As the owners of HMO specialist company, Complete Solutions and interior design business, Trendenza, Becki Linley and Brian Goonan were the perfect candidates to take on this rather bizarre property in Cramond.
Red, aluminium framed doors and windows, red brick and an abundance of wood cladding on the exterior meant that Becki and Brianâ€™s new home wasnâ€™t quite the cutting edge design it had been when it was built 20 years previously. Â Internally wasnâ€™t any more appealing with a seventies style split level kitchen/lounge, an avocado bathroom suite and a bizarre layout. Fortunately the couple had foresight and ambition along with expertise to back them up.
The chalet-esque, cantilevered house was constructed over three storeys. Â At street level there was a double garage and gym. Â On the first floor a large bedroom, cloakroom WC and hall, and upstairs a kitchen, two further bedrooms and a bathroom and lounge.
As partners who originated in building and refurbishments, their plans were ambitious but ultimately achievable albeit over a lengthy timescale of four years. Â â€œI hated having the kitchen on the upper level and in the middle of the house but I wanted a large kitchen and the middle floor which had previously been a bedroom was the most obvious location,â€ Becki recalls. Â â€œWe extended the balcony at the front and went further out the rear of the property too. Â Upstairs the space we gained from removing the platform between the kitchen and lounge enabled us to close the lounge off and create a shower room for the guest bedroom. Â At ground level, the double garage remains but the gym has become a laundry room.â€
Throughout the project, the couple continued to build their businesses working on their own project with their tradesmen at evenings and weekends. Â To add to the stress Becki and Brian also chose to live on site for the majority of the renovation. Â â€œBrian is very hands on and wanted to be here, so we camped with three electric fan heaters and blankets over the door frames because there werenâ€™t any doors,â€ Becki remembers. Â â€œWhen we removed the floor boards, it became really difficult! Â It was horrible but looking back it was part of the journey.â€
Completely altering the layout of an entire house isnâ€™t everyoneâ€™s idea of fun but Becki and Brianâ€™s endeavours is to their clientâ€™s advantage. Â â€œWhen clients approach Complete Solutions to ask if a specific property can be converted easily to an HMO, weâ€™ve done so much renovation work we know what reconfiguring a layout really means and how much work is involved so we can provide a truthful answer.â€
Today, the coupleâ€™s own house is still evolving but the room configuration has been finalised. Â The large dining kitchen is now based on the first floor, along with a stylish cloakroom WC and a spacious hall which leads to a patio deck area at the rear of the property. Â The second floor accommodates a lounge, guest bedroom with en suite shower room, a further two bedrooms (one used a study), a master bathroom and a luxurious master bedroom suite with en suite shower room and dressing room.
The finished dÃ©cor is opulent, stylish, bold and fun and this is a home that truly reflects the personalities of its occupants. Â However, the interior designer in Becki canâ€™t resist tweaking regularly. Â â€œThis house is unresolved and I think it always will be. Â In this business new products are always appearing and much to Brian’s annoyance I’ll get an idea and run with it. Â A change in a wall covering can really add a new slant but for me it never really stops at one wall!â€
Although Becki will continue to change a wall, or room, or two, essentially this property is now complete and despite being in the property business, for now, this couple are happy to stay put. Â â€œOur combined skills have allowed us to really take this building apart, right to the skeleton and build her back up with love, thought and futuristic intent to a real entertainment hub but more importantly a home which is very much lived in. Â Itâ€™s been very much a joint effort on the house and businesses and this reciprocated understanding has been at the heart of everything weâ€™ve accomplished. Â I couldnâ€™t have achieved this interior if Brian hadnâ€™t done his bit and he couldnâ€™t achieve what he wanted with the building if I hadnâ€™t done my side of it. Would we do it again? Probably but maybe not just yet, Brian though may have other ideasâ€¦.â€
Complete Solutions Scotland Ltd, tel: 0131 622 2213, www.cs-scotland.co.ukÂ Trendenza tel: 0131 622 2238, www.trendenza.co.uk