Friday, 20 October 2017

Properties that make a splash

Now the weather has improved, the thought of a swimming pool in your back garden is quite appealing. But is

Now the weather has improved, the thought of a swimming pool in your back garden is quite appealing. But is it just as appealing when it comes to selling your property?

While an obvious feature on a sunny day, a swimming pool can easily be seen as an extra hassle and expense in the wrong weather. So, in the current housing (and meteorological) climate, what appeal does a pool hold? Can a swimming pool help to sell a house?

Sarah Wright of Savills explains: “A pool is rarely a specific request from buyers but definitely a bonus, especially if the house is centred around the pool, is contemporary and has openings on to terraces or gardens.

“An indoor pool, which can be used all year round, will have particular appeal. It can provide constant amusement for your children and their friends during school holidays, and will suit those with a thirst for exercise who want to keep fit without leaving home.

“If they are poorly maintained or the water is discoloured, external pools can have limited appeal and buyers may assume there is a significant cost implication for updating. However, modern units with efficient boilers are much cheaper to run.

Efficiency technologies such as solar pv units add a modern twist and buyers are more comfortable knowing they will make savings.

“It’s hard to imagine on a grey day but when we get a hot summer, al fresco dining around an outdoor pool takes on a different perspective entirely. Providing it is dressed accordingly with flood lighting, a clean, well kept pool can be enough to entice any buyer.”

Copse Stile House is a fine Grade II listed red brick country house set in extensive gardens and grounds in an edge-of-village setting. The house is believed to be late 17th century with 19th century alterations, although parts of the house would appear to pre-date this. Copse Stile House was originally a medieval, timber framed small manor and was converted into its current form in the 1680s during the Queen Anne period. The house is noted in Pevsner’s encyclopaedia of British architecture as an outstanding example of rural Queen Anne symmetrical architecture.

There is an attractive symmetrical front elevation, with sash windows and gabled dormers under tile roof. The interiors have many period features including panelling, cornicing and fireplaces and are well proportioned with accommodation found over three principal floors with additional cellars. The majority of the rooms enjoy views over the glorious garden and grounds.

The house has been extensively modernised and altered by the current owners and now provides immaculate spacious living ideal for entertaining.

There is a Robert Taussig designed integrated surround sound music system in all downstairs rooms and the master bedroom suite.

The central half-glazed front door with flat hood on deeply carved wood brackets leads in to the flagstone floored reception hall with original staircase.

The drawing room has three windows with seating giving fantastic views over the garden, as well as an open fireplace with pretty, carved wooden surround. The dual aspect library has built in bookcases and cupboards, an open fireplace with stone mantel and wooden flooring.

The dining room has an open fireplace with wood surround and marble slips, wooden panelling, a display cabinet and window seat, and tile floor.

The inner hall, with door to the cloakroom, would appear to be the oldest part of the house, evident from the arches and exposed beams. The room has tile and polished brick floor and a door to the cellars with impressive vaulted ceilings and brick shelving.

The kitchen lies beyond the dining room and can also be accessed via a stable door from the terrace. This wonderful dual aspect room has a vaulted ceiling with exposed roof trusses.

There is a range of fitted wall and floor cupboards, drawers and shelves including an island with bar breakfast area.

Fittings and appliances include a Viking wine cooler, integrated Sub Zero fridge and freezer, Viking professional oven and grill, Miele coffee machine and four-door Aga set into the chimney recess.

There is a shelved pantry and an archway through to an open plan breakfast room. The playroom has a vaulted ceiling with exposed roof trusses and glazed wall giving views towards the garden.

A door leads through to the self-contained annexe.

To the first floor is the impressive master bedroom suite with views over the garden. The suite incorporates a bedroom, first floor sitting room/dressing room two with pretty cast iron fireplace, a dressing room with built-in wardrobes and two ensuite bathrooms.

Bedroom two includes twin windows with views of lake and gardens, and has a wonderful ensuite bathroom with a free-standing roll top bath.

To the second floor are three further bedrooms, all ensuite, as well as a store room. There is an additional back staircase from the first floor giving access to second floor accommodation.

There is a self-contained, single storey annexe found in the south wing of the house. Accessed either from the drive or internally via the playroom, this could provide either staff or guest accommodation having been recently converted.

The accommodation comprises an entrance hall, sitting room/dining room with vaulted ceiling and French doors to garden, and an open plan kitchen with fitted appliances. There are two bedrooms and a family bathroom.

