APPEARANCES, as everyone knows, can be deceptive. Take this week’s top property.
On arriving at Pasture Farm Close in Fulford you find what at first glance appears to be a fairly standard dormer bungalow.
Sitting squarely at the head of this quiet cul-de-sac in Fulford, box bay windows standing to attention beyond a forecourted garden, it is not an unattractive home.
But it doesn’t quite jump out at you – and certainly gives no hint of its inner beauty.
“I suppose you could say it is unimposing,” says Rosie Dickens before adding, with the hint of a smile, “from the front at least.”
And smile she might. Because Rosie knows what lies in wait… We step into the hallway and Rosie leads me up the stairs, across the landing and opens a bedroom door and… wow.
We are in a brilliantly light and bright bedroom, twinkling in early afternoon sunlight streaming in through French doors. There is more light dancing down from overhead Velux windows.
There is a sudden sense of wonderful space and light.
“Everybody seems to like this room,” Rosie says. “It does have a lovely feel to it.”
Absolutely. But there is more. Standing by those French doors, framed by a Juliet balcony, another of the house’s great delights presents itself – a fantastic view across the stepped gardens below to rolling open countryside meandering gently into the distance.
“I like the country view,” Rosie says. “And the wildlife. There is an abundance of birds, woodpeckers, sparrowhawks, blue tits and a kingfisher occasionally. You also see the odd deer although the grass is so high at the moment they can stay well hidden.”
Deer or not, It is a wonderful view. And it is remarkably quiet, too – amazingly so given that the centre of bustling Fulford village is just 20 yards or so away from Rosie’s front door.
Its location and its secret gardens were just two of the many things that attracted Rosie and husband Alan to this spot when they first bought the property some 18 years ago.
“At the time it was a standard two/three bedroomed bungalow,” Rosie recalls. “We changed it quite a lot over the years.”
Those changes included extending the property outwards and upwards. The bedroom in which we have begun the tour is one of two created by a skillful loft conversion which – unlike many of its kind – created deep French doors and windows to the back as well as the more traditional Velux windows.
The second of these bedrooms is another large room with similar far-reaching views and the two are served by a delightful contemporary bathroom, making it a superb addition to the home.
This floor, as with the rest of the house, is beautifully presented and styled in gentle décor and with lovely character touches.
We now trot downstairs to find two large bedrooms to the front of the house – one of which would have been even bigger if it had not “lost a bit” to provide room for the new staircase. The bedrooms here are served by another smart bathroom, again modern, bright and stylish.
The two ground floor bedrooms are the ones in full time use and the ones upstairs are set aside as a guest suite for visiting friends very unselfish, I’d say – I would have snaffled the entire top floor for myself.
“Well,” argues Rosie, “if you had a family, the upstairs rooms would be wonderful for the children because they would be a great get-away spot.”
(Precisely, I thought, why it would be too good for little perishers).
We move along now, to the back of the house, where there is a quite wonderful sitting room with a gas log-burning effect stove at the heart – but with a long picture window providing soul. Once again the views are brilliant – and this room somehow feels even calmer, more tranquil, than those upstairs.
But we must press on – there is much more to see.
The kitchen, for instance, with its elegant oak-fronted and beautifully crafted wall and base units is another lovely spot where, once more, there are terrific views over a terraced area and out to the gardens. “It almost makes the washing up a pleasure,” Rosie says.
The kitchen, however, is not – and most deliberately so – not a dining kitchen.
“Oh no,” Rosie says, “I know some people like that but I prefer not have people around when I am cooking, I prefer a formal dining room.”
And so a formal dining room there is – but any hint of stiffness is very quickly dashed away when you see this room opens up to another of the house’s additions, in the shape of a splendid, eye-catching sun room, a timber, brick and glass extension with French doors to two sides.
This is an all day room, too. “It’s a nice place to have morning coffee and then you get the sun in the afternoon. We’ve seen some beautiful, stunning sunsets from here.”
The sun room is pretty stunning in its own right with a high ceiling, beams and trusses and deep arched windows reaching to a spire like finish. It’s almost ecclesiastical in style… and certainly worthy of high praise.
From the sun room we now step out into another of the property’s great surprises, a spread of landscaped gardens which sweep from terrace and patio areas down to a circular lawn surrounded by raised flower beds and then down a flight of steps to another terrace and a veg patch and timber built storage sheds and workshop.
The latter were originally intended by previous owners to be stables and Rosie humorously refers to the final section of garden as “the paddock”.
It’s not quite that big but it is a good-sized area of rolling grass and bushes and trees and fencing beyond which is open countryside and the Millennium Walk along the Ings.
It is, it occurs, a paradise of a place for those who love life outdoors – or for a band of those previously mentioned little perishers.
And so our tour is done. It has taken longer than expected, partly because Rosie has been such a lovely host and partly because there has been so much more to see than we thought.
Certainly far more than we imagined with that deceptive first impression…
At a glance
Pasture Farm Close in Fulford
Reception rooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2 plus additional downstairs cloakroom.
Gardens: Gentle front garden with integral garage. Stunning, tiered, rear gardens including terraces, patios, landscaped lawn and seating areas, storage/workshops and a further grassed area running.
Wow factor: Superb extended home with brilliant open views and attractive gardens.
Contact: Stephensons. Phone: 01904 625533.