Readers with good memories will recall an interview we ran two-and-a-half years ago with Stephen Coutts.
He and his partner were selling their Inverness home, a regular bungalow which they had transformed into a stunning home with a dual-height, vaulted-style ceiling, which is pretty unusual in a bungalow it has to be said.
Thanks to their hard work, creative flair and an eye for tasteful design, that property was snapped up, which allowed them to move to their next home, a terraced, three-bedroom house on the city’s Innes Street.
Once more, they have worked their magic, restoring a tired but classic Victorian house into a very des-res home.
Stephen, who works for the five-star Ness Walk Hotel, said: “The house is like Dr Who’s TARDIS; from the outside it doesn’t look that big, but inside it’s such a spacious home.
“We were attracted to it because we enjoy restoring original features to homes that have perhaps been modernised in the past 40 years. This one was by far and away our biggest challenge, but also the most pleasure to work on.”
It’s thought 62 Innes Street was built around 1800 and records show previous owners included a sail maker and a sign writer.
When they bought the house, some of the original features had been removed; some areas had been modernised in a style that quickly dated, and the house needed a little TLC.
“We removed well over 100 years of paint covering much of the original woodwork, stripped it back to the original wood, then gave it a fresh coat of paint,” said Stephen.
Accommodation begins with a good-sized vestibule with original cornicing, which opens into a big hallway.
The large, front-facing lounge has a generous picture window allowing natural daylight to flood in.
“When we bought the house the fireplace in the lounge had been removed and blocked up so we opened it up and had Northern Fires and Stoves fit an inset, wood-burning stove for us,” said Stephen.
“It’s surrounded by a salvaged, black, cast-iron period fireplace.
“We spent lots of time visiting salvage yards in Daviot and Auldearn – both were brilliant at helping us find original features which we then re-installed in the house. We are lucky to have good architectural salvage yards in the Highlands now and this makes it much easier to find period items such as solid-wood doors, fireplaces, etc.
“In many cases it’s less expensive to buy and restore the original, salvaged items compared to buying them brand new.
“In the lounge we also re-installed the original press, using salvaged wood and doors which came from Ena Baxter’s 19th Century Speybank House in Fochabers, and had them fitted by Macdonald Builders.”
A large dining room/kitchen has a nice, warm vibe and is a good space for dinner parties, when such times return.
There’s a well-appointed utility room and a generous, four-piece bathroom with exotic wallpaper.
Last but not least, there’s a large and practical understair cupboard.
Moving upstairs, in the house that’s on the market at offers over £205,000, more surprises await. A large, split-level upper hallway could easily accommodate a substantial home office, while there’s a second, large and modern bathroom.
The master bedroom to the front of the house is big and bright. The dormer window was recently replaced and surrounding stonework is new.
Bedrooms two and three are large with plenty of space for free-standing furniture.
The back garden has four distinct areas including a lovely patio, which is good for alfresco dining, a pond area surrounded by colourful planting, a lawn, and an area for growing bedding plants, fruit and vegetables. And although close to the city centre, the garden attracts a lot of wildlife.
At the front there’s a small garden, while the front of the building looks like new once more.
“At one point it had been covered over with concrete pebble dash which we had removed, so now you can see the original, period stonework which has been fully repointed and should last at least another 100 years,” said Stephen.
Their home is a shining example of what a Victorian house can look like when sympathetically restored.
And now it’s in mint condition, instead of staying to enjoy it, they are selling up as they are keen to find their next restoration project.
Contact: Karine, from Tailormade Moves, on 07919 176787 or 01463 233218.