Endless summer: converted Palladian mansion inspired by orangery

Designed to mimic a traditional orangery, this new-build holiday home in Elie thrives on blue skies and sunny days. And with one of Scotland’s best beaches just a stroll away, it’s making its owners long to stay all year

When Simon and Clare Platt began their quest for a holiday home, they pictured some­thing old and brimming with character. What they found was altogether different – and they can’t believe how great it is. The couple, who live in Edinburgh with their daughter, noticed a property for sale in the grounds of Elie House, within walking distance of the town’s stunning beach, and decided to take a look. “If nothing else, we thought it would be a lovely day out,” recalls Simon.
Elie House, a listed Palladian mansion, sits in seven acres of communal gardens. It was converted into 13 apartments by the Chris Stewart Group, and the redevelopment was so well regarded it was shortlisted for the 2011 Scottish Home Awards.
The final stage of the project was the construction of the Orangery at Elie House: three new-build townhouses on the site of the former family chapel, adjacent to the main house. Built of mellow dressed stone, these five-bedroom houses were designed to echo the look of a traditional estate orangery – the roof, for example, looks flat when viewed from the front but is in fact pitched. Historically, this was a conservatory-style building used to grow and show off exotic plants, and that is reflected here in the arched windows and tall, wide glass doors that create a sense of light and space. Oriented east-west, the interiors are bathed in light all day long.
Even though Clare had been hankering for a house by the beach, and an old house at that, the couple were surprised by how quickly they fell for this property. “Walking in and seeing how light it was and how well finished everything was really sold it to me,” Clare reflects.
Those finishes weren’t just cosmetic: double-glazed timber windows by Heron Joinery combined with high-spec insu­lation means heat retention is 30% above what’s required by current building regulations.
Inside, large-profile travertine flooring extends from the entrance area into the kitchen (by Kitchens International), while wide-board oak flooring sweeps through the open-plan living and dining spaces. The bathrooms and en-suites are just as smart, with natural stone-look porcelain tiling, Laufen fittings and Hansgrohe showers. The living room has a gas stove in a travertine hearth, and there’s an integrated lighting system plus all the technology you’d expect from a high-specification modern home.

This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 162-170, issue 90.

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What One of three new-build townhouses in the grounds of an A-listed Palladian mansion
Where Elie, Fife
Words Fiona Reid
Further info www.treescapeelie.com
Photography Neale Smith