I recently met up for a cup of tea with Amy Newhouse from Dugdales Barn to find out about the story behind this fabulous property and how she has found being part of the Gorgeous Cottages family.
Amy and her husband James are both originally from Settle and after moving away from the area for several years have now re-located back to this characterful market town.
Tell us a little bit about Dugdales Barn
“The barn was originally home to Dugdales Agricultural Engineers and was a bit of a Landmark within Settle. I kept thinking it would make a fantastic cottage but it was my husband James who finally gave me the push to go for it. Although it originally came with planning permission for a three-bedroom property, I really wanted the cottage to be big, light and airy so decided on 2 large bedrooms instead. This is actually our first holiday cottage so I wanted to create something with the wow factor!”
How did you decide on the look for the property?
“The building is so special that I actually knew right away what I wanted to do. I wanted it as open and light as possible so the double-height living space was an integral part of the design. It was also really important to keep original features like the large arched stone window (now leading onto a patio), the wooden beams and the original sign used for Dugdales Agricultural Engineers. I was regularly asked what would be happening with the sign as it was such a well-known building in the area so it has pride of place above the kitchen.”
What advice would you give to other people looking to renovate a property?
“I would say to always pick a project that you get excited about. I love Dugdales and genuinely enjoy getting the cottage ready for our guests so that they can have the best possible holiday in Settle. I actually really loved the transformation process from empty shell to finished product and am already starting to miss doing it!”
Dugdales is just over the road from Settle’s Victoria Hall
How do you handle guests arriving at the property?
“I sometimes have to work away so I like to plan things out in advance with the guests and ensure everything is ready and waiting for them. I know Settle really well having grown up here so I can also give advice on where to go and what to do. I use a key safe for new arrivals and I also like to leave some nice surprises (like a bottle of prosecco in the fridge for all guests).”
There’s plenty of independent shops to explore in Settle.
Any other tips you can give?
- “Decide on the unique selling points of your property and spend a little bit extra to make them really special. For example, the original window arch in Dugdales is a big selling point so we’ve decided to get bespoke blinds created to accentuate this.”
- “Think about the little touches that will make someone’s holiday easier. A lot of people will go cycling in the Dales around Settle so we have a lockable bike shed available. We also have invested in underfloor heating because of the type of stone property that it is.”
- “Always do a trial run before your first paying guests arrive. I used my parents and they were able to point out little things that could be easily fixed.”
How have you found working with Gorgeous Cottages?
“It’s been great so far – I found Gorgeous Cottages initially on Facebook so knew they were really strong at social media promotion and because they specialise in luxury properties they really understand the market we are targeting. The bookings have been pouring in so far which I have been really pleased with.”
About Gorgeous Cottages
Gorgeous Cottages look after the marketing and booking for a range of luxury cottages throughout Yorkshire. If you are thinking about renting out your property (or are even just at the first stages of renovating a cottage) give us a call on 0844 736 6276 or e-mail [email protected]