When Rod MacDonald went for a country drive in 2009, he had no idea it would turn out to be an afternoon that would change his life.
He came across the recently converted Strawberry Fields barn, a fabulous four-bedroom property in Pitcaple, which dates back to the 19th Century.
“I was just out for a drive and saw a ‘For Sale’ sign at the end of a long driveway,” said Rod, 53.
“It was right by Bennachie and although I wasn’t particularly looking to move house, I’ve always loved that area.
“I was a bit cheeky and drove up the driveway to check it out.
“Luckily, the owners were in and I got to have a look around.
“The property just blew me away right from when I first stepped in the door and it felt like my house straight away.
“The next day, I phoned the agent and had it taken off the market.”
And it’s no wonder that Rod, a recently retired helicopter pilot, fell in love with Strawberry Fields, as the property offers a wonderful opportunity for open-plan living in the heart of the Aberdeenshire countryside.
An exceptionally spacious lounge and dining area features glazed walls along one side of the room, giving magnificent views over Bennachie.
Cathedral-height ceilings and exposed beams offer a stylish reminder of the building’s history as a working barn, while a modern wood-burning stove keeps the space cosy in winter.
The kitchen is fitted with a wide range of base and wall units, complete with solid wood worktops and a central island breakfast bar.
“It’s a fantastic house for entertaining,” said Rod.
“Whether it’s a party of 30, or just the family round for Christmas, it really suits every occasion.”
Rod is soon moving to be closer to family, but after nine years, is undoubtedly sad to leave.
“To me it feels more like a sanctuary than a home,” he said. “It’s difficult to capture the essence of a house like this, but it’s just a fantastic place to come home to every day.”
Strawberry Fields, Mill Of Braco, Pitcaple, Inverurie
Description: Stunning four-bedroom architect designed barn conversion. Complete with uninterrupted views of Bennachie and a fully enclosed garden
Lounge: The heart of the home with high ceilings and exposed beams.
Dining room: Set on open plan with the lounge. Generous space for family dinners as well as more formal entertaining.
Kitchen: Stylish and spacious. Complete with an oil fired Rayburn cooker and access to the garden.
Family Room: Located on the mezzanine level. Currently used as a music room and study.
Master Bedroom: Bright and airy with fitted storage.
Bedrooms 2/3/4: All of a good size.
Family Bathroom: Fitted to a high standard with an unusual round, tiled shower cubical and a home sauna.
Outside: Double garage with loft space. Enclosed garden is mostly laid to lawn with several sheltered patio areas.
Contact: Aberdein Considine on 01467 621263.