynasty, famous throughout the world for their distinctive Paisley pattern fabric design.
There are statues, a park and the Coats Observatory in the town attesting to the family’s influence and importance to the locale.
At the height of the Coats’ success, they employed 21,000 people worldwide and were behind one of the largest global firms of the era.
Balgonie was obviously designed and finished to reflect their success, and the interiors are both exquisite and impressively well preserved.
There is rich woodwork throughout, including original timber wall panelling, ornate leaded windows, magnificent fireplaces and a grand staircase.
The intricate cornicing is paired with sumptuous tiling and brickwork which combine to create a beautiful Victorian feel, right down to the original light switches and door furniture.
Doreen Smith has called Balgonie home for 32 years. She is an interior designer, so you could say that the house met the right person at the right time.
The house already belonged to her husband, Paul Joseph, when they married, but she reports that the property has had a few high-profile owners too: “A member of the Robertson family, famous for jams and marmalade, once owned it, as did [fashion retailer] Vera Weisfeld.
“When Paul bought it, it had been used as an old people’s home, but only for a couple of years and fortunately everything was still intact, so it was just a case of removing the institutional feel and redecorating.”
Paul also has a career in design, his company deals with extensions and specialises in creating orangeries.So, between them, the couple had the necessary skills to ensure Balgonie has been kept in excellent condition during their tenure.
Doreen says: “Over the years the colours have changed, and we are always working round the house so it wasn’t a project all done at one time. But we have always kept the public rooms very much as the style dictates.
“I’ve always kept that in mind when I was choosing items for the house, but that is coupled with what makes us feel comfortable – it was all about making it a home.”
One area that is more modern is the kitchen which is sleek and luxurious. The couple have used the house as a hospitality business in their time there, and glowing online reviews attest to the appreciation of the mansion shown by guests.
Doreen says that one of the best things about the property is the garden. “We are nestled inprivately – we have a wall of trees all the way round, so people in the area don’t even know it exists.
“It is close to everything – the M8, Loch Lomond, the West End of Glasgow – but, nevertheless, it is very peaceful and quiet.”
There is a summer house with its own patio at the front of the house, and at the side another pretty stone building has an open fire and eating area. Doreen explains: “It means that you can use the garden year-round, and follow the sun at different points in the garden throughout the day. We have had barbecues in the snow before.”
With nine bedrooms and seven public rooms, Balgonie is a house designed for sumptuous entertaining, and Doreen says: “It was always the house where friends and family gathered at Christmas or birthdays. It is big but it doesn’t feel too big. I worked from home so I have plenty of space but as a family house it has worked brilliantly – as a place to bring up the children and fill with people and noise.”
Area Paisley has a rich history and a beautiful abbey, founded in 1163. Gleniffer Braes Country Park is in a few minutes walk from Balgonie House and has woodland walks, waterfalls, diverse wildlife and fabulous views, as well as Paisley Golf Club. The town has a range of supermarkets and retail parks and a growing number of independent shops and eateries. Braehead Shopping Centre is nearby.
Schools Gleniffer High School is the nearest secondary. Nearby independents include The High School of Glasgow and Glasgow Academy, which run daily buses from the area.
Interior Nine bedrooms, seven bathrooms and seven public rooms.
Exterior Two acres of secluded tree-lined grounds with a private circular drive. Summer house, garden room, lawns and landscaped terraces.
Balgonie House, Acer Crescent, Paisley, is priced at offers over £995,000.
For more information, contact Corum Property on 01505 691 400.