A remarkable redesign has made this end terraced house the most sought-after home for sale in Bedale
Take a former architect with a gift for furniture making and DIY and a talented designer with a brilliant eye for styling and you have the pairing for a perfect home.Kevin and Janet Stevens have proved this a number of times after taking properties in need of updating and turning them into places that look fabulous and work just as they should for those who live in them.Every space is aesthetically pleasing and fit for purpose, which is a selling point for their four-bedroom home on Wycar Terrace, Bedale, which has just gone on the market with Norman F. Brown for £299,950.Kevin and Janet bought it six years ago after outgrowing their previous house, which sat behind their vintage and antiques store, The Red House on Market Place in Bedale.“We were looking for a period house with scope to put our own stamp on it and this place offered that. It is late Victorian and still has the original coving and doors and the high ceilings that newer houses don’t have,” says Janet.
The family room leading to the dining area in the new extension.
When she and Kevin bought the end terrace property it had clearly been loved but was in need of modernisation. It also offered the opportunity to extend the living space upwards and outwards.The couple, who have three teenage children, added a small extension to the rear to create a dining area that now leads off the kitchen. Glazed-bifold doors allow light to flood in. They also knocked through a wall to create a large opening from the rear family room into the dining area.“That semi-open plan space works really well, especially if we have friends and family round but having the separate sitting room is important too. We also put double doors in there that lead out into the hall and that helps the layout flow better,” says Janet.
The kitchen with Homebase units topped with wood reclaimed from church pews. The wall shelves are vintage drawers
What was a galley kitchen was reconfigured and a door into the hall was blocked up to make a U-shaped room with space for more cabinets. Upstairs, the attic was converted into a large bedroom with an ensuite shower room.
The loft bedroom
The interiors reflect the couple’s love of good modern design, craftsmanship and of vintage and salvaged items that they say “help give soul to a home”.
Vintage furniture adds character
The sitting room has its chimney breast and alcoves painted in Annie Sloan’s Graphite chalk paint and the rest of the walls are in a Farrow and Ball off white. The furniture is predominantly vintage with a mid-century G-Plan 6250 chair stealing the limelight. Known as the " Blofeld" chair thanks to its starring role in the 1967 Bond movie “You Only Live Twice”, it is, says Janet, “billed as the world’s most comfortable chair and it is.”
The sitting room with "Blofeld" chair and a wall in Annie Sloan's Graphite chalk paint
The kitchen units are from Homebase and are topped with wood from old church pews, while the shelves by the range cooker are made from old drawers. Old industrial lights on the wall add extra interest.The new dining area shows evidence of Kevin’s love of furniture making influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement. He made the table and he and Janet sourced the mis-matched Victorian chairs and united them with matching seat covers. “The floors on the ground floor are all laminate, which is hardwearing and unifies all the rooms,” says Janet, who trained as an architect before specialising in interior and retail design.It was her idea to use the pages from damaged old books and magazines to paper the utility room and bathrooms. The pages are topped with varnish so are waterproof.
One of the bathrooms decorated with pages from a vintage magazine
The couple’s love of old finds is obvious and ranges from the sublime, such as the vintage French bed, to the surprising, as in the motorbike from a fairground ride mounted on the wall in the family room.Their teenagers love it all apart from the framed portraits of the long-gone. “They think having paintings of people we don’t know is odd,” laughs Janet, who is excited about finding another project.“We love it here but we are ready for another challenge and we want somewhere that has workshop and office space because, although we still have the shop, our business is now more internet based. We have customers buying online from all over Britain and beyond.”
The Stevens' home is on the end of Wycar Terrace, Bedale
The Stevens family plan to stay in Bedale or the surrounding area after falling in love with the market town, though their quest to find another property may not be easy.Since they bought into Bedale, the town has become popular with those working in Leeds and Harrogate. This is largely thanks to the upgrading of the A1 into a three lane motorway, which has speeded up journey times. The drive time to Leeds is an hour and to Harrogate it is 45 minutes. Take the A684 in the opposite direction and you are soon in Wensleydale. Trains to Leeds, London and Newcastle are a 20 minute drive away in NorthallertonBedale also retains plenty of independent shops, pubs and restaurants and has good schools plus a leisure centre with swimming pool.“It is a great little place with a real sense of community and everything is accessible,” says Janet, who adds that while the Georgian high street is full of period properties, older, characterful houses are scarce. Most homes date from the 1960s onwards making the quest for period charm difficult.*Wycar Terrace has a hall, sitting room, a family room, dining room and kitchen, a utility room and a shower room. There are three bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor plus a bedroom and en-suite shower room on the second floor. Outside there is a garden with a summerhouse, shed and a pond plus a parking area and patio at the rear. Contact Norman F. Brown, tel: 01677 422282, www.normanfbrown.co.uk