This characterful Bishopscourt homestead, situated on over 6000 m² of well-established landscaped gardens, is reminiscent of rural, poetic England. Its crowning glory is the snug, traditional thatch roof and green lawns, and giant trees with a quaint cobbled pathway setting the tone for its interior style.
Built in the late 1940s, and extended over several generations, the scenic abode is comparable to an English manor house, offering versatile, historic living in a gloriously appointed space. It is almost a home away from home, one that invites a more elegant, relaxed pace of living and one that could possibly endear a long-time Enid Blyton type author or musician to its marvellous sense of timeless beauty.
A travertine stone hallway opens into an English style drawing room. Prints work their magic with layered detail in the Persian rugs and the oversized ginger jars stacked together on a circular table with a mighty arrangement of fresh green foliage. The low ceilings are a cottage style feature with the addition of curiously beautiful pendant and chandelier light fittings that offer a contemporary twist, without compromising the grand British style of décor.
Heavily framed oil paintings adorn the dining room walls and dark polished furniture brings balance and brevity to the room with its ornate heaviness. Silk damask fabrics in cream and melon give a delicious punch to the room and lend a historic feel that is borrowed from 18th century English country interiors.
The dining room leads out onto a covered terrace that flows easily onto a poolside patio. A mix of plump sofas with outdoor wicker upholstered in faded prints and pastels tempers the structured lines of the furniture and meets the bright outdoor light with a gentle softness.
This indoor terrace, a haven with an outside location, joins the spacious patio that basks in fresh air and sunshine. The heated pool itself is the focal point of the house though, with different areas from which to entertain or simply relax. Its modest L-shape is hugged by the house and is truly evocative of a more genteel era. A floodlit tennis court is positioned close by, within easy reach of the patio, for those tennis lunches and ladies’ book club teas.
Comfort is key in the lounge area. Open plan and inviting the large space allows pattern to play a primary role with a flamboyant busy style. Sumptuous, overstuffed sofas in bright canary yellow offer a social ambience and the elaborate chandeliers give a chic edge to an English countryside comfort. Long glass windows offer panoramic views of the garden and give a sweeping sense of space.
A fabulous bedroom suite opens onto the garden in its Victorian splendour. Red drapes and Persian rugs complement the grandeur of the four-poster bed. Its historic correctness is perfect and the bed’s chunky layers, scalloped linen and colours give authenticity. The collection of pictures on the walls together with the ornate carvings and heavy metal trim on the wardrobe produce a striking period piece.
Upstairs leads to loft style bedrooms and a bathroom celebrating thatched architecture. Amidst the ‘his and hers’ space, a porcelain tub takes its rightful place in the middle with perfect symmetry created by two heavy cupboards on either side. Raw wood and thatch materials combined with softly textured flooring are a wonderful combination that spells luxury.
Beautiful views are framed by a picture window carefully positioned to easily ventilate this secret hideaway of a bedroom. But the area is private and peaceful with the greenery from the tops of tall trees providing cool shade in the summer. The room, although casual, has bespoke cabinetry installed for practical storage and easy functionality. Exposed beams are painted white for a fresh country cottage look and the effect helps lift the somewhat narrow pitch of the loft-style ceiling.
As English country cottages go, none would be complete without a cream tea type kitchen with a hearth and this solid beauty of a home certainly matches up.
Books, chandeliers and gilt-edged mirrors combined with the casual approach of the kitchen give a welcoming, lived-in feeling where sticky fingers and jam scones are all part of a regular day at home. An eclectic mix of interesting paintings and collectables all with their own detailed stories is the hallmark of this area.
A centre island and bar stool chairs are an unpretentious ode to the home and the open space makes a social statement that welcomes visitors to easily move about and mingle with ease.
Intimate and spacious, the house is one of those rare, unpretentious treasures.
For more information on this property, you can contact Barbara Manning at Sotheby’s International Realty on +27(0)83 4073656.