WHEN newlyweds Martin and Christine Cripps were looking for their first home together they found the perfect house to start married life in.
The period semi on Oakfield Road in Birkby had character in abundance, which creative Christine particularly appreciated.
Martin, a market researcher, explains: “It was very distinctive and had a lot of character which we both loved”.
“The house was built in 1928 and the style was very reflective of the Arts and Crafts Movement of the time. My wife has an art degree and this really appealed to her sense of style.”
Christine, who owns a food packaging business, couldn’t wait to get her hands on the stylish house, selling her nearby flat while Martin sold his Birkby bachelor pad.
Then they moved into the house, which felt made for them because they had very little work to do.
Martin says: “We did a bit of redecorating to freshen up the rooms and put in a new kitchen, but apart from that we left the house as it was.
“We liked the house as it was, so we thought why change it? It would have been a shame to do too much because it would have taken away from the features which made the house so distinctive.”
In terms of location, the house was perfect. Located a mile from the town centre it felt far enough away to be away from all the hustle and bustle but close enough to amenities and the M62, important for Martin who worked in Halifax at the time.
The house itself was in a peaceful cul-de-sac with lots of young families so the couple soon felt right at home.
The five-bedroom property is very spacious and light floods on to the stunning features through the large windows.
As Martin says the house is very much reflective of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
The popular movement was inspired by the writings of British art critic John Ruskin and a romantic idealisation of a craftsperson taking pride in their personal handiwork.
Walk around the couple’s house and it’s brimming with some really charming features of the movement.
The builder made his stamp with heart-shaped features and there’s hearts carved into features such as the banisters of the spindle balustrade staircase and the fireplaces.
Some other lovely features include the striking dark wood fireplace in the dining room, unusually topped with a glazed glass over mantel mirror and leaded display cabinet.
“This is one of our favourite rooms in the house”, says Martin. It’s full of nice features and a lovely place to sit.”
For the couple the house felt ready to move into and they chose their furnishings to blend in with the features they loved so much.
Says Martin: “The furnishing side was really Christine’s choice, but we both felt it was important not to spoil the character.
“In that sense some of the furnishings are quite traditional, for example Christine used dark coloured tables and chairs to compliment the features and used quite classic colours.
“A lot of furniture has been collected over the years and bought from Christine’s previous home.
“Most of the rooms have been kept quite traditional, like the dining room and the bathroom which has this fantastic old sunken bath which I could spend hours in!
“But there are some modern bits and pieces. The kitchen is very modern and lovely, a real hub of the house.”
The couple have loved their unique home, the place they have lived in for 16 years and raised their son Alistair, now 13.
But they have decided to put the house up for sale as they have ambitions take on a new building project in the area.
Martin said: “It’s got a huge amount of character and we, my wife particularly, will miss that side to it.
“It’s lovely family house with a really unique charm.”
Oakfield Road, Birkby, is on the market for £315,000. To arrange a viewing contact Bramleys estate agents on 01484 530361.