Dream Home of the month
Recently I was invited to have a look around the show home of a brand new property development in Cardiff Bay called Cardiff Pointe – a 6-8 year planned development of townhouses, waterside apartments, and a plaza of mews homes, built by Figurehead Homes. This Bay side location is almost the last piece in the regeneration puzzle that has seen Cardiff Bay transformed over the last 30 years from a neglected area of empty docks and scrubland to one of the premier places to live in the UK. It is gorgeous.
From the world class Millennium Centre staging top musicals, to cafes, a fantastic range of restaurants, historic buildings, beautiful homes, and a year round calendar of events, the Bay is now transformed. It’s even the place where Captain Jack decided to set up the Torchwood Headquarters, under Roald Dahl Plaza. Doctor Who has been a regular visitor too!
Situated on a large area of land between Cardiff’s sports village and the River Taff, Cardiff Pointe’s first and second phases have now been released and it is selling fast (there are eight phases being rolled out over the next 6-8 years).
I had a snoop around a four bedroom town house called The Albacore – want to have a peek?
Yes, I thought you might…!
A Great Entrance
As soon as you walk in you are struck by the high quality of the construction, substantial inner glass front doors let light flood through whilst providing an impressive entrance area. Thick wooden internal doors with contemporary door furniture, is just one of the details I instantly noticed – this was going to be a home with a high and impressive spec.
The ground floor comprises a garage, a large utility room, spacious cloakroom, plus a fourth bedroom, which has a full length window over-looking the courtyard rear garden. This room is dressed as a small gym, but it could be a study, a snug or a bedroom.
Interior Design Features
Going up the impressive and solid wood staircase to the first floor, I noticed the textured high quality grey wallpaper, and this is a theme throughout the gorgeous interior design of this home, by Andrew Henry Interiors. A stunning mix of textured tiles in the bathrooms, textured wallpaper, velvet, satin and silk soft furnishings, leather furniture, chrome fittings, coloured glass kitchen splash backs, high sheen kitchen cupboard doors and floor tiles, metallics, and crystal light fittings. The beautiful mix of gloss and matt and smooth and tactile textures compliments the sophisticated colour palette of hues of grey, caramel, cream, and white with accent shades of blue.
Mixing contemporary furniture with iconic designs to stunning effect, I was very jealous of the beautiful Barcelona chairs in the living room, one of my personal favourites!
Luxury Living on the First Floor
The first floor is dedicated to living space, with a lounge, kitchen and dining area all open plan in an L-shape from back to front. The lounge area has French doors leading out to a balcony over-looking the garden. The kitchen leads on from the lounge and is a stunning high sheen honey blonde with bespoke blue glass splash back, which was made locally. It flows effortlessly into the dining area, which is flooded with light from a floor to ceiling window and one wall totally mirrored. The table is set for a sophisticated dinner party, with the blue accent colour being picked up via the buttons of the stylish grey fabric chairs and the wine glasses.
The stunning dining area is completed to a high standard with a stunning crystal glass light fitting running almost the length of the table. The first floor is completed by a spacious study.
Light and Space on the Second Floor
The second floor is where some unique features of the property can be found – as you get to the top of the stairs, you are struck by the open and spacious feeling – the landing is actually double width and double height, right up to an apex ceiling, which is where a final staircase leads to the roof terrace (more on that in a moment). It is definitely a ‘wow’ factor!
The three bedrooms are beautifully decorated, continuing the colour palette and using a visual and tactile mix of cotton, silks, wool, velvet, satin and chenille. A very relaxing floor of the house! The master has an ensuite of course, and a floor to ceiling window and the wardrobes are built-in – but they are built-in on the very wide landing, not in the bedroom itself. Unique indeed.
Then up the final set of stairs to the roof terrace, where the views of the surrounding Bay area are worth lingering – with a glass of wine and comfortable chair of course – ah, bliss!
For further information, including show home opening hours, please go to www.cardiffpointe.co.uk
Properties are on the market with Allen & Harris, Cardiff
Holiday Home of the Month
DON'T FORGET TO CLICK ON THE SIDE ARROW ON THE PICTURE TO SEE ALL THE AMAZING PHOTOS! Appassionata, Le Marche, Italy For more information on Appassionata please visit www.appassionata.com or call 0039 0734658775.
#RightmoveCrush Property of the Week
DON'T FORGET TO CLICK ON THE SIDE ARROW ON THE PICTURE TO SEE ALL THE AMAZING PHOTOS! Swooooon! This stunning Grade II Listed converted Victorian school is bursting with period features. Enjoy!
