Edwardian mansion house with wonderful period features and an outdoor hot tub hits the market in sough-after Edinburgh postcode
A large portion of a characterful Edwardian villa makes for a substantial family home in a sought-after wonderful Edinburgh location.
Cademuir is a beautiful red sandstone mansion house, dating from 1905, in lovely landscaped grounds in the south of Edinburgh.
It was divided in the 1950s and the property for sale takes up the whole of the ground floor and renovated maid’s quarters on the first floor.
It is packed with period charm with many of the original Arts and Crafts features so redolent of the era still intact.
The entrance hall is particularly impressive, with original parquet flooring, beautiful ceiling and frieze plasterwork, stained-glass windows, ornate lotus-flowered brass door handles and an antique fireplace.
Peter and Jackie Ghazal bought the property in 2002 when their two children, Anna and Andrew, were ten and eight.
Jackie says: “We were returning from living in California and the children were at St Margaret’s and Merchiston so the location was definitely convenient.”
Peter was based at the Kings Buildings and the University Hospital as a professor of molecular genetics and biomedicine, and Jackie worked at Merchiston.
Jackie says: “We wanted a home that was easy commuting distance for everyone, but we were really entranced by the fantastic, safe gardens.”
The style of the house was another draw. Jackie says: “It, and its neighbour, were built by two brothers and must have been the absolute epitome of Edwardian sophistication.”
As well as the panelling and cornicework, parquet flooring and stained glass, she points to the ornate ceiling in the master bedroom and the spectacular main bathroom.
“The bathroom is enormous. It could actually host a party, it is so large, and has the original Vitrolite glass tiles – all intact – and the original heated rail.
“We left in the bath and sink which are coloured a delicate teal – definitely not avocado – because the proportions were so huge that it would have been difficult to replace them. I don’t think they sell baths that big anymore.”
While the more traditional front of the house has seen little work other than redecoration, Peter and Jackie have modernised the rear, where the kitchens and maid’s rooms were reconfigured to create a better living space.
A few years after moving in, the Ghazals converted the area of garden which adjoins the family room into the most amazing space for entertaining guests.
Jackie says: “This was really Peter’s creation. It is accessed by sliding doors from the kitchen. A step down leads to a sheltered sunken area and the glass garden room, which backs on to the stone wall, with its own oven.
“It is described as a pizza oven, but we tend to roast huge legs of lamb in it for outdoor parties.”
This outdoor area also boasts a hot tub – a gift from Peter to Jackie to compensate for the Scottish weather following their move from San Diego in sunny California.
Jackie says: “It is right next to the back door, with a bathroom just inside, so its really convenient and we have had a lot of use out of it.”
The garden, considering its size, is surprisingly low maintenance, according to Jackie. “It was a completely mature garden already, so apart from a little weeding and trimming it is really only a case of mowing the lawn.
“The summer garden is a blast of colours, while spring sees a bank of daffodils emerge. The front entrance is flanked by two copper beeches which are just starting to turn a spectacular dark purpley red.”
Gordon Terrace is quite a sociable area. Just across from the house is a strip of land which the local residents use for al-fresco get-togethers.
Jackie says: “We have a bonfire and firework party and barbecues in the summer, so there is a very active social life.”
The property for sale includes a detached garage which was originally a coach house and would work equally well as a workshop or studio. But for further potential, definitely look down to the cellar.
A wrought-iron railing and stone steps from the garden lead to a subterranean room which could make an excellent wine cellar or could even be developed into a spa or games room.
A job move to Cardiff for Peter has precipitated the sale, but Jackie says that Cademuir has been the perfect place to raise a family. “I hope the next owners are as happy here as we have been.”
Cademuir is on the market for offers over £895,000 with Savills.
Words: Kirsty McLuckie