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Sunday, 25 February 2018
THIS week’s star property is a Henley staple — a contemporary family home offering flexible well-proportioned accommodation in one of Henley’s premier roads.
Belle Vue Road and the surrounding area is a favourite with families, who appreciate being within walking distance of some fantastic schools — including an Ofsted-rated “outstanding” primary (Trinity C of E), as well as the town centre with its mainline train station to London and Reading, amenities and of course riverside leisure.
Claire Coll and husband Jeremy and three grown-up children, have lived here for close to 17 years — although Claire says her children took buses to their schools.
“We could walk to St Mary’s for primary and then later the kids either caught a bus from the bottom of St Andrew’s Road to get them to Reading Blue Coat or a bus to Cranford House would pick them up from right outside the house. It was perfect.”
On paper, the property provides a large hall, study/TV room, 22ft 9in reception room, office, substantial kitchen/dining/family room with double doors to the garden, separate utility room, and cloakroom. So it certainly ticks all those family-wanted boxes.
What’s unusual is the amount of usable living space, with not just the living room but also two separate study/offices — handy for the kids doing their online homework or for some tucked-away snug time.
“The house has really suited us as a family,” says Claire. “We arrived here with very young children and we found it to be a brilliant size. And it’s grown with us. For instance, we changed the windows and put an extension on the back to create a nice, big open-plan kitchen. We’ve done a fair bit to it.
“Everyone’s favourite room is the kitchen/diner. It’s a nice entertaining area and everyone congregates here.”
On to upstairs, the amount of space on the first floor perfectly balances that of the ground floor, thanks to some clever extensions over the years. Thus, the house offers four bedrooms, two with en suite bathrooms, and a family shower room.
What’s also interesting is that the loft still has not been converted. If the loft was converted it would offer even more bedroom space for an expanding family (dependent on the way the roof was built).
“We’ve always said, the loft would make a good conversion — it’s a good-sized loft,” says Claire, who adds that she would have probably put her master suite up there or made it into a games/cinema room if the family were staying put.
“We’ve just outgrown the house,” she adds. “Our kids are older now and all drive so we don’t need to be in town any more.”
Outside, to the front of the house, is a paved driveway, access to the integral garage and side access to the rear, where a decent-sized garden is laid to lawn with attractive borders and a paved patio.
There’s a brilliant entertaining area here, as well as a fully insulated, detached office/studio which is fully equipped with power (light and broadband being two essentials for home working). There is also a separate detached shed for storage and garden furniture.
In short, this is a house with everything a family needs — with potential for loft conversion — all wrapped up in an attractive cream-coloured box.
Richard Wagstaff, manager of the Henley branch of Romans in Hart Street, says: “This wonderful family home represents an outstanding opportunity to acquire a beautiful residence in a superb setting.
“Not only is the house detached, and in a peaceful road that’s a brief walk from the town centre, but the property has been extended several times over the years and offers substantial accommodation ideal for a growing family.
“One of these extensions took the form of adding a dormer window on the side elevation of the main gable. This added more bedroom space and transformed the house entirely, providing balanced living space on both floors.
“In addition, this moved the value of the property upwards in line with larger properties.
“The property also benefits from a more recent enhancement in the form of a detached office/studio in the rear garden, and this was created specifically for the current owners to have a home office. However there are many more potential uses for this space.”
17 BELLE VUE ROAD, HENLEY
• Bedrooms: four
• Bathrooms: three (two en suite)
• Reception rooms: four
• Other: gabled entrance hall; utility room with garage access; garden-based home office; driveway; landscaped gardens to the front and rear; single garage
• Space: 1,966 sq ft /
183 sq m
Guide price: £1,200,000
Agency: Romans on 01491 412888