Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Luxury on Tap at Water Works Conversion

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Luxury on Tap at Water Works Conversion

Article excerpt

As a child Michael Harkus was always curious about what lay behind the imposing red brick walls on Sunniside Lane in South Shields.

Behind these walls was in fact Cleadon Water Works, which were designed and built by Thomas Hawxley in 1860. Little did Michael know that a few decades later, part of this Grade II-Listed building would be his home.

The Smithy, also pictured on page one of Homemaker this week, is part of a stunning conversion designed into four properties by architects Jane Darbyshire/Kevin Kenda and renovated in 2003 by Rivergreen Developments.

Michael and his family moved into The Smithy just over a year ago.

"We wanted to live in that area, and had decided to buy some land with views of the Cleadon Hills and build our own home. I came up here for a walk to look for land and stumbled on the development. By luck, the buyer of The Smithy had pulled out so we jumped at the chance to buy it. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time," said Michael.

The multi-award-winning development is approached via security entrance gates and a sweeping driveway. Accommodation includes an entrance hallway with chrome and maple staircase, and a vaulted ceiling. There is a ground floor cloakroom with Villeroy & Boch suite and maple wood flooring.

The talking point of the house is undoubtedly the magnificent sitting room. This light and airy room features an inglenook fireplace with cast iron stove, arched windows, and KEF seven- speaker surround sound system. A galleried area, with vaulted ceiling, overlooks the sitting room from two of the bedrooms.

"The lounge has a definite wow factor, yet despite its size it has a really homely feel. The double height ceiling is a wonderful space and provides great views over the hills and Cleadon water tower," said Michael. …

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