Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Best of Both Worlds in Idyllic Rural Retreat

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Best of Both Worlds in Idyllic Rural Retreat

Article excerpt

Paul and Amanda Unger are selling their beautiful barn, which they lovingly converted from a shell 15 years ago.

The property, in a stunning conservation area in Marley Hill, Gateshead ( also shown on the front page of Homemaker ( has brought a lot of happiness to the family who love the great outdoors.

Paul's passion for snowboarding has prompted the couple to buy a second home in Austria.

They are also looking to buy a small working farm here in the North-East from which their 23-year-old daughter, Liese, can run her equestrian business. With two other children, 24-year old ski racer Karl and 16-year-old Zak, who is still at school, the house was converted with the family in mind.

Paul says: "When we bought the property in 1990, it was basically a shell. We used a good local builder and we created a home which was specifically tailored to our family needs.

"Having three children, we wanted to create a practical environment and maximise the use of space. We did this by opening up the ceilings to expose the beamwork. It has a very sociable internal design.

"The planners were very keen for us to retain the property's farm building appearance, and we have kept it as authentic as possible."

Built around 1840, the buildings were originally part of the Hedley Hall Farm on the Bowes-Lyon Estate. The stone-built property has retained many of its original features including treated and stripped timber beams, timber stripped flooring, doors and courtyard. It was used as a working farm until 1988.

The large, spacious living room has some superb features, including a natural stone fire surround and timber exposed beams. A rear lobby, with stripped timber flooring and exposed beamed ceiling, leads to a shower room and laundry room. There is a bedroom with views over the courtyard, dining room and breakfasting kitchen. …

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