Bearsden house’s historic charm revealed by refurb

Morag Pavich's Bearsden home. Picture: Ian MacNicol
Morag Pavich's Bearsden home. Picture: Ian MacNicol
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WHEN Morag Pavich and her husband Marcus Herbert were searching for a new home, they vowed that it wouldn’t be another renovation project.

However, wanting to be within the heart of Bearsden in Glasgow, the couple couldn’t resist when they came across a four-bedroom Edwardian semi-detached stone-fronted house that was crying out for some TLC.

Morag and Marcus bought 28 Colquhoun Drive 18 months ago and immediately started the detailed process of extending and refurbishing the building. Having done a couple of renovations before, they knew what was required and were decisive.

Along with their three children – Louisa, 10; Ashley, seven; and two-year-old Theo – they initially rented while the main house was refurbished. They moved in before Christmas last year, just as work started on extending the building to the rear in order to add a magnificent 22ft dining kitchen.

The list of renovations is endless – the house has been re-wired and re-plumbed, has new sash and case windows, gas central heating, hardwood flooring, insulation, the walls have been re-plastered – and that is all before the bathrooms were replaced and the couple turned an attic room into a master bedroom suite.

They then knocked out the rear wall of the house to add the new dining kitchen, with access from the newly created central hallway – part of which was the old kitchen – and the family room. They also took the opportunity to add a rear porch, WC and laundry room.

As if doing a major refurbishment wasn’t hard enough with three children, Morag had also just launched her own business, Mo’s Cookie Dough, and Marcus’s work has increasingly taken him to London.

The couple may have extremely busy lives, but their attention to detail when creating a family home is commendable. A palette of sage green, French grey, white and the warm tones of wood travel from the front door right through the house. There is a feeling of organisation about the house – necessary in any busy household – yet it still has all the warmth of a loving home.

And clever use of light means the house is illuminated in all quarters, maximising on natural daylight wherever possible – they even removed part of the hallway wall to let light filter through the original stained glass window into the rest of the house.

“We had previously renovated a lovely townhouse in the West End of Glasgow and were really happy there but when we had our third baby we realised we had to move,” recalls Morag.

“We really didn’t want to do another renovation, though we did want to live within Old Bearsden, in a house that had some potential. This house had all that. It had been a family home for many years but in the end it was just the elderly gentleman here – he had been meticulous about taking care of the house with regard to the roof and pointing and so on, but it was just really tired inside.” She adds: “We rented while we did the old part of the house then moved in when the bedrooms and bathrooms were done. We then knocked out the whole back of the house, which meant we had no kitchen for quite a while.

“I knew when we stripped the old wallpaper off that the walls were going to collapse and that we would need to re-plaster. At one point we had taken out the windows, taken off the old plaster and I thought ‘What have I bought?’ We had to go back to the bare bones. You really have to love these old buildings.”

The couple employed the services of Bill Crichton, from Crichton Simpson Architects, to formalise the design of the dining kitchen extension and Interior Solutions to carry out the build. The larch-clad extension is a bright open space, with floor-to-ceiling windows allowing an uninterrupted view into the garden. Velux windows allow even more light through.

Oak worktops combine with off-white matt units, sage green walls and wooden floor to create a fresh welcoming space. White Metro wall tiles and oak shelving seamlessly blend in, while the island unit claims the five-ring hob at one side and breakfast bar at the other. It is from here that Morag commands her ship.

“I do love my kitchen,” she smiles. “Everything about the kitchen was on my wish list. I love the fact that I can be in my hub and see everyone. I can sit and have a cup of tea at my counter and see the kids doing their things – it is a great vantage point.”

The kitchen opens into the family room with its comfy sofa, large brown leather armchair, toys and inset TV. The lounge is a grown-up space with mellow cream sofas and shelves groaning under the weight of a library of books. The WC, family bathroom and master en suite all boast white Metro tiles, with Duravit fittings.

“I spent a lot of time in Victor Paris choosing bits and pieces,” admits Morag. “We spent a year in San Francisco and I fell in love with Metro tiles again while there.

“We put underfloor heating in all the bathrooms, though we rarely need to use it as the house is so warm. The girls specifically requested a rain shower and waterfall tap for their bathroom – we indulged them.”

The master suite is a sanctuary at the top of the house, with its clean white finish working well with the oak detailing in the bedroom and en suite bathroom.

Despite having brought this lovely home well and truly into the 21st century, the couple are now selling. A change in Marcus’s working life has made the couple take the decision to move closer to family.

“We thought we were going to be here until we retire, but my husband’s job is now in London,” concedes Morag.

“First and foremost we have created a family home – we have been sympathetic to the old building while following through into the new. I do love it as the house has done exactly what we wanted it to do.”

• 28 Colquhoun Drive, Bearsden, Glasgow, is for sale at offers over £565,000 through Corum (0141-942 5888,