The Perthshire hamlet of St Davids on a snowy afternoon is a fine place to enjoy the benefits of wood burning stoves and full-wall windows.
Both of these things are keeping me happy at Marefield of Craigs: the former warming me up after a chilly journey and the latter treating my eyes to a snowy countryside vista, a handsome Clydesdale horse cheerfully stamping his hooves in the field next door.
The house was built 10 years ago by Peter and Sheila Keron, on land owned by Peter’s late father, who farmed the area.
Comrie architect Andrew Finlayson – who previously lived next to the couple – designed the house to Peter and Sheila’s specifications and the builders were Auchterarder construction firm Stephen Gardiner.
The couple have three daughters, Kayleigh, 17, Heather, 15, and Molly, 8, as well as two dogs – Yorkshire terrier Benji and a delightfully energetic six-month old whippet called Nova – and eight horses and ponies. As such, they needed plenty of space for two and four legged family members.
The living room has a lovely wood burning stove – Benji curls up in front of it the moment we walk into the room – and glazed doors onto a patio.
The kitchen is a striking space, with a vaulted ceiling and a full height triangular window dominating the gable wall. It’s aligned towards the Perthshire countryside and there are views to Ben Vorlich, though its peak is obscured by snow clouds on the day I visit. A Velux and windows facing both east and west ensure it’s a light-filled space at all hours of the day.
As befits a country house there’s a large utility that doubles up as a boot room and is where muddy gear is taken off before entering the house. A shower room off it lets people scrub clean as well.
A flexible downstairs room can be used as a family room, study or fifth bedroom. Upstairs are four bedrooms, including an en suite master, and a family bathroom.
The garden is a perfect size for children and dogs without being too unmanageable, and there are just shy of 6.4 acres of fields for horses, as well as a large stable, workshop and several store rooms.
There are additional fields available that any buyer who wants them can negotiate as part of the sale.
Having lived in the house for 10 years Peter, 51, and Sheila, 49, are ready for a new challenge, having caught the self-build bug. “Peter’s father was a farmer and we have some land nearby that we would like to build a house on,” Sheila explains.
“Some people think we’re mad for selling but it’s not as if we’re moving far. We love it here and this is where we plan to stay.”