Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Bought Home That I'd Created

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Bought Home That I'd Created

Article excerpt

Byline: Anne Southby

WHEN a friend's beautiful bungalow came up for sale, Stephen Ling knew it'd be just perfect for his family. And he really did know - as architect Stephen had, in fact, created the dream property several years before.

"I designed Briarside for some long-standing friends and when it was completed we said to them that if they ever came to sell it could we have first refusal," explained now-retired Stephen.

"Six years later we moved in."

It is now 18 years since Stephen and his wife Christine moved in to Briarside, which was built on one of a number of plots in the grounds of the former Mona and Thomas Taylor Homes hospital site, now known as Hepscott Park, Morpeth.

Stephen knew all the features that make the bungalow so special - starting with the atrium.

"Speaking as an architect, one of the main problems with bungalows historically is they tend to be dark internally with long and sometimes meandering corridors," said Stephen.

"Here at Briarside, the atrium provides the grand introduction to the house and by use of glazed doors to all the spaces radiating from it, gives a flood of backlight to all the spaces in the house and minimises corridors, particularly in the bedroom wing.

"The result is a spectacularly light and airy feel to the house with a special bonus on a moonlit night."

And that's not all. "All of the rooms are properly proportioned, not too small and not too big with no dead space," he said.

"It is also a great party house. In the summer with all the double doors flung open, guests can circulate through the house and garden.

"At Christmas time the atrium provides the opportunity of displaying a magnificent real tree."

Despite creating his beautiful property, Stephen wasn't prepared to rest on his laurels.

"During our time here, and all relatively recently, we have completely remodelled the kitchen/breakfast room and two of the three bathrooms, as well renewing the central heating boiler, alarm system and double insulating the loft," he said. …

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