Elegant family home

This lovely turn-of-the-century sandstone villa has been transformed into a bright, modern family home without losing any of its period charm and elegance.

Owners George and Shirley Barr were delighted at how builder Stewart Wallace, working with an architect, turned their ideas into reality, creating the large, open plan kitchen and dining area as well as converting the garage into a self-contained ‘granny flat’, complete with its own kitchen, sitting area, bathroom and bed.

53 Larbert Road

53 Larbert Road

“The annexe was created for my dad, but sadly he’s had to go into care so he never got the use of it,” said George.

“However, it’s now being used by our teenage daughter – it gives her peace and quiet to study for her exams,” said George.

“I also think it would also make an ideal place for someone who works from home – it means they can get away from the house without actually going anywhere. I think it would be ideal.”

When they bought the house three years ago, the Barrs were very taken by the condition of the house’s original features, such as the cornicing and ceiling roses which had all been expertly restored to prime condition.

The period charm is reflected in the sitting room, which boasts a log burner for the ultimate in stylish cosiness.

The couple also loved the house’s high ceilings, huge windows and extremely large rooms – something they admit they are finding hard to equal when they look at other properties.

But one thing the couple had to change was the tiny kitchen, which, as with many buildings from that period, was unsuitable.

They knocked down a wall into what had been a back bedroom to create the bright, family friendly space that now exists.

With two very young children as well as a teenager, the open plan design is ideal for family living – as is the large garden which is a perfect playground for the children.

There are four good-sized bedrooms and another room that the family use as an extra sitting room, but which could be used as a bedroom if required.

The family also loves the area which George says is ideal for a dog owner or anyone who likes walking, with the canal, a nature reserve and woodland all right on the doorstep.

It’s also a good location for commuters with good motorway links to the largest of Scotland’s cities.

“We are very sad to be leaving, we really love the house and the neighbourhood,” said George.