Although there are other ways into the house through French windows and stable doors, this is the main entrance housing a bench and a wellie boot rack. It also houses a large brass bell to be clanged.
Step though the front door into a small hall. To your left you’ll catch a glimpse of the mulberry-coloured stove in the kitchen and to your right, spy a glorious inglenook fireplace with a massive centuries-old oak beam.
The good-sized lounge with its oak beamed ceiling and pinewood flooring is a great gathering place for guests in the evenings. With sofas, armchairs and beanbags (and even a small window seat), there are enough places for everyone to sit. –. A modern (but traditional looking) woodburner will crackle quietly away in winter, fed by logs that can be stacked up to either side of it on the flag-stoned fireplace. This can be protected by a fireguard if required, and is a favourite curling up spot for visiting pets. The lounge is also centrally heated should the fire not be required. The lounge also contains a coffee table, a 36” Smart TV, a DVD player and speakers for plugging in your I-Pod or MP3 player.
A door at the rear of the lounge provides access to the stairs to the first floor.
The kitchen-diner is another popular gathering place for breakfasts and other meals – or just sitting around the thick-pine table planning the day’s events over a coffee. It’s a very well equipped kitchen with bespoke fitted units and flag-stoned floors. An easily managed oil-fired twin oven range has ample hob space, There are worktops and a butcher’s block for preparing food with all the equipment and utensils needed to prepare everything from sandwiches to special feasts. Appliances include a fridge-freezer, dishwasher, microwave, 4-slice toaster, coffee machine (with a supply of coffee/hot chocolate sachets), electric kettle, wine rack, knife sharpener, ample space for storing food plus all the necessary utensils from bottle openers to garlic crushers.
Opening off the kitchen this is a long pine-beamed room with exposed stonewalls containing a dining table able to seat up to 10-guests. An oak church pew lines the wall, seating four. Once the dairy, its exposed stonewalls and flag-stoned floors create an enchanting place for candle-lit evening dinners. A small window offers views down the lane.
The third door from the kitchen leads down two-steps to a good-sized utility room off which is a ground floor wet-room, newly installed in 2016 with shower, WC, heated towel and wash basin. This also doubles as an en suite to the neighbouring ground floor bedroom. The utility room contains a washer-drier machine and clothes airer. The door at the far end of the room leads via one step down, to:
The Ground floor bedroom
This is a double bedroom with zip and link beds allowing it to be used as a twin or double with king-sized bed with bedside lighting, small dressing table and wardrobe. One end of the room comprises folding French windows that provide level access onto the pretty sheltered terrace. Throw back the curtains and open the doors on a summer morning or evening to let the garden into the house. In early summer, long blue-flowered wisteria flowers drop down over the windows. In winter, the room is kept toasty with underfloor heating which keeps the slate tiles wonderfully warm underfoot.
The Games Room
The path to the far end of this long house ends as you take a small step down from the ground floor bedroom into the large Games Room. Facilities include tale football, X-box 360, 28" monitor for gaming and DVDs, Wii, some very nostalgic board games and a piano for those who fancy tinkling the ivories or a sing song. The large corner sofa provides a great space for a large group to hang out.
Converted from the old stables with high arched ceilings and ancient oak-beamed trusses. It too has under floor heating. At the far end the wide gable windows offer inviting, far-flung views across a deep green Devon valley. The games room can also be accessed from the outside by a glass door that has an exterior stable door.
The Master bedroom
Climb the stairs from the lounge and keep going across a landing (with a well-stocked bookcase and windows giving pretty views over the village and surrounding countryside) before stepping down into the main bedroom. This wonderfully light and very spacious room has windows on three sides (more enticing rural views) and an en suite with a power shower, basin and heated towel rail. Sleep comfortably on a king-sized double bed with memory-foam mattress. The room also contains a wardrobe, dressing table as well as bedside tables and two-seater sofa. There’s plenty of room for a cot or two as well. The wisteria and a Rambling Rector rose also make an appearance here in summer, as it grows around the windows on the front of the house.
The Second Bedroom
At the opposite end of the house, tucked under its thatched eves, is another double bedroom. The feature fireplace is no longer in use, but its cast-iron griddle is a useful place to stack shoes! There’s plenty of storage space with a chest of drawers, and a full-height cupboard built into the walls. Also, bedside tables either side of this comfortable double bed.
The Third Bedroom
The third bedroom sits in the middle of the house. It’s a twin room containing a set of full-sized bunk beds, large enough for the young at heart as well as those who are just young. It is comfortably furnished with a clothes storage cupboard, shelves and a dressing table as well as a deep low windowsill that doubles as a window seat for basking in the mid-morning sun. A Children's miniture table and chairs, as well as books and toys for our smaller guests, are housed here.
The Family Bathroom
The spacious family bathroom has just been completely refurbished with a new traditional shower/roll top bath, WC, basin and heated towel rail.
It may not be large, but it has some lovely spaces, whether for ball games, BBQ’s, a large oak table and chairs for eating alfresco, or just some private sunbathing on a carpet of daisies. To the top of the house is a high stone-walled lawn, edged with flower beds and topped with a mass of jasmine, ivy and honeysuckle.
Outside the front door is a paved patio space with space for a whirligig clothes drier. Chefs can help themselves to fresh herbs from the herb garden. In early summer, throw open the kitchen windows to let the Mock Orange Blossom fragrance waft inside. Beyond this is a good-sized terrace with charcoal BBQ and an oak table seating 8. This is linked to the Ground Floor Bedroom via the French Windows. Below this, and screened off by a trellis of (usually) sweet peas and honeysuckle, is the main block-paved drive with space to easily fit 3 cars (4 compact ones at a push). The final part of the garden is a circular space that looks down onto the lane, a Sustrans cycle route and is a good place to nod sleepily at the occasional cyclist or horse rider as they pass by.
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Barnfield, Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4RT