Taking flats to another level

24 Castle Keep, Scott Lane, Wetherby - �450,000 with Beadnall & Copley, 01937 580850.

24 Castle Keep, Scott Lane, Wetherby - �450,000 with Beadnall & Copley, 01937 580850.

By John Grainger, Property editor

Duplex apartments sound more modern than they are.

Formerly called maisonettes, they’re simply a single home in a larger building, spread over two floors connected by an internal staircase.

They’ve been around for a long time, but were re-branded by estate agents a few years ago, and now almost always seem to be called duplexes.

Maisonettes apparently sounded too old-fashioned, whereas duplexes sounded modern, desirable and chic. (The same happened when the humble British flat morphed into the flashy US-style apartment.)

For many buyers, duplexes/maisonettes have some real advantages over conventional flats.

Despite the communal entrances and shared gounds, they often feel more like stand-alone houses than conventional flats, largely because of the all-important staircase. It seems that being able to come downstairs in the morning – and go upstairs at night – makes for a comforting division of the living space that is naturally in tune with the division of the day.

This can only be done in a house or a duplex apartment, and duplexes tend to be much more affordable than individual homes of the same size, especially in the more desirable, or central, parts of town.

Number 24 Castle Keep (main pic) is a superbly located first and second-floor duplex apartment in a purpose-built development just off the Market Place in Wetherby.

The contemporary apartment has three bedrooms and a private balcony offering truly enviable views of the River Wharfe.

It has a single garage and visitor parking and shares a communal entrance foyer with security entryphone and exceptionally well-tended communal grounds.

Just up the road in Knaresborough, the two-bed flat in The Bridge House (left) has equally gorgeous river views.

The house itself is a grade II-listed, was converted in the manner of a Victorian townhouse and has now been finished in contemporary style.

The result is a comfortably modern home which retains a wealth of features, including high ceilings and period fireplaces.

It is immaculately maintained, has two allocated car parking spaces and, of course, those beautiful views of the River Nidd.

Number 5 Fleece Court (left) is a spacious apartment on the ground and first floors of a modern development just off Allhallowgate, in the centre of Ripon.

It has three bedrooms, eaves storage and underground parking with an allotted parking space.

Its open-plan living kitchen also offers superb views from its full-length windows, but of the cathedral rather than the river.

Finally, 6A Warwick Crescent (top) is a three-bedroom apartment on the first and second floors of an Arts and Crafts-influenced stone-built property on a tree-lined road south of the Stray in Harrogate.

It has been furnished and fitted in chic contemporary style, and its kitchen and wet-room alone are real selling points.

Outside there is a single garage located in the side drive.


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