Not many homes can boast the space to play indoor cricket, but Charlotte Pearson finds one in Herriard where you can do just that.
The path to true love never runs smooth, even if it is love at first sight.
But this theory doesn’t just apply to people, as when Kristina Leroux-Harvey saw Elderfield House, in Herriard, she knew it was the home for her.
“I loved it from the first moment I saw it, but it was a little out of our price range so we kept looking for several months. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Finally, we put in an offer but by then it had been taken off the market.”
However, this story does have a happy ever after.
“Two years later, after we’d been comparing every house viewed to this one, I got an alert on a property website that Elderfield House was back on the market so I phoned the agent straight away and put in an offer,” she reveals.
And so in August 2004 they moved into the six bedroom property.
Originally built to be a vicarage the house dates from 1870 with some later additions.
“When we moved in the first thing we did was neutralise everything. The previous owners liked bright colours so I opted for a more neutral palette,” she recalls. “Then we just lived in it, that way we could see how the property worked for us and what issues it had. Then we applied for planning, knowing exactly what we wanted to do.”
This involved replacing the windows, updating the heating system and re-facing the brickwork.
When driving up to the house it is actually the back of the property you see first.
“The front of the property looks out on to the garden, which is great. People are always surprised when they come up the drive as it is not the image they are expecting, they also don’t realise how very private it is,” Kristina says.
On both the ground and first floor the rooms lead off a very long corridor.
“It runs the length of the house so you can do a circuit from one end of the house to the other, down the back stairs and back again.
“When the kids play there are usually a variety of hurdles for show jumping and it is also great for hide and seek with so many rooms,” she laughs.
“I have heard stories of people playing cricket and tricycling down the corridor.”
It also lends itself as a fantastic place to entertain.
“Many people have great memories of partying in this house. It is a brilliant property for it. There are enough rooms for some extras to stay over after dinner parties which is great,” she adds.
With so much space, does Kristina have a favourite room?
“The drawing room, I completely re-did it,” she reveals. “It has a really nice structural decor. It is very peaceful, comfortable and light. Just fantastic. We may be on the main road but you can’t hear anything.”
Up on the first floor there are six bedrooms, two of which are en-suite.
That is not all as there is also a two bedroom cottage on the site, three stables with tack room, a tennis court and well stocked garden and paddocks.
Situated near Basingstoke, Elderfield House has easy links to London by train, and the house is only five minutes from the station, perfect for commuters.
And even though you may not have neighbours right next door the community spirit is still there.
“When we moved in it didn’t take long for us to be invited to dinner parties. There is a great community spirit in Herriard, it is very inclusive,” she adds.
So what will she miss most?
“The life that the house gives us,” Kristina replies. “I think it is so important for people to view it and see for themselves what a beautiful property it is. It is a comfortable family home.”
For those wanting more space, a family home or to be closer to London, Elderfield House could be the house to call home.
Elderfield House is for sale for a guide price of £2,150,000 with Wilson Hill and joint sole agent Knight Frank (01256
Wilson Hill, 4 Lavant Street, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 3EW 01730 262600
July 18, 2014 Interiors and Property