LOST your mojo? Standard Property has used her International Woman of Mystery powers to track it down at this amazing split-level house on the Fair Mile (the A4130 towards Bix).
Built in 1968 by a local architect, Barnfield has six bedrooms, three bathrooms, five reception rooms and a large kitchen/breakfast room. Not only does it offer much more than the average property, but it’s surrounded by woodland and has a heated swimming pool (minus any ill-tempered mutated sea bass), lush gardens, outbuildings and two double garages. Groovy.
“Barnfield is a fantastic family house - essentially three buildings joined by a central corridor,” said Alan Bates, who moved into the house in 1984 with his late wife and young family. “We were looking for somewhere that offered a lot of flexibility and space. My wife spotted Barnfield first. She had her own property empire and, although there was a lot to do to the house, she could see the potential straight away.”
The couple remodelled, turning Barnfield “from a flat structure to one with curving style,” said Alan. “We also improved the views and added the water feature. We won an award for that.”
If you’re still thinking this kind of house isn’t your bag, believe us when we say Barnfield was ahead of its time. Don’t be fooled by the aura of bell-bottoms and paisley prints; the layout is bang on trend for contemporary living with its open-plan styling, timber detailing and floor-to-ceiling windows which let the outside light flood through the house. There’s nothing cramped, dark and cottage-y about this place, Daddy-O.
Arranged over three floors and with 3,200sq ft of accommodation, those with an extended family, who like to throw parties, or who work from home (that’s most people, then), will dig the design.
Alan certainly does.
He said: “The concept is ‘bring the inside out’. I don’t think photographs can do this place justice. You have to be here to believe the space and the views. It’s also the perfect set-up for a family needing a lot of room. The guest suites are ideal for grandparents.”
“I love the dining room best though,” continued Alan. “It’s probably the best bit of the house because you look out at the garden and see the trees, which only get greener as spring turns to summer.”
The family room also deserves a mention and this has doors out to the garden terrace, as does the kitchen/breakfast room which is pure 2015, being only recently refurbished with up-to-the minute units, granite worktops and modern integrated appliances. Cool.
The garden is another highlight of this far-out find. Apart from the aforementioned terrace, with its water feature and vine-covered pergola, it would be a drag if Standard Property forgot to mention the other bonuses. There’s a well-loved potting shed and productive kitchen garden (you dig?), a brick workshop, and a pool-house which serves as a changing room for the swimming pool. The workshop also has potential to be converted into an annexe â?? not that you need any extra accommodation with this house.
Alan says he spends a lot of time in the kitchen garden and, along with the memories, says it’s this that he will find hardest to leave behind when he downsizes.
Lawn takes up most of the main garden which, lined with trees, makes you feel like you are deep in the forest rather than a 15-minute walk from central Henley, with its shops, theatre, restaurants, train station and the rest.
Those who like to ramble, horse ride, cycle or run will also be in heaven here.
“The house sits at the edge of Lambridge Wood,” said Alan. “Don’t be surprised if you wake up to a muntjac in your garden.”
All in all, Barnfield is a retro marvel with its feet planted firmly in the future, and it’s just waiting for its new owners to find it smashing. We’ll raise a glass of Campari to thatâ?¦
For sale with Davis Tate at a guide price of £2,450,000 (not “One-millioooooon dollars!”). Call (01491) 313106 for more information.