Prestige property: Novel take on New Town living

Built in 1812, number 24 Northumberland Street is a very fine – and rare – example of a full Georgian townhouse with all its period features intact.

The New Town property has a full four floors of accommodation, plus a south-facing terraced garden, and private parking. But as well as its grand proportions, the house today is a welcoming and comfortable family home.

For the owners, Ali Rudd and her husband, it has been a dream property which has afforded a lifestyle which couldn’t be further from their first home.

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She recalls: “In 2012, we were living in a tiny apartment on the 36th floor in Chelsea, New York.

24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso
24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso

“It had incredible views of the Empire State Building and was right in the epicentre of buzzing Manhattan – everything you could ever wish for.”

On the arrival of their first child, however, the couple’s priorities changed. Ali explains: “We had always wanted to raise our family in Edinburgh, as we had both studied here as students and fallen in love with the city.

So they headed back and started their house hunt in the Capital.

She says: “I love the geometric symmetry of the Georgian terraces and the stunning beauty of the New Town. It is wonderful for a young family, beautiful private gardens, every amenity on your doorstep, and a plethora of activities within walking distance.”

24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso
24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso

One of the instant attractions of number 24 was its outside space. “I often thought how fortunate we were during the summer months, as the kids played in the paddling pool out back, that we had lucked-in with a south-facing garden.”

But the house itself needed an overhaul – in the first year, the couple’s major project took in rewiring, re-plumbing, and installing a new central heating system, as well as carrying out essential roof repairs.

The rest of the renovation took a further five years and, during this time, three more children were added to the family.

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Ali describes her aesthetic: “I wanted to be sympathetic to the period, there were so many beautiful original features to preserve and cherish. I tried to choose colours that were not too far removed from a traditional Georgian palette, whilst creating a family-friendly space.”

24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso
24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso

With such a luxury of square footage, the couple could afford to re-purpose some of the original bedrooms. Ali says: “We knocked through a wall into a bedroom to double the size of the original kitchen. I still remember coming through the front door to this flood of light from two windows in the new kitchen and thinking, ‘wow!’”

“I am a music and dance teacher, so a studio space was created with a sprung dance floor in the basement. My eldest daughter has been a keen ballerina from a very young age.” The hours of practice must have paid off, as Ali’s daughter now trains with the Royal Ballet.

The basement is also home to a refurbished wine cellar.

Upstairs, on the first floor, the main bedroom’s ensuite was also overdue for an overhaul. Ali remembers: “The bath taps were gold heritage – not in fashion at the time – but I wanted to keep those in the remodel. I ended up going full-on gold and marble, much to my friends’ horror who affectionately nicknamed the ensuite ‘Trump Tower’.”

24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso
24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso

Another highlight is the first-floor drawing room, which Ali and her husband use to host gatherings and even the odd ceilidh. She says: “There is something magical about lighting a fire at Christmas and having the neighbours round for mulled wine.”

After bringing the house back up to its absolute prime, the family are now craving a more rural life. Ali says: “The kids are desperate for some chickens and the World Heritage Site would not approve!”

For more information, contact selling agents MacGregor Property by telephoning 0131-283 2833.

24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso
24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso
24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso
24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso
24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso
24 Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. Image: Ines Gennuso