There is a well laid out garden, which lies mainly to the east of the house.

The majority of garden is laid to lawn interspersed with a range of mature trees including beech and willow, and leads down to the swimming pool. A wonderful, large spring fed lake also lies within the beautiful grounds.

There is a listed brick wall and herbaceous border on one side of the garden, and listed outbuildings to the other.

Directly south of the house is a terrace and gravel path, enclosed by a brick wall. Behind a screen of trees is a kitchen garden with greenhouse and adjoining potting shed, cold frames and fruit cage.

A small arboretum lies beyond which is bordered by a yew hedge on the north boundary and a stream to the south. Beyond the garden are two fenced paddocks, which lie east and south of the farm buildings. Water is supplied to both paddocks and there is access from both the drive and road.

Found to the south of the house there is a range of traditional brick and modern farm buildings. The stables are probably early 18th century, with 19th century alterations and are constructed of red brick with limestone rubble panels and and old plain-tile half-hipped roof.

There are around a dozen loose boxes, one converted into a workshop, another containing utilities. The northern block are single storey with attic storage above. There are further stables and a fully boarded hay loft in a two storey former barn.

This building has planning permission to convert into a guest cottage on the ground floor and a large games room on the first floor. There is a garage/hay store constructed of brick under a tile roof. This building has a four-bay hay store to the north, currently for machinery storage and four bay garaging to the south with electric garage doors and hard standing.

The covered yard has planning permission for conversion into an indoor swimming pool and gym complex. The proposed plans would include a indoor pool, pool room, pump room, sauna, two changing rooms and mezzanine level gym.

Within the grounds, is a gardener’s cottage with open plan sitting room/kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.

There is also a newly renovated home office with a beautiful clock tower, comprising a large reception room/office, a kitchen/breakfast room and a stylish shower room with a fabulous walk-in shower.

The office benefits from an integral 10-speaker cinema/audio system, a hard-disc security system monitoring access points with infra-red cameras, a Stovex wood burner and underfloor heating. The property is available through Savills. For more information contact (01491) 843001.

Believed to date back to 1895, Larkstoke Manor is a striking country house set beautifully in its grounds. The reception hall, with adjoining inner hall, have an exquisite galleried staircase with oak panelling.

Off this central atrium are the principal reception rooms, all of generous proportions with elegant, beautifully plastered ceilings and large bay windows, creating a light and airy space which takes advantage of the beautiful outlook. The stylish kitchen/breakfast room has been newly fitted and benefits from the addition of its south-facing dining area, glazed around three exterior walls with doors at each end leading out into the gardens.

There is a drawing room of gracious proportions to one end of the house with an open fireplace and views of the private parkland. This leads off the inner hallway which also gives access to the library with full height bookcases, and the sitting room which benefits from an elegant bay window. Across from the kitchen/breakfast room is the majestic dining room which provides a more formal entertaining space in contrast to the dining area adjoining the kitchen/breakfast room. There is also a family room, utility room, cloakroom and shower room to the ground floor. The house has been intelligently designed and laid out to allow the majority of the reception rooms to have windows on three sides, providing a light filled space which takes full advantage of its surroundings and views. The house is wired for sound.

To the first floor, the impressive master bedroom suite takes precedence with an extensive, fitted dressing room leading through to the contemporary bathroom with modern spotlighting and smart floor tiles.

There are four further bedroom suites (three with adjoining bathrooms) as well as a family bathroom. A separate staircase leads from drawing room to the sixth bedroom with ensuite bathroom and fitted wardrobes, ideal as a guest suite.

A stunning bluebell wood lies to the north, and is just a small part of the extensive grounds and woodland. There are also two good sized paddocks, ideal for equestrian use as the property formally served as a stud,particularly in conjunction with the wonderful coach house, comprising a barn, stable and store room. There is a recently designed swimming pool garden which is discreetly located to the side of the tennis court.

The house is approached through impressive cast iron gates, where a smart pressed gravel drive winds its way through the spectacular parkland. The house sits neatly in its plot, surrounded by formal gardens, parkland and enviable views, offering privacy and seclusion, with the tennis court set neatly to one side. To the east side of the property, an orchard gives gated access to a bridleway connecting to The Ridgeway.

There is a smart double garage with studio and bathroom above, ideal as a home office, ancillary accommodation or annexe.

The property is available through Knight Frank for a guide price of £4,950,000. Call (01491) 844900.

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