The owner of Park View Cottage in Kirkby Malzeard, near Masham, is readily admits that he played fast and loose with the budget when renovating the dated property.
It was all part of his plan to have the best of everything and it’s a policy that has paid off.
The house is now a holiday let that stands out from the crowd and it is attracting plenty of bookings.
“I didn’t really have a budget as such but the cost was about 50 per cent more than it would’ve been if I hadn’t gone for a luxury finish.
“But then it wouldn’t have been special and I am aiming at the top end of the market,” says Alex Brimelow, who bought Park View in September 2017 with a view to “creating something unique, quirky and out of the ordinary”.
Alex, who is joint managing director of supercar dealership Alexanders Prestige, knew the location well as he lives nearby.
Ugly to lovely
The pretty village of Kirkby Malzeard is popular thanks to its amenities, which include a shop, a butcher’s and a pub.
Its proximity to Masham, Ripon and the surrounding Dales countryside is a big draw for weekenders and holidaymakers.
“The cottage is the first thing you see when you come into the village but it was pretty ugly outside. I’ve since had it re-rendered.
“It had been rented and needed a lot of work so we stripped it right back and put in everything from a damp course to new electrics and new floors,” he says.
He engaged interior architects Yorkshire Design Associates to help transform the cottage and the renovation took eight months.
One of the most impressive areas is outside, where they have made an “enchanted garden” with a hot tub and an outdoor kitchen.
It is accessed through a stable door in the house, which leads to a pergola dressed with lights and plants and a secluded rear garden.
A sunken hot tub has been inset into raised decking and there’s a covered outdoor kitchen with hot and cold running water, a gas barbecue and cupboards stocked with crockery, cutlery and pans.“That’s my favourite area. It’s magical.
“The outdoor kitchen was my idea because I love cooking and that area can be used year-round. We also planted herbs for cooking,” says Alex.
Inside, there is a kitchen adjoining the sitting room, two bedrooms and a house bathroom.
The basement has been turned into a utility room and a new loft conversion has provided space for a “sleeping den”.
“Children love the idea of having a den up there which means their parents can enjoy some peace and quiet downstairs,” says Alex.
Colourful and cosy
The decor is cosy with plenty of colour and pattern thanks to Yorkshire Design Associates and Alex, who took a “who dares wins” approach.
“We mixed contemporary, traditional and eclectic styles and have created a fusion of unique, high quality and luxurious fittings and fixtures procured from the very best suppliers in the UK and Europe,” says Nick Flatley of Yorkshire Design Associates, who also made the most of the cottage’s original features, including beams and stone nooks.
The kitchen now has handcrafted cabinets topped with Silestone worktops and a charcoal grey splashback contrasting with fashionable copper taps and handles. There’s also a wine fridge.
The sitting room includes the original fireplace with a new wood-burning stove, along with a framed feature wall of bronze inlaid polished plaster.
The other walls are painted in warm, rich grey/green while the floral sofa brings levity. A dining table and painted chairs are by the window, offering views down the valley.
Upstairs, the master bedroom has a sumptuous velvet headboard and oriental-style furniture.
The house bathroom has brassware contrasted by hand-finished Montblanc tiles.
Both the guest and the loft room have been planned to maximise space with custom-made beds and clever storage.
A linking ladder leads to the sleeping den, which comes complete with gaming station and iPhone chargers.
Alex, who describes the renovation as “challenging”, bought Park View Cottage to grow a portfolio of holiday lets.
He isn’t alone in doing this. Holiday properties are now considered more tax efficient than buy-to-let homes let on conventional shorthold tenancies.
However, he introduces a note of caution. “They actually don’t make a lot of money once you have paid the overheads but it is rewarding. I enjoy reading the feedback. We've had some great comments. Many of the visitors say that they have loved staying and have never seen a cottage quite like Park View before. It’s nice to know that a stay here can bring real joy. One of the guests even asked if they could buy it.”
*Park View Cottage in Kirkby Malzeard, near Masham, costs from £694 per week and sleeps four. It is bookable through Niche Retreats, a collection of 200 one-of-a-kind holiday homes across the UK, www.nicheretreats.co.uk