Converted flat with unique features and private garden hits the market in Portobello

Friday, 6th July 2018, 7:38 am
Updated Friday, 6th July 2018, 8:46 am

A converted commercial building has been turned into a very inviting home, writes Kirsty McLuckie

Tucked quietly back from the road at 53 Windsor Place in the heart of Portobello is an unassuming building.

But those who climb the outside steps and head inside might be surprised at the first-floor flat.

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Picture: Simpson and Marwick

Converted from a commercial building around 15 years ago, the flat has a huge central room, encompassing the kitchen, dining area and sitting room, half of which is double-height and lit, through the ceiling beams, by a bank of roof windows.

Paul Crickett and Jenny Flockhart, who are selling the property, bought it two years ago. Paul says: “We lived in Canonmills and this move was about getting more space.

“But we went from a tiny, one-bedroomed flat to having more room than we could imagine.”

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

He says: “This place is very different, utterly unique, and we had seen a lot of properties – Victorian and Georgian – but for the amount of money we had to spend there was nothing that attracted us.

“We fell in love with this as soon as we saw it but it certainly helps that we are only a five-minute walk from the beach.”

The couple had decided on Portobello after working out that commuting to their respective jobs from the area would be relatively stress-free.

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

Paul works for Aberdeen Standard Investments, based in George Street in Edinburgh, and Jenny is head of drama at Mary Erskine’s, so both commutes are about half an hour.

Paul says: “We had lived in London, Dumfries and Glasgow and so when we came to Edinburgh we just settled in the centre but we always took day trips out to Portobello, cycling or walking to come to the beach.

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

“Eventually we started to ask ourselves what would it be like to live here, because it is so close to the city.

“It was kind of a no-brainer.”

Spotting the unique flat convinced them further.

Paul says: “The building is an old carpentry warehouse, although I have been told by a taxi driver that it was also a place for making coffins.”

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

It was converted to residential use around 15 years ago by an artist and Paul says this shows.

“You can see how it would be a great studio space with those high windows in the main room, but the bedrooms are flooded with light too.”

With the work so recently carried out, the couple have not had to do much upgrading.

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

The chic kitchen has granite worktops and fitted appliances and provides a contrast to the beautiful scrubbed wooden floors and the wooden beams above.

A bank of fitted cupboards runs the length of the sitting room.

Paul and Jenny have really enjoyed furnishing the property with the wealth of space it affords.

Paul says: “Because it needed nothing doing to it, we were able to spend our money on getting the right furniture for such a huge room.

“We have a coffee table that is an old Indian bed, and we commissioned a bespoke dining table made from reclaimed wood, which is huge.

“At one end of the room we have three big sofas, which are great for parties. This is where the real advantage of the flat becomes clear, according to Paul.

“It is perfect as an entertaining space. You can be cooking and chatting with guests, or right now, when the World Cup is on, we can all be watching a match while getting dinner ready.”

The walled garden at the back is another bonus for entertaining.

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

Accessed via steps from the sitting room, it is a quiet and sheltered private space, and something of a suntrap.

There is a small balcony at the front so there is somewhere to catch the sun all day long.

There are shops within a minute’s walk and bars and bistros just around the corner, making it an ideal spot for a drink or meal before inviting friends back.

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

Paul and Jenny are sad to be leaving, but perhaps the biggest loss will be felt by their friends.

Paul says: “Since moving here we have tended to be the end destination when a few of us get together, as it is such an easy social space.

“Some of our friends even refer to it as the Porty party pad.”

Picture: Simpson and Marwick

53 Windsor Place is on the market for offers over £410,000 with Simpson & Marwick.