When the head of local town planning commissions a house ... you know it is going to be a good one, writes Ann Wallace
WHAT: Five-bedroomed villa
PRICE: Offers over £910,000
CONTACT: Rettie 0141 943 3150
This week’s Hot Property is one of Milngavie’s most significant family homes, a wonderful blend of contemporary luxury and period charm.
Craigrownie is a handsome five-bedroomed villa perched high on Baldernock Brae to the east of the village centre.
Its location is a real draw – as well as a range of local specialist shops, supermarkets, good schools and leisure opportunities, Milngavie – to the north west of Glasgow in the valley of the River Allander – has excellent links by both road and rail into the city centre and beyond.
Built in 1934, Craigrownie has been updated and extended over the last couple of decades, creating a spectacular home in large garden grounds.
But despite its modern, luxury interiors, the house still retains its age-old character – something owner Shona MacLachlan was attracted by when she first saw the house eight years ago.
"It is a lovely, quirky house, with an unusual layout and lots of little nooks and crannies, which made it interesting for us," explains Shona.
"There are little steps and staircases, windows of different sizes and it just made it stand out from other homes."
From the outside, Craigrownie is exceptionally pretty, grand without seeming imposing and surrounded by greenery and colour.
Inside, the house is bright and airy, with spacious rooms and large windows allowing natural light to flood in.
Accommodation extends over three floors. The welcoming entrance vestibule leads in to a warm, wood-panelled reception hall which serves as a reminder of Craigrownie’s 1930s past.
"My husband loved the staircase, it’s a real feature in the space," explains Shona.
The hallway in turn leads through to a beautiful sitting room and stylish dining room.
In terms of colour schemes, simple, neutral backdrops of white walls and clean lines are brightened up with vivid accent colours, such as the deep reds of the sitting room and the dramatic monochrome contrasts of the dining room.
Interior design is just a hobby for Shona, who is an accountant, but her eye for colour and shape means Craigrownie successfully blends traditional style with contemporary glamour.
The quality fitted kitchen is a fantastic cooking space, which is also open plan to a comfortable family television area, perfect for cosy relaxing on winter nights.
A useful WC and the rear hallway complete the ground floor accommodation.
The lower level of Craigrownie comprises a lovely family/garden room, a laundry, and a fantastic fifth bedroom with a large en-suite shower room."We put this level in – we actually extended the house downwards," says Shona.
"We use it as a guest bedroom because it has plenty of space and the handy en-suite, and the bonus of having its own access into the gardens."
She smiles: "People always express surprise that this wasn’t the master bedroom but while it is lovely, I prefer the upstairs master bedroom, simply because I like the view from the upstairs rooms."
Those views are impressive, stretching over Milngavie itself to the hills beyond, an ever-changing landscape of village and countryside life.
The rest of the bedrooms, four in total, plus two bathrooms and one shower room, and a comfortable fitted study can be found on this upper floor.
The house was commissioned by Milngavie’s original townplanner, whose good connections with local builders and strict approach meant no detail was overlooked.
"I think he was very no-nonsense about it all and made sure he got exactly what he wanted," smiles Shona.
"I can’t imagine any worse client for the poor builders than the man responsible for planning the entire town."
The result is a beautiful house, inside and out, with painstaking attention to detail and outstanding craftsmanship evident in everything from the original wood panelling in the hallway and on the staircase to the elegant external façade.
The gardens are stunning, with a pretty sun terrace, wide lawns and lots of colour. They are easily maintained, divided into two main areas, as Shona explains.
"The top part is flat, with the patio and space for children to play or for families to entertain or just relax, and then it slopes down to the lower area," she says. "We haven’t done too much to the lower area but the potential is there for keen gardeners."
While Shona’s own son and daughter, Andrew and Jenny, were teenagers when they moved into the house, she believes Craigrownie may appeal to families with children of all ages.
"The room layout lends itself to independent living, if you have teenagers looking for a little bit of space to themselves, but it also has its great location as a draw for families with younger children," she says.
"There are great primary and secondary schools close by and you are close to everything Milngavie has to offer."
There is plenty to appeal to adults too, as Shona explains with a laugh.
"The lounge and dining rooms are the more formal spaces, I suppose, but the kitchen is fantastic too," she says.
"Everything works very well together – it’s a great house for a party."