When is a pub not a pub? When it's a unique property development
In a suburb of Cardiff called Llandaff North, there is an iconic building that has stood majestically at the gateway to the suburb since 1905. On the front of the building are the words Cow and Snuffers.
It’s a pub. But it’s not a pub!
It’s actually five apartments. Five truly unique 2 bedroom homes within a unique building.
I met property developer Lawrence Dovey recently, not for a pint, but for a look around this very effective property development.
The building is now called Disraeli House, as it is said that British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli himself stopped off at the pub that was originally on the site, on the way to meet his friend and MP Wyndham Lewis , who lived in Tongwynlais, just north of Cardiff. After Wyndham died, Disraeli continued to visit Tongwynlias and later married Wyndam’s widow, Mary Anne.
‘There is a bust of the former Prime Minister on the front facade of the building, and with the history of the building, the name of the new development was pretty obvious’, comments Lawrence, ‘we did consider keeping it as the Cow and Snuffers, but didn’t want residents to be known locally as the people who live in a pub!’
Although not listed, the planning process for the conversion was slow, as the plans had to incorporate all the quirkily shaped rooms, access issues and ensuring happy neighbours!
Going around all the apartments, it was clear that the uniqueness of the building has been embraced and not hidden – the deep window sills, the impressive front door, the quirky wall angles, the original window openings and oak beams in the loft apartment. The replacement windows exactly match the originals in size and pane pattern, so this very well-known building looks the same from the outside as it has for many decades – an important aspect for the local community.
So, let’s have a nose around ‘the pub’!
All apartments are very light and spacious, with impressive ceiling height that adds to the sense of space. The décor is neutral, allowing the uniqueness of each property to really shine. The kitchens are solid oak framed with integrated appliances and the bathrooms all have modern white Rocca suites with high sheen honey coloured tiles.
Flat three is the former skittle alley! Not surprisingly, from the outside it looks quite long and fairly narrow. This is at the back of the development and has its own private garden, but the new owner has moved in, so I couldn’t be nosey around that particular apartment – rats! However, the remaining apartments where available to view, even though one of them has sold and is about to be occupied.
The ground floor flat is entered via the imposing original pub front door – a black gloss specimen sporting large door furniture. A very impressive entrance indeed! The open plan living area is large and a quirky shape – this is not your usual ‘box’ apartment and it is all the better for it. The massive windows let the light in and beautifully frame the bustling scene going on outside. This was the main bar area of the pub, where many a local propped up the bar and gossiped the evening away!
The Function Room
The first and second floor apartments share an entrance – it’s a definite bonus of this development that most of the apartments have their own front doors and only two share an entrance and stairway. The front first floor flat has the most impressive open-plan living area – it is substantial and, as with the ground floor, has huge and characterful windows. Lawrence has kept the two old ventilation ducts as a reminder to the building’s age. This flat was the function room – you can almost imagine all the 50th birthday parties this room must have seen, with men ‘dancing like Dads’ and women dancing around their handbags!
The Loft Studio
The loft apartment is my favourite – full of light and large windows and showcasing original roof beams in the living area. Unlike so many loft apartments, the ceilings are high so the slope of the roof does not seriously cut down head height. Probably the smallest of the apartments, it just connected with me – sometimes that happens in properties, doesn’t it?! This area housed a couple of bedrooms when the building was a pub.
The Pool Table
Finally, apartment 4 is actually a maisonette, with the ground floor kitchen situated where the pool table used to be raised up on a ‘stage’. The lounge area is where the industrial kitchen for the pub used to be situated. The upstairs is where the pub landlord (no, not Al Murray!) lived.
So, what is Lawrence’s advice for anyone thinking of converting a pub building?
‘Be careful when considering converting a pub, as many banks and building societies won’t lend on a vacant one. Use an architect, as many pubs will be unusual shapes and sizes and you need to have well thought out designs and plans, to get maximum space. Also, try and keep as much of the original character as you can, making your development unique whilst keeping a sense of its past.’
Most of the internal fixtures that couldn’t be used were taken to a salvage and reclamation yard, and it’s great to hear that the pub sign went to a local person who used to drink in the pub.
It is sad to see so many character pubs closing down, but society has changed and the demand for so many pubs just isn’t there anymore in many areas. It’s fantastic to see Lawrence and his property company keeping this fantastic building – it would have cost a similar amount to demolish it and build a block of apartments instead. Nice one Lawrence, the drinks are on me!
Viewings and Open Day
The final three apartments are being sold with Cardiff Homes, and can be viewed via an appointment or at an open day on 5th April.