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A beautiful family home in Nether Poppleton
10:02am Thursday 5th April 2012
TOOTLING through Poppleton on a shiny sunstruck Spring day provides you with an image of what could well be the quintessential Yorkshire village.
The sky overhead is a brilliant blue, the daffs are waving in a light breeze and the sweet-smelling grass on the Green has just had a short back and sides.
It’s equally bright and breezy around the bend and along the road, Upper and Nether Poppleton running seamlessly together.
Pat and Joanne Earnshaw live in the Nether, their house showing up well in the sunshine of this tranquil afternoon.
Midway Avenue is remarkably quiet, the only sound that of birds chirping.
Number 9 sits on a corner plot, its lawned front garden curving round the bend, behind a shade of mature trees and bushes that, quite soon now, will be in full leaf and bloom.
First impression – and a lasting one as it transpires – is that this is a big house.
It looks from the front like it should be two homes not one, a pair of semis maybe, not the long detached property it actually is.
“Yes,” Pat Earnshaw says as we look at the handsome façade, not double but triple-fronted. “It’s a big house.” Not that it was always this size.
Pat and his wife Joanne have considerably improved and extended the property since they first arrived some seven years ago, stretching its size and potential along the way.
“We have done a lot to it,”
Pat says, “it’s changed beyond recognition, really.”
To find out just how much it’s changed and just how big it has become, Pat and Joanne took me on a tour. It begins in the hallway which, naturally, has been increased in size from the original, a storm porch disappearing, a new wall pushed outwards, creating a grand impression of spaciousness.
Off this hallway, to the right (and we’ll be going left later, bear with us) there is an absolute stunner of a living room, a beautiful, light and bright space with a huge window to the front, two delightful arched windows to the side and French doors at the back opening onto a garden room.
There’s plenty of character, too, with exposed solid wood flooring, a feature cast iron period style fireplace and hearth, deep skirtings and high coving.
“It was nothing like this when we came in,” Pat explains. “There was a dull carpet and an old-fashioned brick fireplace and surround. When we took up the carpet and saw the floorboards, we knew they would look really well once we had cleaned them up and sanded them down.” And indeed they do.
And, naturally, there is an extension here, the original room being opened up and then built upon to provide that garden room, a super south-west-facing space with big windows to let in the light.
“It’s lovely and warm in here all year round,” Joanne says, “it’s a nice place to sit and relax.” From here it is on to the kitchen (the old one ripped out, a new one in place with, yes, an extension).
This is another warming, cheerful spot, with two separate seating areas – one with breakfast bar, one with side island, with complementary granite tops to match the granite work surfaces.
The wall and base units are in oak and there is a fabulous double Rangemaster cooker. There is a separate utility room and a groundfloor cloakroom – and, across the hallway, a formal dining room with pretty parquet flooring and a big bay window.
In most homes that would be that for the ground-floor accommodation; not so here because there is, yes, you guessed it, another extension.
This provides a family room or den – with a curved work unit and computer area cleverly tucked into an understairs area.
And up those stairs is a lovely, sunny room – windows to front and back – which, as Joanne says, could provide an extra bedroom, another den or simply a getaway space for teenage children.
“When we first added this extension my friends would phone me up and ask if I was in the west wing,” Joanne laughs. “And it is like having an extra wing to the house.”
You must have put an awful lot of work into the property, I suggest.
“We have,” Pat replies. Then laughs. “Of course it helps that Joanne’s dad is a builder!”
“He was looking forward to a rest,” Joanne adds. “But we’re now looking around for somewhere else to do up…”
In fact the couple moved here with the intention of staying just two years, improving the house and them moving on. “It didn’t work that way,” says Joanne, “the kids have grown up here and they like the house and the village, they have friends here and they’re settled.”
(The couple have twin 17- year-old girls and Olivia, at nine, their youngest daughter.) “It’s a good village for children,”
Joanne says, “good schools, plenty of fields to play in and it’s a nice, safe village.”
Now, having taken our breath, it’s time go on with the tour.
A return to the east wing and the upper-floor bedrooms. There are four in total, all of them spacious doubles with the master having a smart range of modern fitted wardrobes and units and an ensuite bathroom.
There’s also a contemporary house bathroom. One of the other impressive features here is that all of those bedrooms are light, bright and airy, with big windows letting in lots of light.
In fact this is a light and bright house throughout – and it has been beautifully decorated to professional standard (credit to Pat and Joanne for steady painting hands) in a series of pretty pastels and neat neutrals.
Having completed the tour, Pat takes me around the gardens, which lie to front, back and side – mostly laid to lawn with a patio area and a children’s play area in a tucked away corner.
The back garden, in particular, is pleasant, south-facing and enjoying all-day sunshine - and it’s surprisingly private.
The whole splendid package is completed by a double garage and a driveway with room for two or three cars.
A big house, then, and, like this sunny Spring day in Poppleton, bright and beautiful.
AT A GLANCE
9 Midway Avenue, Nether Poppleton
Gardens: Pleasant, lawned gardens to front, back and side on a corner plot. Also includes driveway and double garage
Wow factor: We loved the bright and beautiful living room and garden room
Price: Offers around £460,000
Contact: R M English
Phone: 01904 697900