Sunny Cottage, Welburn
Rushing in when renovating carries the significant risk of ripping the heart out of a property.
Aware of this danger, Jane Marsden approached the work on her home in Welburn with great care.
“Someone told me that if you take time and listen to a house, it tells you what it needs and it’s so true,” she says. “If you strip it back to make it very swish you can lose its charm.”
Jane’s strategy at Sunny Cottage was to concentrate on one room at a time, keeping the décor simple and sympathetic to the original aesthetic of the building, which dates back to the 1700s.
The result is a beautiful and comfortable home with rooms unified by a relaxing Farrow and Ball colour palette.
“It’s very easy to over-do a cottage,” says Jane, who bought the house 18 months ago after targeting the pretty village of Welburn.
It sits in the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding natural Beauty, between Malton and York, and is a sought-after spot thanks to it easy access to the A64. It is also within walking distance of Castle Howard and is well-served by a primary school, church, gastro pub and a village hall.
The property had been a holiday cottage before Jane bought it and she assumed that updating it wouldn’t be a big job. In the end, she has done everything from the electrics and plumbing to installing new windows and reinstating window seats, along with putting in a new bathroom and kitchen.
There are real fires in the dining and sitting rooms after she installed flues and stoves. She also created an opening from the kitchen to the dining room to make the space semi-open plan and more user-friendly. Both now sport York Handmade terracotta tiled flooring.
Her attention to detail extends to the new staircase, which can be partly dismantled to allow large pieces of furniture to be taken to the first floor.
Outside, she has landscaped with York stone, replanted the garden and renovated the Victorian summer house.
The cottage now has an entrance vestibule, dining room, sitting room, kitchen, large gardens, a large garage, off-street parking and a workshop with WC. The workshop could easily be converted into a separate living space or linked to extend the main house, subject to the necessary planning consents. Jane is now selling to relocate but says: “I love the cottage and the location, which is close to the coast and to York,” she says. “I have put my heart and soul into it but it is now time to move on.”
Contact Carter Jonas, tel: 01904 558200, www.carterjonas.co.uk