When we set up our business in 2017 we had several objects in mind.
- To take pretty stone cottages and turn them into something very special to give guests a unique experience .
- To ensure the properties futures for future generations.
- To employ local people and businesses to work with us.
- To reuse, refurbish and upgrade furniture and interiors, not just buy everything new.
- To give a real sense of continuity which comes from a family home.
- To use products and methods that would have the least harmful impact on the environment.
Have we achieved these goals? From our guests' comments it appears we have achieved turning pretty stone cottages into something really special. Our cottages have been enjoyed by a wide range of people, from business travellers, to brides, holiday makers to those enjoying a romantic break or a group of friends for a weekends shopping. These are just some of the categories of guest who have enjoyed our cottages.
To ensure their future: All the cottages required refurbishment. We have put new roofs onto 2 of them using local craftsmen, using traditional methods and slate tiles in keeping with the original roofs. We have rewired and replumbed and where necessary damp proofed. We put in fire walls for safety and of course we insulated the lofts and renewed windows all with the intention of cutting heat loss and putting back some of the original features, including lintels. We have unblocked the chimneys and installed log burning stoves. They are super efficient, using very little wood to emit large amounts of heat. They also emit very little into the atmosphere. We chose log burning stoves because they are safe for guests to use. The air currents from the open chimneys help to eliminate damp and ensure a proper circulation of air, essential for our guests' welfare whilst also maintaining the building. These cottages were built to breathe and if they are not allowed a sufficient flow of air they become musty, damp and cold and begin to deteriorate. Any repointing has been done using traditional materials. Modern day cement when used with stone causes the stone to disintegrate because the cement render is too acidic, hence our craftsmen use a traditional mix. Wherever possible we have retained the original features.
We recently installed a new staircase at Artist's Cottage. It required a considerable amount of ingenuity on the part of the highly skilled cabinet maker to ensure it is correctly balanced, he also ensured that we can get furniture up and down in the future.
We have installed new efficient radiators and energy efficient gas condensing boilers. In Artists' Loft we have renewed the electric radiators and water heater so as to be as energy efficient as possible. We have removed all water tanks so all water comes direct from the mains, this means we do not waste water and our showers are always powerful - but without the need for electric pumps.
The furniture has been carefully selected. Many of the older and antique pieces have been completely refurbished to make them suited to the 21st century. Where we could we left them in their original state. Our fabrics are chosen with care, and have been coated, where necessary, to render them fire retardant. Our blinds are from Curtains and Blinds on Skipton Road, our curtains are from local shops or were made by us . The bed spreads are either hand woven in Ireland made by us or from local shops. Our glass is all from Rollings Glass located a few 100 yards from most of our properties. They cut and colour the glass to our specification.
Our white goods are selected for functionality and energy ratings, they come from Beks, a local supplier. Our ovens self clean so we do not need to use harmful chemicals. They come from Miele on Station Parade Our hobs are induction or ceramic, so easy to wipe clean. All our surfaces are chosen for their ease of cleaning.
Our beds are sourced locally. The sofas all came from local suppliers as did our lamps and lights. Our dining suites are either upcycled by us or come from Smiths the Rink on Dragon Road, they are also responsible for our flooring.
Throughout our properties we use LED and low energy light bulbs.
Our shampoos and body wash are chosen for their lack of harmful chemicals and come to us perfume free. We add our own essential oils to the body wash.
Our linen and towels are all 100% cotton. They are supplied to us by a specialist laundry service who themselves use all the latest technology to ensure spotless clean linen for our guests whilst being kind to the environment.
We believe we have achieved our goals.
We love working with local businesses to bring you the best quality products and services. What's more we love making you welcome and sharing all this with you.