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Byline: JAYNE HOWARTH Homes Writer

IT'S a delightful one-bedroom retreat, tucked between two Victorian houses in Moseley.

And it could be yours. Designed by Birmingham architect Anna Parker, of Intervention Architecture, The Old Coach House in Greenhill Road is a surprisingly spacious property and comes complete with off-road parking and a private garden.

Once old and dingy, and used as a timber store, the property is now a light and airy mezzanine home, which is exactly as academic and writer Nicola Gale, who commissioned the building's transformation, wanted.

But just weeks after the last lick of paint has dried and the snagging list has been ticked off, Nicola, a senior lecturer in health sociology at the University of Birmingham, is selling to move to the Worcestershire countryside with her wife Rachael. "Originally we were going to keep the Old Coach House as a pied a terre in Birmingham because it was close to my work, but we've found a lovely place in Worcestershire that is within commuting distance," she said. "We had really long discussions about whether to sell it or not, because we wanted to keep it, but the house we found meant we had no real need for an additional property in Birmingham."

Falling in love with the rural farmhouse has meant she has now sold her adjoining flat, which she moved to in 2009, and put the newly converted property on the market. Her wife's property in Redditch is also being sold so they can start work on their new project.

"It was a longer process than that because there were a couple of false starts but when I met Anna her vision was really good. I wanted a clean and clear space in which to write, somewhere that was inspiring to work in, and she achieved that," says 35-yearold Nicola.

From the outside, the Old Coach House, which was included in Nicola's original purchase of the flat, looks rather unassuming but open the front door and you discover how the height and space has been used to full effect.

From the entrance lobby, there is an open walk way that leads right along the ground floor. This openplan living space measures a generous 30' long from the front door to the patio doors that lead to the garden and has a solid oak floor.

Tucked away in the corner is a modern, L-shaped kitchen area that packs in plenty of base units to fit the pots and pans, plus a grey Quartz work surface. It comes with an integrated Bosch double oven with four-ring burner, Bosch gas hob and integrated extractor pro, while a ceramic Belfast sink with traditionalstyle bib taps over and drainer hints at the historic character of the home. There's space for a fridge-freezer, too.

Open-plan means there is a seamless transition into the living/dining area. It's pared down and stylish - ideal for someone who isn't looking to fill their lives with paraphernalia and knick-knacks - and stylistic features of the exposed brick wall and stainless steel conduits provide further hints to its history. The solid oak floor is also heated, which is no doubt welcome on a cold winter's morning.

Although minimalist in design, the home provides a lockable storage cupboard under the stairs, providing enough space for those bits and pieces that don't need to be on permanent display.

The bathroom (9' 01'' x 6' 02''), just off the entrance, has a three-piece white suite with shower attachment and ceiling-mounted rainfall-effect shower head. With white wall tiles and grey slate-effect floor tiles, plus ceiling recessed spotlights, the effect is clean and minimal. There is also an airing cupboard, wall-mounted heated chrome towel rail, extractor fan, and opaque glazed window to the living area, plus built-in shelving, combination boiler and plumbing for a washing machine.

Open stairs lead to the mezzanine which is where the bedroom/study are found. Light floods in from an arched timber window on the second level, while a second window above the bed. A vaulted ceiling, exposed wooden beam and solid oak flooring continue the theme from the ground floor accommodation and at 17' 01'' x 9' 10'', there is plenty of space for a king-size bed.

Outside there is a low-maintenance garden with reclaimed Staffordshire blue brick patio area, decorative sculptured flowerbeds, original brick wall and panelled fencing.

The guide price for The Old Coach House is PS200,000. Contact agent Rice Chamberlains on 0121 442 4040.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 19, 2016
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