SOMETIMES a property just jumps out at you and begs to be viewed… well it does when it as dramatic as this week’s Property of the Week.
This superb period townhouse in Haxby Road is a beautiful blend of the old and the new, the traditional and the contemporary. It oozes style throughout and the elegant marriage of high ceilings, cornicing and deep windows and ultra up-tothe- minute bathroom, kitchen and living room is simply stunning.
It was not always, as you may have already guessed by looking at the pictures on these pages, quite as sumptuous a property. Indeed, when developer Michael Hammill first chanced upon the site it was not even a house – it was an auto parts shop.
“I’d actually been to see a neighbouring property for a friend,”
Michael says, “and just happened to see this property was for sale.” It still needed a leap of imagination to recognise that potential – although Michael modestly insists it was an “obvious opportunity”.
Easy for him to say, perhaps, as he has more experience than many in the York property world – with an impressive list of conversions, refurbishments and new build developments in his portfolio.
One of his best-known projects is York’s ‘Zero House’, a five-bedroomed contemporary eco-house on Water Lane, off Clifton Green, for which he made runner-up in the 2009 York Design Awards. A year later he went one better and was a winner in the new-build residential category of the same awards.
His previous works include the £7m development of James House in York, apartments in Mawsons Court and Walmgate and a fine range of lodge and barn conversions.
So how did this project compare? Pretty much as standard, it would appear.
“I tend to work to a similar blueprint, all my properties are gutted from top to bottom and we work from there…”
All right, if Michael is going to insist on remaining modest, perhaps we should let the selling agents do a bit of boasting for him...
Sam Potrykus, of Hunters, says: “This property is truly exceptional and needs to be viewed internally to be fully appreciated. In addition to its outstanding interior, it has many attractions.”
Indeed it does, which you will see as we take you on a tour around the house. Beginning with a look at that new exterior. Handsomely rendered, it sits proud on a corner plot with a forecourt wall garden to two sides, front door one way, deep bay window to the other – and a look at the before and after pictures will show you just how much that simple start has improved the area...
Once through that front door youare met by a spacious entrance hall, to one side of which is the living room, with an eye-catching series of impressive features including a long and impressive entertainment unit, a wood burner and flue with stone hearth, deep windows to the back and a door giving access to a rooftop terrace (of which more later) and an enclosed side courtyard.
To the other side of the house is one of the property’s major wow factors – an absolutely stunning breakfast kitchen with white gloss full-height units and contrasting high black work surfaces.
Contemporary styling – and contemporary fittings, in the shape of integral fridge-freezer and dishwasher, a central island, a four-ring gas burner hob and stainless steel ovens and combination microwave make a decidedly ab-fab spot for cooking and entertaining. From here it is back to the hallway and up the stairs to the first floor where we find a master bedroom with a range of fitted wardrobes and a modern en-suite shower room.
This is a lovely, light and bright room, helped by two windows to one side and a paned door which gives access out to the aforementioned roof terrace.
This was cleverly incorporated into Michael’s refurbishments as a way of providing an unusual, tucked away, private outdoor seating area – and very nice it is, too (although you might have to wait until the spring to make the most of it!).
Also on this floor there is another generous bedroom and a smart house bathroom.
Up to the top floor next, where we find, off a galleried landing, another pair of bedrooms, both of them spacious doubles (both more than 15ft by 11ft-plus). Not only is this a smartly designed home, then, it also has plenty of space to romp around in...
There’s reasonable space outside, too, for a period home, with a single garage and hardstanding area for further parking. So, having rebuilt the house and having been in residence for a while, what does Michael like most about his latest home?
“It’s in a brilliant location,” he says, “it’s close to one of the best parks in York, it’s incredibly handy for the hospital and the college and you can easily get out onto the commuting routes. And, of course, it’s an easy walk into the city centre.”
And, taking off his developer’s hat and instead donning a pair of house-owner’s slippers, what does he really like most about the house itself?
“I smile when I walk up to the front door,” he says, “and see what we have achieved with it. I think we’ve made a big improvement and brought the property back to life as a home, somewhere that another family will be able to come into and enjoy living in York in a lovely house.”
And that’s as good a note to finish on as you will hear…
AT A GLANCE...
Reception rooms: 1
Gardens: Front and side walled area, enclosed side courtyard garden and private rooftop terrace
Wow factor: It’s all beautifully styled but we loved the breakfast kitchen
Phone 01904 621026