A STEADING conversion with a traditional exterior and a stunning, contemporary interior is this week’s unusual Hot Property, writes Ann Wallace.
Drumduan Mill, on the north side of the River Dee near Aboyne, is a beautiful building inside and out, thanks to the loving care of its current owner Amanda Ross, her partner Andy Paterson and teenage daughter Ellie.
“It took us about a decade, and missing out three times, to buy Drumduan Mill, so we were over the moon when we finally got it,” smiles Amanda, who is a consultant engineer with an impressive track record in doing up properties of all shapes and sizes. Drumduan Mill is her tenth and, she says, final project.
“I’m getting too old for this,” she laughs. “I did my first one just after I graduated and I’m 45 now, so I think it’s time to stop.
“It will be a huge wrench to leave it, after all the time and effort we spent trying to buy it, but work commitments mean we have to move on. I’ll be very sad to leave it behind.”
The original flour mill dates back to the late 1800s, as Amanda explains.
“Water still flows down beside the house although the mill wheel no longer exists,” she says. “The two-storey part of the house is the original mill, with the smaller, L-shaped part added later on.
“Our master bedroom, for example, used to be where the tractors were kept.”
Amanda’s love of oak, set against crisp white walls, and stylish soft furnishings is evident throughout and large, well-placed windows let in plenty of natural light.
It is comfortable and warm, with wood burning stoves and high, vaulted ceilings throughout.
The ground floor includes a large dining kitchen, fitted with quality shaker-style units, solid oak block work tops and an Aga range cooker, plus useful utility room which leads into the garden.
Beyond this room is the family snug, complete with contemporary wood burning stove and large picture windows showing the woodlands beyond.
The ground floor also includes the large family bathroom with its almond-shaped bath and walk-in shower, and large master bedroom, which looks over the gardens.
This space is impressive, with full height windows, good fitted wardrobe space in the dressing area and an en-suite shower room.
The second and third en-suite double bedrooms also look out on to the gardens, and the fourth bedroom on this level is currently being used as a home office.
From the dining area, stairs lead up to a gallery which comprises a studio and a further, comfortable lounge complete with a large picture window, vaulted ceiling with contemporary beams and a luxury wood burning stove.
A second set of stairs lead from the main entrance hall up to bedroom five, a large, airy room with a large dressing area, extensive bespoke wardrobes and an en-suite bathroom. The whole house flows well, with plenty of space to accommodate a growing family.
“It’s a fantastic family home, with plenty of room for everyone,” says Amanda. “We opened it up a bit when we first bought it, added some windows to let more light in, for example, but it always felt like a welcoming house.”
She laughs: “This will make me sound like an old hippy, but I always feel uplifted in the house. It’s always had that connection and feeling for me.”
There is currently full planning permission in place for the creation of an additional front porch with canopy area and a detached double garage with wood store – projects Amanda and Andy planned to take on but never got around to completing.
Amanda’s thoughtful restoration and eye for interior design have created something really special – Drumduan Mill, with its stunning views and flowing, open-plan design, makes the most of its fantastic setting in the Aberdeenshire countryside.
Dess lies on the north side of the River Dee in the heart of Royal Deeside, around four miles from Aboyne and 10 miles from Banchory.
It is a beautiful part of Scotland, with a vast range of leisure activities such as fishing on the River Dee, horse riding, mountain biking, forest and hill walking, gliding, canoeing, shooting and snowboarding all on the doorstep.
The area is home to several well-regarded schools and Aberdeen, is around 24 miles away.
The gardens and grounds at Drumduan Mill are extensive, bound by a traditional dry stone dyke and full of large grass lawns, scattered young trees and gravel chipped patios adjacent to the house.
“It’s so bonnie, living here, in all weathers,” adds Amanda. “The views both front and back are exceptional. I love the fact it is old on the outside and new on the inside – it’s full of character.”
Five-bedroom steading conversion in Aberdeenshire. Offers over £620,000. Contact CKD Galbraith 01224 860 710