WHEN Justin and Joanna Cole were looking for a new home, space was a must for their young family.
So when they laid eyes on a commanding home in a picturesque location in Honley, it immediately ticked all the right boxes.
The couple found the property in 2006 when they were searching for a family home in the area.
Justin, a sales and marketing director for a healthcare company, said: “We had been living in Clayton West and knew we wanted a home in the Holme Valley in a nice village setting.
“We were looking for a property that was mature and had its own grounds, that was not overlooked and had scope for improvement.”
The couple found their ideal home on Station Road in the village.
The six-bedroom home was in the perfect location, set close to the village location but with a tucked away feel in large grounds surrounded by woodland.
Justin added: “It was the ideal home for us. We had just come away from living on an estate which was nice but felt like everyone was on top of each other.
“So the big thing attraction for us was that this house had its own mature plot.
“With all the places we’d lived in before we’d always added rooms or improved them in some way and, again, this house had the potential for this.”
The house was looking dated so the couple decided to give it a complete design overhaul to create a practical living environment for them and their two children, Harry, nine and Phoebe, six.
Justin says: “We wanted the house to have quite a simple, neutral feel – we didn’t put too many pictures up.
“It’s modern but really fresh and light, making the most of the space and creating a nice practical family home.
“My wife makes curtains in her own time and enjoys adding the finishing touches to the house.”
As well as modernising their home, Justin and Joanna – an administration assistant at Huddersfield University – were keen to make the most of the space on offer.
The couple recently had a large extension, which added a further two bedrooms bringing the total to six.
The extension also added extra living space and helped give the property more of an open plan feel, with areas like the hallway expanded to create a sense of flow through to the dining area.
Justin said: “We’ve created a bit more of an open plan feel. It’s very practical and makes us feel at home as a family.
“We just go where the family wants to go, whether it’s in the sitting room with the kids playing on the floor or the kitchen which has a large window to look out onto the garden.”
Another big change came when the couple bought a plot of land behind their garden to create a larger outside space for their family to enjoy spending time in.
Justin said: “We loved the fact that within 10 minutes of walking back from the village we could be sat in the back garden and it’s absolutely silent, apart from the wildlife.
“The garden was one of the first things we looked at tackling.
“While it was quite nice and mature with a few bushes, it didn’t have much grass. The couple before us didn’t have children but we wanted somewhere nice for our kids to play.
“We had 100 sq metres of new turf added and have just finished another 500 sq metres so while the garden was reasonably closed in before, it’s now very extensive.”
The family’s home backs onto the grounds of Northgate Mount, famous as the largest house in Honley and steeped in local history.
The neo-classical villa was built in about 1825 for woollen manufacturer William Brooke.
Justin said: “Where we are would have been originally part of the gardens. The owners sold the plot at the bottom of their grounds years ago.
“We now back onto their pristine garden and it’s a beautiful backdrop to look out on to through the trees.”
The couple put a lot of effort into making sure their garden was right to make the most of the picturesque setting.
The area of overgrown land they bought was returfed and landscaped, which involved bringing in tree contractors to ensure some trees were carefully moved.
Justin said: “It’s a great family garden. We’ve got football goals and the biggest trampoline you’ve ever seen. The kids love playing there.
“They’ve got their bird books and the garden attracts all sorts of wildlife, including woodpeckers and foxes – we even have a resident pheasant!”
The family have decided to sell their home as they plan to move down south for Justin’s work.
Justin added: “The strapline for our house now is that it’s a very practical family home that draws you outwards through this fantastic view of the garden and woodland.
“We’ve definitely been living in luxury having all this space and I’m not sure we’re ever going to find a plot like this again – unless we come back to the north!”