Catherine Venus has transformed her Wolsingham home into a beautiful property befitting of its history. After World War One, East Hall was used for patients convalescing from tuberculosis, but the property was originally one of four wings built in the 1840s by steel
magnate Charles Attwood.
Catherine and her husband Malcolm bought the property a decade ago, three days after 9/11, and quickly set about restoring it to its former glory. Catherine, who is a management consultant for ghd hair, said: “It didn’t look anything like it does now. It was full of horrible beige carpets.
“My plan was to get it all done by that Christmas and my husband said I’d never manage, but once I start something I always finish it! “We got about 90 per cent done and then finished everything off.”
The couple live at East Hall with their two black schnauzers, Bertie and Bobo, but are now planning to move to the Northumbrian coast so they are closer to Catherine’s disabled sister. The kitchen has 11-foot high kitchen cupboards constructed from pippy oak, a black granite work island and a gas range. Catherine said: “I wanted it to be really, really practical with loads of storage. A lot of the furniture was made specifically for this kitchen.”
The dining room is decorated in a deep red and Catherine says the multi-fuel fire makes it the perfect Christmas room. She said: “This is where we have the Christmas tree and the log fire and we pull the sofas in front of it.”
The main reception room is a glorious suntrap with a black and gold theme and huge glass doors leading out onto the stone terrace and into the 100ft garden, the biggest garden in Wolsingham.
Downstairs, all the wooden floors are oak except for the grand hallway which is tiled. On the ground floor there is also a large study, WC and sizeable utility room.
Catherine said: “I think the layout of the house is a major plus point because every room, on both floors, comes off a main hallway and every room is square or rectangular. “There are no funny corners or angles that need special furniture and I’ve designed the house to have tons of storage space.”
The master bedroom has extensive custom-built wardrobes and a large storage cupboard built below the window to store bedding in. Every one of the four double bedrooms has an en-suite bathroom, and the bathroom for the master bedroom has metallic black mosaic flooring, spotlighting, a free-standing bath and wet room with rain shower head.
Catherine, who used to live in Rowlands Gill, said: “I think it’s a house for all seasons. “At Christmas I love the dining room, and in autumn I love the living room and walking the dogs in Hamsterley Forest, which is 10 minutes up the road. “The thing that made me buy the house was the downstairs hallway. “I saw it and knew it would look great with black and white tiling. “It’s a great area to live in too and the village has very good amenities. My husband’s children used to love coming to visit and we’re never short of housesitters when we’re away!”
The Hall also has a separate double garage and planning permission for the addition of an orangery.
East Hall, Holywood, Wolsingham, is on the market for £650,000. For more information, telephone George F White on 01388 527966 or visit www.georgefwhite.co.uk