Tuesday, 27 September 2016 18:41

An English Manor Home

Written by  Laurel Anderson

A dream house and bit of Britain in northern Chester County’s rolling hills

 

Chester Springs English Manor Home - Living RoomAny drive through the Chester County countryside will remind you of the deep connection early British settlers felt between southeastern Pennsylvania and the geography they left behind—lush farmlands, dense greenery, rolling hills and stone houses dotting the landscape. Many towns here share names with towns in the British Isles—Malvern, Exton, Warwick. And even the county’s name harkens from across the pond.

It’s that same connection that the owner of this month’s featured home felt to the Chester Springs area. After a two-year search, she found the place to create the dream home that reflected her English roots. And after taking photos of gracious manor homes in England, she had images to inspire the design of her future home.

Local architect Peter Batchelor was able to translate her photos into a drawing on his first effort—the proof captured in a framed rendering hanging in the home’s hallway. And so began the two-year process of building the custom three-level, five-bedroom, five-plus-bathroom English manor home nestled in ten-plus prime acres in Chester Springs.

The grounds are no less charming. A small brook, lily pond and springhouse mark the approach on the tree-lined drive, curving to the big reveal of the magnificent home. A pool, gazebo and stone patios make the outside as inviting as inside—both superb spaces for entertaining. Beautifully maintained perennial gardens, planted for extended bloom-time, form the perfect backdrop amidst the mature landscaping that provides seclusion and privacy.

With room to expand the shed barn to add horses to enjoy open pastures and an interior design adaptable to becoming a charming B&B, this property is available to be a dream home or a dream venture.

 

Custom Design

Every detail of this home reflects the care spent to bring a dream to reality. From the bespoke Clive Christian kitchen, to the hand-crafted artistic wall finishes in virtually every room, to the stunning array of carved moldings that are a master class on decorative details throughout the interior, this home is filled with custom design.

It’s not surprising the home was a destination on prior Chester County Day House Tours and other open houses during its past 18 years.

The stately façade foreshadows the regal interior. The foyer’s green marble floor and sparkling crystal chandelier bracket a movie-set-worthy balcony and curved stairway begging for grand entrances. Carved pillars, crown molding, shell built-ins, wainscoting, carved stone fireplace and a two-story Palladian window are just a few features of the stunning formal living room, with balconies on two sides and a hand-painted mural on a third.

A two-story great room with walls of French doors and hand-painted faux plaster wall art shares the same sunlit feel and custom details. The adjacent formal dining room boasts dentil and crown moldings, Adams fireplace, built-ins and cherry floors with maple details.

The hand-built, imported kitchen by British designer Clive Christian is equally spectacular. With beamed ceiling, French limestone floors, soapstone countertops, green marble island, commercial grade Dynasty six-burner range and Sub-Zero refrigerator hidden behind custom cabinetry, this chef’s dream kitchen and adjoining breakfast room/sunroom are sure to be natural gathering spaces. More carved moldings and hand-painted cherries and raspberry vines frame the space that looks out to the stone patios, pool and gardens.

Down a hallway with crackle paint finish—past the powder room where antique furniture houses the plumbing fixtures—leads to the library, potting area, front and back family entrances with hand-painted hunt scenes, and back stairs. Peek into the library, with raised cherry paneling, faux red leather walls, stone fireplace, coffered ceilings and a secret shelf of books hiding a TV.

 

Other Floors

The back stairs to the bedrooms sport one of several imported English newel posts installed throughout the home. Since each themed bedroom has a private bath, the home is a good fit for those yearning to run a B&B.

The hunt-themed bedroom is bedecked in Ralph Lauren design, while the “ladies” bedroom has a claw-foot tub under a chandelier. Another large bedroom suite has its own sitting room.

The master suite includes a sitting area, his-and-her closets, dressing and bathrooms. Cathedral ceilings, stone fireplace, columns and a balcony are notable features of this sumptuous space.

On the lower level, there’s a so-called 18th-century room, with beamed ceilings, brick fireplace and Williamsburg bar. An adjacent billiards room with fireplace and walk-out to the pool is a perfect man cave.

This level also houses a full bath, with easy access to the pool, laundry room, storage and mechanical rooms, plus two home offices, one with an exercise space and either suitable to convert into another bedroom.

This exquisite property, full of character and craftsmanship, awaits its next family  to live out their dreams in this corner of Chester County.

For more information about this unique hone on 10.7 acres in Chester Springs, offered at $2,195,000, contact Karen Nader at Brandywine Fine Properties Sotheby’s International Realty. 484-888-5597; BFPSIR.com.