Let’s not even start with the weather… actually how do we not? Was watching Killing Eve last night (anyone else?) and it’s not a spoiler to say that when she turns up in England – Basildon to be precise – it was clear that that was filmed last summer as the grass was completely brown. We watched it as The Mad Husband lit the fire and he said he couldn’t remember how it felt to be that hot… So with that in mind here’s a country house with a fabulous green lawn and a blue sky to remind us of what summer looks like even if we can’t remember what it feels like.
This is in Axminster, in Devon, and is on the market with Strutt & Parker for £1,100,000. It’s a former rectory (and I’ve said it before the vicars/rectors get all the best houses) set in just over two acres with outbuildings and views and all that other lovely English country garden sort of thing that makes Americans go weak at the knees.
Come first into this lovely light and large kitchen space with room for cooking, eating and sitting. I love those old school chairs and this is a perfect example of how something vintage always works well in what can be a very modern space like a kitchen with its straight lines and hard surfaces. Unusually its on the first floor, which may be either because the house is on a hill, or because that has the better views.
This is the dining room to one side of the kitchen – turn right by the far side of the fridge and below is the sitting area. There is also a large drawing room on this floor. Below is a playroom, laundry room and lots of storage, while the two floors above have a total of seven bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Now obviously I haven’t bought this yet although, with my fantasy lottery money, I might. But, given that the larger bathroom is an ensuite and the second has this charming, but weeny, little tub in it, I might be tempted to lose a bedroom, or two, to create more bathrooms. Living with two teenage boys all I would say is the more bathrooms the better.
But leaving that aside, what this gorgeous house does have is high ceilings -perfect for adding some colour to – and large sash windows. There are some interesting colour-blocking paint effects – see below – although what that does is bring that wall in and lessen the long and narrowness of it. That’s a good trick if you have a similar shaped room and what to visually foreshorten it. I might paint the island in the middle in the same colour too.
Upstairs, six of those seven bedrooms are good sizes and two of them under the eaves with skylights. Having said that, did you know that a flat rooflight (this is sloped) lets in six times more light than a vertical one and the angled ones also help natural light penetrate further into the room. So it can be a really good idea to add one to any sloping ceiling if there is a dark spot in the house.
As much as I am a fan of coloured walls there is something to be said for the lightness and brightness of these rooms with just that soft yellow/almost cream as an accent colour. It’s the kind of room I aspire to and then after about three months I start adding colour and pattern. That’s exactly what we did in this house where we painted it all white when we moved in.
Now before I go to fantasise about having breakfast in this wonderful spot below, I should just add, in my informal role as self-apppointed estate agent, that there are several outbuildings including a greenhouse, a workshop with electricity, a woodstore and a barn/former stables which could, with permission, be converted into living space.
Right, anyone buying this week. Am I coming to stay? Who’s in?