Borders build shows that low maintenance needn’t mean low on style

Simple forms and a minimalist appearance belie the clever concept behind this Borders new-build

At first sight, this bold, bravura building of dazzling silvery larch cladding, brilliant white render and aluminium-framed glass looks as if it was created as an experiment in futuristic living. In fact, the brief – which it fulfils admirably – was far less glamorous. The owners simply asked for a child-friendly, eco-efficient, low-maintenance family home that would chime with the charms of the surrounding garden. The fact that the resulting building looks so far ahead of the game is merely an added bonus.
The property that previously occupied the site could hardly have been more different, as owner Olivia McLean explains: “I grew up here, in my grandmother’s bungalow. It’s was a beautiful place to spend your child­hood, and my husband Stephen and I thought it would make a great place to bring up our kids.”
The couple had bought the house and surrounding garden in 2010, following the death of Olivia’s grand­mother. “The bungalow was lovely, and high up on the plot, but unfortunately it just wasn’t big enough to be our family home. We knew it would be very difficult to develop the site incorporating the bungalow, so the decision was taken to build a new house.”
What she and Stephen had in mind was a contem­porary open-plan building. “We were keen to have a lot of glass to the front so we could take in the views. We wanted to keep everything simple so it would be easy to clean and safe for our three young children.”

This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 146-158, issue 104.

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Photography David Barbour
Words Caroline Ednie
What A four-bedroom new-build
Where Near Melrose
Architect A449 Ltd
Builder Ainslie Contracting