Convent Conversion

Russ Atkinson
Russ joined Factory having completed his degree in Graphic Design at The Arts Institute at Bournemouth. Handling the rare combination of a mastery of both words and images, Russ lends his writing skills to his overarching responsibility for design and production scheduling. Russ loves building BMWs of both the 2 and 4 wheel variety.

Housed within the former St Matthew’s Convent in St Mary, this incredibly spacious period apartment effortlessly mixes understated, clean modern lines with classic touches, reminding you that while it may have a distinctive air of modernity to it, the building you’re inside was originally constructed in 1884. One of just seven apartments in a development spanning two distinct buildings, this one is known as ‘Matthew’ – read on to get to know him better.

Set over two floors with sunlight streaming through his plentiful windows and double-height ceilings throughout to boot, Matthew certainly has some presence. Originally part of the building constructed for the Sisters of St André as a home and a seat of learning, St Matthew’s Convent later became home to Beaulieu Convent School before the school was moved to its current site on Wellington Road.

It is immediately apparent that the interior details of this apartment have been pored over extensively to bring everything together in such harmony – with wide flooring planks arranged in a herringbone fashion in the livingroom like an oversized, contemporary take on classic parquet against wooden panelling, ceiling roses and coving leading to that dramatic, inset ceiling, for example.

Muted tones against crisp, white highlights in the form of architraves and skirtings are the order of the day throughout, with additional highlights increasing the airy feel further still in the form of gloss white kitchen units and a stunning gloss white island taking centre stage in the kitchen, with a contrasting recessed gloss black side that echoes the darker units that surround the oven. Period-look wall mounted radiators complete the look, again effortlessly blending old with new.

A WC and the entrance hall round off the ground floor, with a staircase from the entrance hall leading to the floor below, which, believe it or not, has an even more generous footprint than the one above.

Both of the incredibly generously-sized bedrooms are situated on the lower ground floor and each has its own ensuite bathroom, which is ideal for both affording guests a suitable amount of privacy and avoiding an inevitably disorderly queue forming during the morning rush, should both bedrooms be permanently inhabited. Both bedrooms have ample storage space built in, sizeable enough to swallow up even the most extensive of wardrobes, especially when it comes to the master bedroom, which includes its own separate dressing room en route to the ensuite. Granite steps lead up to beautiful, recessed arched doorways lying opposite the foot of the bed in both rooms, with matching windows running level with the tops of the doors, reminding you of the building’s history. Between the steps leading up to each set of doors is a staged seating area, which is equal parts useful and decorative.

The lower ground floor is also home to a good-sized utility room, an airing cupboard and extra storage space for all of the household items that don’t have any place being on display. In addition to the generously-proportioned interior space, this property also features a store and two allocated parking spaces outside, as well as visitor parking being available.

Located in St Mary, but on the border of three parishes, this exclusive development is just a stone’s throw from the north coast’s cliff-paths and would be an ideal home for those seeking out a spacious, relaxing environment with easy access to rural walking routes and dramatic vistas.

- A word from our sposor -

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