homemaker featured property - 26 July 2014

This contemporary four-bedroom family home has been much improved and updated by owners Len and Lilian Lawson


Since the couple moved into the 1970-built property in Darras Hall, Northumberland, they have carried out considerable work in order “to bring it into the 21st Century”.

Aside from a dedicated cinema room with tiered seating and a fitted 100 inch projector screen, they’ve added a bedroom, fully rewired the house and installed a new central heating system.

Len, who is retired from a career in financial services, explains: “We have put a lot of work into the property and made a lot of changes in the five years we have lived here.

“The lounge was a flat roofed area, so we went up above it to create another bedroom, making the house a four-bedroomed instead of three.

“It was built in 1970 I think, and the previous owner had been in it from when it was new, so it needed to be brought up to date. We installed double automated gates to the front and widened the driveway which can now accommodate six cars.

“We also spent a lot of time doing up the gardens which we find are a nice manageable size for us because they’re not too big or too small. They are very easy to maintain, mainly lawned, with a lovely decked seating area, summer house and shed.”

Situated in a cul de sac, the versatile property is extremely secluded and has a high degree of privacy. “The back garden is very nice and is not overlooked,” says Len, adding: “It’s a lovely street, the neighbours are great. It’s very quiet and you have a lot of privacy here.

“There are no cars driving up and down because it’s a cul de sac with only around 20 houses here.

“It’s also very accessible for the local shops at Broadway and Ponteland, which are both within walking distance, and there are some lovely dog walks in the area too.”

To the ground floor is an entrance porch, hallway with ceiling downlights and a Karndean floor, a cloakroom, study, lounge, dining room,
breakfasting kitchen and cinema

To the first floor are four double bedrooms, two of which are en suite, and a family bathroom. There is also an integrated double garage.

Len says: “The kitchen is only five years old. It’s got a wine cooler, a built in coffee machine, built in fridge and freezer and dishwasher, all granite work surfaces, a lovely central island unit, and a separate utility room adjoining it.

“It also has bi-folding doors which open the room right out. They are around four metres wide and fold right back on to the decking.

“The lounge is dual aspect with floor to ceiling windows looking out to both the front and rear of the property so it’s a fab room because it lets all of the light in.

“The cinema room can seat five people and the chairs are all fully reclining and very comfortable. When we did the cinema room we contemplated the seating and we were so pleased we got the proper cinema chairs. It makes such a difference. It’s just a fab room and we spend a lot of time in it.”

Now their two children have both flown the nest, Len and Lilian, both 58, have decided to downsize but want to stay in the area, which is ideally placed for easy access to local amenities and has excellent road links as well as being close to Newcastle International Airport.

Len says: “It’s a big home so it’s ideal for a family. It was for us and will be for another family. We’ll be staying on the estate though, because we love it here so much.”

16 Avondale Road, Darras Hall, is for sale for a fixed priced of £560,000, through Bridgfords, tel: 01661 860300.


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