Quiet seclusion in Edinburgh’s Trinity

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In the heart of Edinburgh’s Trinity, tucked away down a private drive and set well back from the road is a 23C Stanley Road. It is one of two homes built in the grounds of the larger period mansion, Stanley House, in the 1960s.

Its unique location combined with some spectacular modernisations makes 23C a very special family home.

Roz and Callum Thomson bought the house in 2011, their first property together.

They were moving out of their single city centre flats to get married and looking for somewhere quieter to live.

The couple couldn’t have imagined that they would find somewhere so secluded, yet close to the shops and restaurants of Leith, plus the main routes into the city centre, three miles away.

Roz says: “I think we were both a bit nervous about moving out, but finding something like this reassured us that it would be worth it.”

Although the Thomsons have added their own touch to the house, most notably replacing the kitchen and redecorating throughout, much of the modern layout was already in situ in 2011.

“It was owned by someone with a building company before us and he had upgraded and added to the property in his time here,” says Roz.

What looks like quite a modest home as you make your way up the driveway actually turns out to be substantial, largely because of this work.

The biggest surprise when you enter the house at the front is that you have no idea of what is going on at the back.

The wall separating the sitting room from the dining room, and the wall between the kitchen and the outside terrace, have both been replaced by huge glazed doors.

Roz says: “The internal doors means we can have the kitchen, dining room and sitting room as one big open-plan space, or in winter we tend to close ourselves off in the sitting room in the evening with the woodburning stove.

“In summer, the outside doors are kept open as much as possible as we use the garden, which is sheltered by the stone wall, as another room.”

The exterior has a lovely enclosed garden with lawn, barbecue area, shrubs and the terrace and there is a gate which leads out to established woodland, and on to the Edinburgh-wide cycle network.

Roz says: “This has been brilliant for us as a family as it is easy to walk to the Shore for a drink, or pop to the shops and the garden has been wonderful for the children.”

The couple have Joseph, two, who was born on their first wedding anniversary and a daughter, Georgie, six months.

The woodland area just outside the gate is known as “Wilbur’s garden” as it is where their miniature labradoodle likes to spend his time. Walks there are so far from the traffic that no leads are necessary.

Inside, the finish of the house is as high quality as you would expect from a building professional in his own home.

The downstairs bedroom is currently used as the guest room with a bathroom opposite, and the three family bedrooms are upstairs with a shower room.

Roz says that one huge advantage is the abundant storage space. “I assume he had a team of joiners who were making these things, because we have beautiful built-in deep cupboards in the bedroom.” There are also bespoke bookcases and cupboards in the sitting room.

The previous owner also converted the detached double garage into an impressive home office complete with skylights and broadband, but the Thomsons have found it useful as a playroom.

There is planning permission in place to link it to the main house by creating a boot room which would clear the way for the creation of a spectacular drawing room, or leaving it as it is would suit a home worker. The metre or so between the back door of the house and the door of the annexe would make a very pleasing commute.

The big project carried out when they first moved in was replacing the kitchen with something slicker, while the redecoration was all about adding colour.

Having got the house exactly how they want it, it seems perverse to now move, but a need to live nearer to elderly parents means the decision has been made.

Roz says: “We’ve loved living here. In terms of layout I think of it as a clever house.”

23C Stanley Road is priced at offers over

£450,000, contact Gilson Gray on

0131 516 5366.