House on the hill is a glass act
The combination of location, style and personal input meant parting with the house they’d built to sell proved rather difficult for one Inverness family, writes Susan Welsh
Russell Henderson at Ben View House. Sandy McCook
Ben View House, in the hamlet of Daviot on the southern outskirts of Inverness, is very well named.
From the house, which sits in a hillside location, there are fabulous views across the countrywide and the Beauly Firth towards Ben Wyvis.
It was the views from here that persuaded Russell and Alexandria Henderson that this would be the perfect place to build a house.
At the time, the couple and young son Jack were living in the Lochardil area of Inverness.
Like a lot of people, they thought they’d dip their toe in the property development market by building a bespoke house, with a view to selling it.
Using local architect Colin Armstrong, they designed what is a rather fabulous house – complete with glass gable end created to take full advantage of the location.
After spending more than two winters clearing the land, which in itself was no easy task, and building the luxury pad, something unexpected happened.
They’d put so much of themselves into creating the house that they couldn’t bring themselves to part with it. They moved in and sold their city house instead.
It’s easy to see why. Russell, a director with Stagecoach, and Alexandria found it hard to resist.
A showcase for good taste and luxury living, this detached house quietly shouts quality throughout.
“The brief we gave Colin the architect was to create a house that let as much natural light into the house as possible and made full use of the views, but it also had to be a comfortable family home,” said Russell.
In terms of light and space, the design ticks every box – with the “wow” factor kicking in as soon as you step through the front door.
From here, there’s a large hallway from where, thanks to large glass internal doors, you can see the views from the bay-style windows and french doors in the dining room.
The lounge is another glorious room. It has two sets of full-length windows overlooking the garden and windows to the side which makes it exceptionally bright. A nice feature is the stylish built-in multi-fuel stove.
The gleaming kitchen is another lovely room, with a host of built-in units and an island bar/breakfast unit providing the ideal spot for Jack to do his homework while chatting to mum as she makes dinner.
This floor also has a shower room, vestibule, utility room, Jack’n’Jill shower room and family room/bedroom.
Upstairs, there’s a luxurious master bedroom which has a glass gable end measuring some 20ft; a large dressing room and luxury en-suite with stylish Travertine twin sinks.
A Juliet-style balcony is to be added to this room which, if desired, would make a superb upper lounge.
Like a lot of the rooms in this house, there’s no curtains.
“No one overlooks us or can see in so we don’t need curtains, and it’s lovely waking up to these views” said Russell.
Upstairs, there’s a further three impressive bedrooms and a large family bathroom.
The house – which is on the market for offers over £449,950 – has been decorated in neutral tones throughout and there’s top-quality oak flooring, Travertine tiling and soft, thick carpets.
Alexandria clearly has an eye for design and throughout the house there are beautiful glass lampshades which sparkle and catch the light.
Outside, there’s around half an acre of garden laid with grass and with a patio area and graveled drive for several cars.
“There’s a fantastic amount of wildlife here with everything from birds of prey to deer, grouse and capercaillie,” said Russell, who is originally from Ayrshire
“Visitors are always blown away when they step outside and hear nothing but birds singing, it’s just such a peaceful, beautiful spot.”
Although peaceful, Daviot is not isolated as it is only eight miles from Inverness and has great links to the A9 dual carriageway which means you can drive to Inverness in a matter of minutes.
Primary children attend Daviot primary school while secondary children go to Millburn Academy in Inverness. Buses are provided for both schools.
The village of Tomatin is four miles away and has a covered pitch/astro turf pitch, and a shop with post office.
“We have put our heart and soul into this house and have really enjoyed living in the countryside, but now that Jack is six, and at the stage of being involved in different activities, we feel the time is right to move back into Inverness,” said Russell.
Contact: Anderson, Shaw and Gilbert on 01463 253911.
Mirror: This impressive ornate black mirror takes pride of place in the lounge. Although it looks heavy it’s actually made from expensive plastic.
Glass stag: This ornament reflects the wildlife we see from the house and ties in nicely with the glass lampshades.
Clock: A quirky clock, inspired by the artist Salvador Dali.