Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Grand design of this open plan barn will convert you

WHO doesn’t love a good barn conversion? In the pretty village of Ewelme, the Cart House

WHO doesn’t love a good barn conversion? In the pretty village of Ewelme, the Cart House is a five-bedroom brick and flint number with vaulted ceilings and a large open-plan living room.

“It’s got a lovely cosy family feel,” says owner Suzanne James, who in winter can make the most of the central fire.

By Danish manufacturer Scan, this “really throws out the heat”. Not that the room needs much heating thanks to its full-width glazing to the front and under-floor heating.

One of the oldest buildings in Ewelme, the Cart House was converted about 20 years ago.

“I’m a fan of Grand Designs, and when I saw the place I just fell in love with it,” says Suzanne.

Since moving in, she has made a few improvements, including adding more storage and widening the drive. Set in attractive gardens, the property has ample parking and a double garage which has light and power and a workshop area.

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.

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 en suite wet-room, while 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.

The kitchen/breakfast room, which is off the reception/living area, has plenty of character and has a door to the landscaped garden, at the centre of which is an attractive terrace with a raised pond.

Back indoors, most of the accommodation is located on the ground floor. The three main bedrooms and family bathroom are here and each bedroom has a gallery with individual staircases to mezzanines with storage in the eaves.

“The house is just crying out for a family,” says Suzanne. “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 plus a sitting and study area (dual aspect with another high vaulted ceiling) and continues with a staircase up to the bedroom. A personal oasis for some, and a potential annexe for others, perhaps.

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

The house is situated in the heart of Ewelme in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, well-used for TV and films and known for its watercress beds which stretch the entire length of the village and are fed by natural springs.

“The village is full of history,” says Suzanne. “But it’s also got a thriving local community.”

There is a pub, the Shepherd’s Hut, as well as a village shop and a cricket team. The village also has a primary school which claims to be the UK’s oldest continuously functioning school building.

“Some villages can be dead but here it’s vibrant,” says Suzanne. “There’s always something going on in the village hall.”

Location-wise the M40 is a 10-minute drive from the house, and the nearest train station, Cholsey, with links to Oxford and London Paddington, is also a 10-minute drive away. Henley is a 20-minute drive.

The Cart House is being marketed by Ballards at a guide price of £1,175,000. Call (01491) 411055 for more information.

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