WHAT: Five-bed detached country house
WHERE: Auchterarder, Perthshire
PRICE: Offers over £595,000
CONTACT: CKD Galbraith 01738 451111
A COUNTRY house which has expanded and evolved with its owners over the last 19 years promises flexibility, stunning surroundings and characterful style.
Millfield, near Auchterarder in pretty Perthshire, is a beautiful five-bedroomed home which has been lovingly cared for by current owner Kerry Tuffee, her husband Ross and their four children since they moved in almost two decades ago.
"We loved how peaceful it was," says Kerry, who is a photographer. "But it is not remote – my husband regularly commutes to Glasgow, Edinburgh and London."
The original cottage at Millfield is around 100 years old, a farm cottage connected to the main house and mill nearby.
"When we first moved in, there were no windows in the west wall, because the owner of the main house next door didn’t want his workers looking in at him," smiles Kerry, who is a photographer.
"We put in windows and opened up the cottage’s two main rooms, knocking them into one, which is now the sitting room.
"The kitchen is probably where we spend most of our time – it’s warm and cosy, with the Aga, and it’s lovely to sit and look out." The kitchen is magnificent – home to a traditional Aga, central island, double Belfast sink and plenty of storage space, it is a cook’s dream. A garden room leads off the kitchen and into the garden, and the ground floor also includes a fine sitting room, with stone hearth and window seat; spacious games room; and a large office with a fireplace. There is also a useful kitchen pantry, WC and utility room with plumbing for a washing machine and space for a tall freezer.
Upstairs, there are five bedrooms. The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom with a separate walk in shower and a dressing area and there are a further three double bedrooms and one single.
Exposed stone walls, feature fireplaces and timber panelling add to the charm. Kerry explains: "I love the quirky shapes of the bedrooms and bathroom – there are some lovely old features too like an original oak door upstairs, where the corner has been cut out to make it fit," she adds. "I like the idea of old meeting new.
"The garden room and patio face south west so they benefit from all day sun and beautiful evening light – this is my favourite spot."
Initially attracted by the setting of the cottage and its surrounding land, Kerry and Ross knew it was the perfect home for their growing family.
"As our family grew, we knew we needed a five-bedroomed home with a big kitchen and when we were looking, we just couldn’t find anything that we liked," she said.
"Eventually we just thought – let’s do it ourselves. So finding Millfield, which was at the time a small cottage in a huge field, was perfect."
Kerry and her husband Ross renovated the old cottage when they were expecting their fourth child.
"I was nine months pregnant, living in a caravan in the garden, while the works were being carried out," she recalls, adding with a laugh: "It was challenging to say the least.
"I went into labour the day the carpet fitters left, so that was excellent timing.
"To say it was a relief to move in after all that is a bit of an understatement."
Now the family is moving on, Kerry admits it will be hard to leave Millfield.
"We are downsizing but intend to stay locally – it’s a great location," explains Kerry, who believes the house will appeal to a range of buyers, particularly those with growing families.
"We changed and expanded things as we needed to, and there is plenty of scope for the new owners to do so too," she says.
"There is a fantastic downstairs office, for example, which could easily become a sixth bedroom."
She adds: "There is so much space, and quiet. Our children have loved playing in the garden, all the way down to the Machany Water. It’s beautiful." Millfield lies around four miles north of Auchterarder and the thriving city of Perth is about 19 miles away.
Both provide a fantastic range of retail, schooling, leisure and culture facilities. The nearby A9 provides easy access to Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow with a railway station at Gleneagles offering daily services to the north and south, including direct services to London.
The grounds at Millfield include lawns, plenty of parking and a useful outbuilding. There is also around an acre of grazing paddock – which is where the family’s pet sheep stay.
"They are called Maltesers, Sheepy-Sheep and Squirrel, but don’t ask me which is which, they all look the same to me," laughs Kerry.
"But they do keep the grass down, which is great ..."