A ‘country house’ feel

30 ways Portsmouth could be improved - according to our readers

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The answer to the riddle may be easier to unravel than you think if you talk to Colin Shairp, of Fine and Country Southern Hampshire estate agents.

For tucked away in Ranvilles Lane on the edge of Fareham is a wonderfully designed modern home called Cornbury House.

Behind its discreet gateway the brick paviour driveway and parking area open out to reveal a sheltered entrance to the pathway leading to the front door.

That door opens into a house like few others with its blend of natural light, wood and exposed brick surfaces and stark features such as the painted roof beams there for all to see in the drawing room and the low-ceilinged intimacy of the dining room.

There are also many places where inside and out blend, with glazed walls forming a physical barrier yet also one that is barely visible when you don’t want it to be there. In a house that’s about space, room size counts for more than room numbers so there’s no feeling of being squeezed.

The L-shaped kitchen and dining room form a natural third of the ground floor, the dining room with its glazed corner having an eye on the wider world while the kitchen has its own door into an intimate courtyard.

Leading off the hallway is a passage lined with cupboards along one side and with doors to a bathroom and adjoining bedroom at the other before terminating at a utility room. Upstairs there is a large master suite with a dressing area and bathroom as well as a second bedroom with shower room.

Between them is a well-glazed landing which has a study area looking out to the front of the house.

Directly behind the house, accessible from the drawing and dining rooms, is a large patio, a raised pond with a flower bed to one end, and a barbecue space with covered verandah that wraps around the drawing room and leads to a raised lawn, water feature, stepping stones, and balustraded bridge. The garden has further manicured, rockery and less formal areas that include a kitchen garden, with the biome greenhouse at the far end.