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Inspired by the past, this one-off country house near Melrose was designed for the future The country house Kenny and Mandy Short designed and built in 2006 in a rural setting easily accessed off the A68 between Ancrum and Bewlie is quite unique, a visionary design that took its inspiration from a traditional steading building and merged it with modern technology and natural materials to make a spacious home with stunning views of the Eildon Hills.

Off the rear hall is a fourth bedroom (currently a study) which, being close to a fully tiled wet room, makes it useful for guests, plus there’s a utility/laundry. The third bedroom is situated on a lower ground level, accessed by a short flight of stairs off the hall. With windows on two sides, oak flooring and double set of fitted wardrobes, it’s solo position would be good for a teenager or musician.

“Having bought the plot, which was just an empty field, we wanted to build a house for the rest of our lives but also one that would last for hundreds of years,” says Kenny.

Upstairs, the main living room is a stunning space with a solid oak floor and wall of windows on one side fitted with bi-fold slatted wooden shutters which, when open, reveal wonderful views of the countryside.

The couple designed the house with architects Aiken & Turnbull, having deliberated long and hard to ensure it incorporated everything they had ever wanted. But while space is the most obvious feature, it’s all usable space and not overly endowed with rooms to the extent that you need a map to find your way around.

Stairs continue up to the first floor landing, off which are two double bedrooms and a luxurious family bathroom. Situated at the far end, the main bedroom is exceptional, with double doors opening on to a covered balcony. It also has a walk-in wardrobe and extensive storage, while the second bedroom has twin built-in wardrobes.

The house stands in similarly sizable but easily maintained gardens and includes an adjoining paddock of over an acre on one side, the latter with scope for stabling and grazing. Inside, the emphasis on natural materials - such as solid oak and limestone flooring (with under-floor heating on the ground floor), exposed stone walls, and a solid oak hand-crafted staircase – creates a visual link with the outside and imbues the house with a feeling of calmness and tranquility. The ground floor layout features a large dining hall – great use of a space that so often only serves as a through area – with double doors linking it to the breakfasting kitchen and galleried dining area on one side and sitting room and rear hall on the other side.

This house has many notable features – the ground floor living room has fabulous arched windows on either side of a central stone-finished chimney breast housing a multi-fuel stove; the kitchen, which has black limestone flooring, opens on to the rear patio and has light oak units with polished marble worktops, while a central island unit houses a double oven, seven -ring hob and breakfast bar area. Other appliances include a built-in American-style fridge freezer, integrated dishwasher, microwave and coffee machine. An oak staircase leads up to a fabulous galleried dining area with a glazed gable window framing views of the Eildon Hills.

Karma Belses, Near Melrose

Similar attention to detail has been given to the garden and garage, the latter a detached double size with matching stone facade, twin up and over doors and a toilet. A staircase leads up to a bonus space; a galleried games room with Velux roof windows on two sides, central heating, recessed lighting and ample power/media points. The gardens have been carefully planned to require minimal maintenance and maximum use, with seating areas, paved front and side patios incorporating an arched sun terrace. Beyond, a decked patio area houses an Arctic Spa hot tub (available by separate negotiation), while another decked patio accessible from the kitchen has a barbecue area. Planned and planted for the future, this is a young garden that will come into its own in time, while having an adjoining paddock offers great scope for keeping a horse or pony. This really is a house that has to be seen in order to be fully appreciated, not only for the size and scale of the property but also for the quality of the workmanship and materials used. “Everyone who worked on the house loved it, so much so they were always looking for ways to make it even better,” adds Kenny. Having built the house for the rest of their lives, the couple are now having to move for family reasons, which now gives someone else the opportunity to own a quite exceptional home in a delightful village setting within easy reach of Melrose.

Offers Over £625,000 Details on page 6

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PROPERTY FOR SALE - Karma, Belses, near Melrose - Offers Over £625,000. Inspired by the past, this one-off country house near Melrose was d...


PROPERTY FOR SALE - Karma, Belses, near Melrose - Offers Over £625,000. Inspired by the past, this one-off country house near Melrose was d...