House transformed by Marina's stylish ambition
T HE thing that strikes me about this house is how well it flows thanks to well thought-out extensions and more imaginative use of existing space which means it is both roomier and a lot nicer to live in too.
The property at 9, Geneva Drive, Birches Head, has been home to Marina Button for the past 15 or so years and over that time it has been altered and adapted very much for the better.
It makes a good impression as soon as you walk into the entrance hall where the Amtico flooring gives a real sense of style and quality.
Off it is a nice and large lounge/dining room and beyond it sliding patio doors lead to a big conservatory.
Marina makes the point: "A lot of people build a conservatory as a separate room, but we designed ours to be a continuation of the lounge and although there is a door there is also a sense of it being part of the lounge. It is brick built and very warm and really helps the ground floor to flow.''
A cross the hallway is a big L-shaped room which used to be part of the garage but has since been converted into living space. This is easily big enough to be a fifth bedroom and because there is a downstairs cloakroom/w.c. too it would be ideal for someone with reduced mobility or if you wanted a home office.
There has been a similarly inventive reallocation of space elsewhere. There is a nice kitchen with a Range Master gas cooker, fitted storage units, built in fridge, more of that lovely Amtico flooring and what was once a solid wall now has double doors to a pleasant breakfast room.
Another part of the garage has also been converted into a utility room and going out towards the landscaped garden is a second conservatory, or sun room. This and the one off the lounge are linked by a canopy so, as Marina says: "You can sit out and enjoy the garden whatever the weather. If it is cold there are two conservatories but if it is warm but perhaps rainy you can sit under the canopy. It is possible to go from one side of the house to the other outside without getting wet.''
Upstairs all four bedrooms have built in wardrobes which is not only neater but also more space efficient than free-standing units. The master bedroom overlooks the front and has an en suite shower/w.c, there is another generous double also at the front and two big singles. Even without the option of the downstairs bedroom there is certainly no shortage of sleeping accommodation in Marina's home.
There is a family shower room with a big shower cubicle housing a Huppe power shower with safety doors designed so that even if someone slips they cannot fall outwards.
Outside, there is ample parking on a block paved driveway at the front and a low maintenance garden, there is a large storage building and at the back is a charming garden which has been landscaped and has a summer house. Viewed from the conservatory, the sun room, from under the canopy or walking through it this garden is a lovely area and a big asset.
There is another consideration and that is the location. Geneva Drive is a quiet road and Birches Head is ideal for access to Hanley or Leek Road and there are good schools nearby. In short, it is hard to think of any box this property does not tick for people wanting a smart, spacious family home in superb condition.
Marina says: "When we first saw this I did not think we could possibly afford it, but I loved the size and space of it and its location and the changes we have done over the years have made it into a superb family home.''