Sunday, 22 October 2017

Contemporary twist to this family home

STUNNING is a word that is often over-used, but the Cart House is more than deserving of that description.

STUNNING is a word that is often over-used, but the Cart House is more than deserving of that description.

A five-bedroom brick and flint barn conversion in Ewelme, with high vaulted ceilings, this is the property you would want for large family gatherings or drinks parties.

Owner Suzanne James, who has lived there for five years, said: “It’s got a lovely cosy family feel.”

One of the oldest buildings in the village, the Cart House was converted about 20 years ago by an architect, who lived here with his wife and family. It was originally used by farmers to store their carts.

Suzanne said: “I’m a fan of Grand Designs [Channel 4’s self-build TV show] and when I saw the place I just fell in love with it. The lounge is so fantastic.”



Set in attractive gardens, the property has ample parking and a double garage with power and a workshop area.

Walk through the double doors of the Cart House and you find yourself directly in the reception area which, like much of the property, has attractive exposed brickwork.

The reception area leads directly into the open-plan living room, which also has an area for dining. There is a vaulted ceiling and cosy but modern inglenook-style fireplace.

Suzanne said: “The architect gave it a contemporary twist.With its pale wood, it’s more Scandinavian than olde England.”

Staying with the Scandinavian theme, it was Suzanne who chose to install the Danish Scan stove: “It’s a beautiful fire and it really throws out the heat. It makes the room lovely and cosy.”

Not that the room needs much heating thanks to its full-width glazing to the front and modern under-floor heating. The property is also wired for an integrated speaker system and has a handy central-vacuum system.

Suzanne said the system was a plus point for her when she first viewed the house.

She explained: “I used to live in Canada and they had one where I lived, so I knew how great it was. Wherever you go there will be a socket to hand — it’s much easier than dragging a vacuum cleaner around.”

As to the speaker wiring, Mrs James said: “Quite a few rooms are connected. I haven’t taken advantage, but the acoustics would be amazing with the vaulted ceilings.”

To view the living area properly, you can climb up to either of the two open mezzanine levels which are positioned at each end of the room, and appreciate it from above.

The mezzanines have balustrades and can be used for a variety of uses.

Underneath the right-hand mezzanine (called the South Gallery) lies a guest bedroom and study. The bedroom here has a built-in wardrobe and its own ensuite wet-room; and the study gives access to the mezzanine itself.

The other mezzanine (called the North Gallery) is accessed from the other end of the living room and has a door to the storage/boiler room.

Back downstairs, the kitchen/breakfast room, which is off the reception/living area, has a range of units and a double stainless steel sink. Here, too, you will find exposed bricks and ceiling beams.

A door leads out into the landscaped garden with banks of mature shrubs and flowers, as well as fruit trees. There is also a brick and glass greenhouse and the centre of the garden has a terrace with a raised pond. Back in the house, the utility room is accessed from the kitchen and has another door to the garden.

Most of the accommodation is on the ground floor. The bedrooms each have a gallery with individual staircases to mezzanines with eaves storage and the family bathroom is fitted with a five-piece suite.

Suzanne said: “The house is just crying out for a family. The architect made fantastic use of the space for his children. Not only are the bedrooms all large enough for double beds, but the mezzanines are also each large enough to take a double bed. You could easily swap them around — or even have six bedrooms here!”

The master suite starts on the ground floor with a bathroom, and a sitting and study area (dual aspect with another high vaulted ceiling) and continues with a staircase up to the bedroom. Suzanne thinks the master suite has potential to be turned into an annex.

“It could easily be converted into a ‘granny flat’,” she added.

Up in the light, airy bedroom, you will find a walk-in wardrobe area.

“I love the main living room, but this comes a close second as my favourite room in the house,” said Suzanne.

“The dressing room is hidden behind the bed-head wall and there must be about 6ft or 7ft of hanging space there, as well as the basket drawers and big storage areas for bedding or suitcases. You don’t even know this is there when you enter!”

The M40 is a 10-minute drive away and the nearest station, Cholsey, with links to Oxford and Paddington, is a 10-minute drive away. The nearest large town is Wallingford.

The Cart House is on the market at £1,2000,000 with Ballards. Contact them on (01491) 411055.

By LUCY BOON, Standard property correspondent

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