Walking into this Victorian house in Vernon Road, Edgbaston, there is a serious risk of bumping into something.
Not because the hallway is so narrow that it is cluttered with furniture. Far from it, it is a wide and welcoming space.
No, it is simply that visitors could be so distracted by the gorgeous tiling to the floor, they may forget to look where they are going.
It is not uncommon to find Minton tiling in the entrances of houses of this period. But the tiling in the house in Vernon Road is a particularly lovely example of it – a kaleidoscope of colour and patterns.
It makes a wonderful second impression. The first is the stained glass in the door, which is every bit as colourful and detailed as the floor.
However, it wasn’t the front of the house so much as what was at the back that really appealed to the vendors, Anita and Dave Paul when they bought it just over ten years ago.
“We were living in an apartment in the city centre, but when our first child arrived we felt that we desperately needed more space,” reveals Anita.
“When we began our search for a new home, top of our wish list was to have a large garden. Here we have just that.
“It’s a great space that over the years has had an awful lot of use. We have a slightly elevated terrace, which is a lovely place to sit and eat out when the weather is warm.
“A few steps then lead down to a large lawned area, which our sons have enjoyed to the full. Their games of football have been almost a daily event. The entire space is surrounded by a mature border and so it’s very private and incredibly peaceful.”
Inside the house, the couple made sure to keep its many Victorian characteristics while still giving the interior a modern edge. There are original fireplaces, stripped pine doors, sash windows and exquisite cornices, as well as contemporary Porcelanosa tiling and sanitary wear, beautiful wool twist carpets and windows by Harborne Sash Windows.
“We’ve freshened up the décor, and over the years we have done things such as modernise some of the fixtures and fittings, but in terms of the layout it is exactly the same,” says Anita.
After the fabulous vestibule and entrance hallway come the reception rooms.
A light and airy living room/family room has a beautiful marble fireplace, long sash windows and bi-fold doors leading through to the well-proportioned orangery.
“The living room is a fabulous part of the house,” says Anita. “It’s very large with wonderfully high ceilings, and it flows straight into the conservatory.
“We tend to leave the dividing double doors open, so throughout the year there’s a wonderful connection to the garden.”
The charming sitting room to the front of the property boasts another original fireplace, deep skirting and cornices and a bay window.
At the back of the property there is a dining room with another feature fireplace, pale blues and cream walls and a vintage chandelier, combining to create the perfect family dining area.
Leading down from the dining room is a modern style kitchen complete with gas Aga, Bosch under-counter fridge and freezer, Hotpoint washer/dryer, Bosch dishwasher and Hotpoint electric oven with Halogen hob.
Also on this floor is a good sized guest cloak room with toilet and steps down to a cellar.
Upstairs there are five bedroms across two floors, all with original fireplaces.
Bedroom one has a bay window while bedroom two also has a dressing area with a range of fitted wardrobes.
The family bathroom is as big as a double bedroom and has a stand alone roll top, claw footed bath standing proud in the centre, authentic Victorian design New England & Pearce & Cutler sanitary wear and another feature fireplace.
The charming fireplace in the shower room is in striking decorative contrast to the very modern tiling in the Porcelanosa double shower. Upstairs there are three rooms could be used for sleeping or study. There is also storage and a cloakroom with toilet and basin.
Outside, deep hedges and an abundance of mature trees screen the grounds.
A substantial top rockery contains an array of shrubs such as lilacs and rhododendrons, and is surrounded by a dry stone retaining wall.
Stone steps lead down to the lawn which is fringed with laurels, hebbes, cherry trees and viburnum. This leads through to the rear section of the garden, cleverly disguised behind a variegated ivy screen and currently home to the shed, compost area, fruit trees and an obscured play area.
At the front of the house the driveway has parking space for around four cars and access to a tandem garage.
“We will definitely be sad to leave this house,” says Anita. “It has been a very happy home and it’s one that has a really nice family feel.
“Our first son was very young when we moved here and our second was born here, so they have only known this house as home, and it has given us all some wonderful memories to take away with us.”
AGENT: Fine and Country
TEL: 0121 746 6400
GUIDE PRICE: £635,000