When most people move house they’re content to put down new carpets and paint walls.
Not so Malcolm “Moly” McMillan and his wife Fran. When the couple bought a double upper apartment in central Broughty Ferry they transformed virtually every aspect.
Dundonian Moly, 59,was part of the team who built Skype, and took early retirement after it was sold to Microsoft. He grew restless, however, and now works helping digital start-ups grow.
He and Fran, 58, bought the property 12 years ago without having set foot in it. “I was on business in Colombia when it came on,” Moly explains. “Fran’s sister viewed it and sent us pictures and I bought it from my hotel room.”
Although technically a flat – there’s another property underneath – 14 Camphill Road has the feel of a house. It has its own entrance from the street, parking and, of course, a very special garden.
“When we bought the place it was a four-bedroom home,” Moly continues. “It wasn’t run down but it was filled with dark wood panelling. We wanted it to be much more spacious and light.”
On the ground floor is an open plan kitchen/dining room with an Aga – the floor was reinforced to take its weight.
A former broom cupboard has been turned into a great little study with an Oriel window protruding out into space and giving a sweeping view to the waterfront.
The living room has huge picture windows and a wood burning stove – though Moly and Fran have upgraded the insulation to such a degree it’s rarely needed. The new sun room extension has a door with steps down into the garden.
The ground floor also has the main bedroom, with an en suite bathroom. There’s a family bathroom and utility room. Upstairs, is a New York loft-style apartment space, which can be a second living room, yoga studio or playroom. The second bedroom’s also at attic level. The garden is a work of art, and won an Association of Professional Landscapers Award. There are separate cooking and dining areas, and a spa with a sunken cedar hot tub. South facing and screened by trees, it’s warm and private.
Moly and Fran bought the property for £220,000. They spent £135,000 doing up the main house, £24,000 on the extension, and £80,000 on the garden. “I’m aware we’ll never get all that money back and some might see it as a vanity project,” Moly admits. “But it’s what we wanted to do and life’s too short to worry.”
The couple are moving to Somerset to be closer to their children and grandchildren. “We bought this for holidays but thought it had become our forever home,” Moly says. “Family has to come first though.”
14 Camphill Road, Broughty Ferry, is on sale with Galbraith for o/o £365,000.