Rose Gosling’s stunning Nidderdale home looks and feels like a new build, yet the bones of it were constructed in the era of avocado bathrooms, teak wall units and macramé. Often derided as the decade that style forgot, domestic architecture in the 1970s was rarely beautiful but it had many redeeming features, including big picture windows and plenty of natural light.
“It was of its era but I think everyone who lived here added something to it and so the layout wasn’t quite right. But it had a lot of potential and one of the best things was that it was set in an old walled garden,” says Rose.
The original owners had downsized from a large period house and built themselves a new home in the grounds.
While it wasn’t the Goslings’ dream property, the private location in a pretty village and the sensational long-range views clinched the deal. The prospect of remodelling it also held enormous appeal for Rose, who loves a project.
She had her own ideas but architect Steve Johnson encouraged her to think even bigger and bolder. The result is a grand design created to suit Rose, husband Mark and their four daughters who are aged between 19 and 12.
The work, which has been ongoing since they bought the house in 2011, includes a new contemporary front door, balconies and aluminium windows, which instantly updated the exterior. A new double-height entrance hall with a feature staircase adds drama and light.
A variety of rooms were brought together to create the open-plan heart of the house: an enormous dining kitchen and family room with bespoke cabinets and a huge central island designed and made by Wetherby-based Jeremy Wood, who also fitted out the separate utility and boot room.
“There was a Jeremy Wood kitchen in one of our previous houses. It was beautifully made and you could feel the quality so I knew I wanted to use them for this house. I saw a purple island in their showroom and fell in love with it and their designer suggested we have the units in Farrow & Ball’s Blue Gray, which was a brilliant choice,” says Rose, who sold the property’s old kitchen on eBay for £3,000.
The room is bathed in natural light from the sliding doors that lead out on to a patio. There are also ten different circuits that provide mood lighting all around the kitchen from above and below. The kitchen is one of the family’s favourite spaces but for more formal occasions, the old orangerie was converted into a dining room. At the other side of the house, architect Steve came up with a clever idea of turning a windowless basement into living space.
“There was a sitting room on the first floor, which had a 12ft high ceiling. And the basement was below. Steve suggested raising the floors of both spaces to create a sitting room downstairs and a master bedroom suite above. We put doors out on to the patio and it has worked really well,” says Rose, who rented for 18 months while the bulk of the building work was done.
The garage was converted into a study and what was a cellar is now an underground cinema room. A new garage was added with two bedrooms and bathrooms above. That brought the number of bedrooms upstairs to seven.
The interior is all but finished and reflects Rose’s love of colour. The hall is painted in Zoffany’s Fig, while other rooms are a mix of Farrow & Ball’s finest with some feature walls, including Pussy Willow wallpaper from Laura Ashley in the guest room.
Furniture is a mix from the Goslings’ last home, which was Georgian, and some new buys.
“We put our belongings in storage while we rented and that helped because we realised we didn’t actually need most of it,” says Rose, who visited the site every day and spent much of her time sourcing products.
“Lighting was difficult, especially in the double-height hallway. I looked at chandeliers but I couldn’t find anything that was right then I spotted some shades in B&Q and had them hung on different lengths of cord wiring.”
While she is happy to splash out on key items, Rose is adept at hunting down bargains. One of her favourite stores for home accessories is TK Maxx in Harrogate and she has found some great buys at Thompson’s auctions in Killinghall, including the dining room curtains, which were £65. The sofas are a mix of high end from Harrogate Interiors and Ikea, while the artwork is a mix of originals along with prints she has found in charity shops and antique markets. “I always have them reframed at Turners in Harrogate and that makes all the difference,” she says.
While it all looks picture perfect, Rose has more plans. She is creating an underground games room behind the garage and the guest cottage in the garden is going to be an entertainment space.
“That will be it then,” she says, adding that she would love to curb her wanderlust and make this her long-term home. “We have moved a lot because we get itchy feet and I have always been interested in houses. But this place is idyllic and I am hoping to stay here. Mind you, I say that every time.”