Carine Hunston is entitled to feel a sense of satisfaction as she looks around her lovely California home.
She decided on a whim to buy a plot of land and commissioned an architect to help her come up with a design for a modern, comfortable family home, which she finally moved into in 2006.
“I love the house, because I designed it but it is a family home. I always meant it to be a family because I knew I would have to sell it – it’s really too big for just one person, although I’ve loved living in it!”
Having a say in the design meant Carine could insist on a lounge that was filled with light, thanks to four windows. One of them is a bay window, a traditional touch to add a bit of character.
“I wanted it to be a modern version of a traditional Scottish house.”
She also insisted on a large, bright kitchen with room to eat, although there is a formal dining room.
“I have done as much as I can with it but I think there is a lot of scope for people to change and add things. That would add to the value of the house, I’m sure.”
For example, the large light-bathed room above the double garage has been left almost untouched – used by Carine as an office and for books – but it has huge potential as a family space.
She also loves the master bedroom and en-suite which has a bath. “When I had a young family I loved escaping for a bath, so I think it’s ideal for someone with a young family.”
Also ideal for young children is the enclosed garden and as the house is in a cul-de-sac it is a safer place.
Carine not only had lots of input into the design of the house, she also wasn’t afraid to put her nose to the grindstone to create the beautifully landscaped garden.
“I did it all myself!” the 70-year-old says of the large garden, full of colourful shrubs and low maintenance chips. “I love gardening – I had about a million tonnes of soil delivered!”
“I got a bit of help from my neighbour to build the patio – but that’s what people are like here. We all built our own houses, so we all help each other!”
Carine also loves the fact that while her house feels very much as if it is in the heart of the country, it is very convenient for a trip to town.
She said: “I love where it is. It’s country living and I am very fond of the countryside, but Falkirk High station is only seven minutes away and, of course, the town is close to that, so it is not at all isolated. ”
The property at 21 Marshall Drive, California, is on the market with Slater, Hogg & Howison for offers over £235,000