If it was not for the fact that they will soon be heading for a new life in the sunshine of Australia, Alida and Pieter Hanekom would not be persuaded to part with the home they love.
“It’s a lovely, comfortable family home,” said Alida, describing the traditional four-bedroomed house in Brightons they have lived in for the past ten years.
The elegant original features that attracted the couple in the first place are still very much intact: the beautiful ceiling roses, the coving, the high ceilings and the oak fireplace in the dining room among others.
Another unique feature is the colourful original tiled flooring to be found in the vestibule, while glass pannelled wooden doors have also stood the test of time.
But while the charm of the property has been carefully retained, the couple have spent the years carefully modernising the house to make it comfortable as well as stylish.
“There’s not a room that we haven’t done something to. We removed the carpets and put in wooden flooring. We also put in a wood burning stove as well as a gas fire in the second living room.”
The space is something Alida has always appreciated – having not just one but two living rooms means that one can be used as a family room, while the more formal area is always ready for unexpected visitors.
Guests are always welcome in this house – there is an en-suite bedroom on the ground floor which offers visitors their own space and some privacy, while still being in the heart of things.
Alida particularly loves her kitchen which has a large range cooker and a traditional country feel.
“It overlooks the back garden, which I think is a great thing if you have young children as it means you can keep an eye on them easily,” said Alida.
“The back garden is surrounded by conifers and hedges and is really private. It is ideal for a family as it is a good size.
“The views are also really lovely – we look right over the hills in Stirling.
Alida also likes the fact that the house is very bright and full of light, thanks to the numerous big windows.
“It’s very sunny and bright – it really is a lovely family home.
“If we were not emigrating we certainly wouldn’t wish to leave – we love the house.”
They also like the area and Alida points out that it’s very good for schools and is close to the railway station and motorway links, making it ideal for commuters.