Our clients had recently bought a 1990s generously sized house in a leafy edinburgh suburb but it fell shortof the mark for the couple and their kids.
The existing house had a small dark entrance with narrow stair which was unwelcoming for visitors, most of the living accommodation was at the back of the house rather than at the front where all the sunlight was, a large double garage took up a large section of the ground floor and the house was exceptionally cold.
They approached us with a ‘must have’ list to create a welcoming house with lots of light, a big centralized kitchen and an idea to convert the garage. They also had a ‘nice to have’ list which included a playroom for the kids, a connection to the garden/ trees at the rear, and to alter the look of the building which was predominantly brown (brick walls, roof, windows and garage)! On top of that the couple also had a ‘wow’ list to add on extra space but appreciated that this could be knocked on the head due to costs.
We presented 2 schemes to the Geddes family, one more ambitious than the other. They decided that as this was going to be their long term family home that they would bite the bullet and make the more fundamental changes we had proposed in one go ie the ambitious scheme !
Essentially the reinvention of the house involved creating an open plan kitchen dining and family area. This was achieved by moving the kitchen into the existing dining room, removing the back wall of the house and pushing out, which allowed for the creation of rooflights bringing much needed sunlight deep into the plan and the insertion of floor to ceiling glazed lift and slide doors opening out into the garden. The main entrance was rerouted to create a clear flow from a new large pivot front door straight through to the large airy kitchen area and views beyond of the trees. The first floor landing and eaves storage areas were also removed to create a double height entrance hall with rooflight and this also allowed the insertion of a new oak and glass feature stair. The existing entrance & hall, around the side of the house, was converted into a downstairs loo, and the double garage was transformed into an elegant adult lounge. All main doors off the new hall way were wide frameless glass pocket doors allowing the ground floor to open up maximising views and natural light into the public areas.
Externally the brown concrete roof tiles were replaced with grey, the existing dormer clad with Sarnafil, and the brown brick rendered in bright white. The existing windows were retained and re-configured as a cost saving however with the use of Iroko cladding and stainless steel rainwater goods and capping pieces the windows now look like new.
The clients agree that one of the most striking aspects of the re-development was the creation of the new airy entrance offering views all the way through the house. Alistair Geddes had this real desire, since he travels a lot, that when he came through the front door he had a view right through the house to the river. He loved the idea of leaving city life behind and looking right through to the countryside and beyond.