In November 2019 we upped sticks and moved from the SE corner of England all the way up to Scotland to have an adventure in Edinburgh. During the course of 2019 Chris, my husband, had returned from a 6 month secondment in Boston, USA. We both wanted to give city living a try but couldn’t move to America because of all our pets and we couldn’t afford London. Over the course of the preceeding decade most of Chris’ direct family had moved North and we were very fortunate to be offered a room with Chris’ parents until we could find our own place. This was a relief because our house sale had not progressed smoothly, our first sale had fallen through after 6 months when our buyers buyer pulled out. We had previously found a house in the south to buy as well but after three months of waiting patiently to exchange were mortified to find out that the house had subsidence. House selling and house buying had not been kind to us. All of this pain though allowed us the time to make the decision to move North and gave Chris the opportunity to find a new job.
Our plan was city living and we appreciated that our budget only allowed us a small apartment in one of our chosen areas. We had been recommended to try Morningside and Stockbridge. As, clearly, had everyone else! These are popular areas. One Saturday morning, just before Christmas, we were wandering around Morningside as we were a bit early for a viewing, when Chris saw a flat advertised in the window of one of the local estate agents. He had seen it before and shown it to be before but I had said no because it didn’t have a bath and I wanted a bath. Chris was adamant that he wanted to see it though as it was in an Art Deco building. I’ll be honest and say I had not picked up on that at all. I don’t think the selling point was the Art Deco building and the photos really didn’t pick up on that. We made a viewing appointment for that afternoon. I still wasn’t wholly on board.
We came out of the Morningside viewing very confused. It was in the perfect location, Morningside, an area we loved. It had three bedrooms which was unusual in the budget we had. So what was not to like. And also if we couldn’t like that then it was clear we weren’t going to like anything in the area and to live there would probably be a huge unhappy compromise. We were disappointed.
Everything turned on its head that afternoon when we arrived at Ravelston Garden and were met by the vendor’s son. As he showed us into the flat he stopped in the hallway and started showing us the period features. The housekeepers door to keep the social areas separate from the sleeping and cooking. The butlers cupboard in the fireplace where the “staff” were able to put your drink in the cupboard from the hallway so that you could access the drink in the lounge without the need for contact with each other. The beautiful sliding doors between the dining room and lounge. The service entrance with bin chutes. The garage. At every turn I expected to see Poirot! I was beside myself with excitement. The flat had been on the market since July which I could not believe. How had it not been snapped up? I had never seen anything like it and whilst I had looked longingly at Art Deco houses in areas like Brighton I never imagined that it would be possible that I could live in a place like that.
On the following Monday we put in an offer for the flat based on our discussion with the vendor’s son. The Scottish system is a bit different to the English system so we already had a full home survey in our hands and knew of any of the issues. The offer was made through our, already appointed solicitor, to the vendor’s solicitor. By the end of the day our offer had been accepted in writing and a completion date of the 14th February had been set.
So, that’s why. Scotland and Art Deco. I am a huge fan of beautiful buildings and seem drawn to taking photos of them usually rather than people. As I sat researching the flats I found lots of examples of Art Deco buildings scattered around Scotland. The blog idea was born.
I am no expert in architecture. My background has no link at all to it. So please don’t come here for technical terms or understanding. Just come here to share the joy. Me, I’m Rebecca. I’m in my 40’s. I went to Cardiff University where I studied Law. On finishing I returned to my home county of Kent where I continued to live until we moved here. Last year I started researching my family history and discovered the my parents families both came from Kent and went back 100’s of years. Apart from my mum’s mum who was born in Glasgow. So Scotland is home too. Professionally I spent 17 years in the police, 10 of which were as a Murder squad detective sergeant. I left the police after a breakdown at 40 and became a full time vintage dealer, something I had been dabbling with for a few year prior to that, my bit of pretty I used to call it. The year after I left the police I was diagnosed as autistic, which totally explained the breakdown and who I am I married Chris in 2000, we met at a police disco in 1996, two years before I joined the police and whilst I was working as a legal rep. Chris was a police officer and ended up being medically retired in 2014. He wasn’t even 40 at this point and so retrained to be an accountant. This has allowed us the amazing opportunity to up sticks and move to another country and buy an Art Deco flat!
Please join me as I explore Scottish Art Deco.