Designed by C. F. A. Voysey in 1903, this detached Wandsworth villa is a welcoming and warm family home. This Arts and Crafts-style property has five bedrooms, a swimming pool and is currently on the market for £4.1 million. We spoke to Ella Cockerton, manger of John D Wood & Co.’s Wandsworth office, to find out more about The White Cottage on Lyford Road
Why it’s a great buy
‘It has an impeccable pedigree – this is a one of only a handful of houses built by Voysey in London and his houses were all entirely individual, so it is truly unique; and since across the country, there are not many surviving examples of his completed properties, it is an important residence with enormous rarity value. The chance to secure a significant family house which still sits on its original, expansive plot, undoubtedly makes this a sound investment. On an emotional level, as soon as you walk through the front door you feel at home and you want to stay – an acknowledged trait of Voysey’s properties and part of what makes them so timeless.’
Does it have the wow factor?
‘The house is exceptional in so many ways, but the sense of space both inside and out, as well as being of value in financial terms, is of course a huge part of what makes it feel so special. Lateral space in London is such a luxury and this really is a villa in the truest sense, and does have the atmosphere of a country house despite being very close to central London. It’s large without being overwhelming, warm and welcoming, and makes you feel you want to stay … for a very long time! It is also about the light – there is something very clever about Voysey’s use of stone mullioned windows with their leaded lights which create a magical light within the house. You imagine you could never feel too stressed here! And then of course there are the views, with majestic trees all around and lots of sky, the amazing garden, the swimming pool. Need we go on…?’
Who would it suit?
‘Certainly an Arts & Crafts fan. It is an obvious family house but it would also be wonderful for someone who entertains a lot. I can also see it appealing to someone downsizing from central London, such as Chelsea, or to an international buyer who would fall in love with its Englishness and rich architectural history.’
My favourite room
‘It is very hard to choose between the drawing room, the kitchen/breakfast room and the master bedroom! The drawing room is so very elegant and beautiful, with perfect proportions and views straight down the garden. The wonderful kitchen/breakfast room also has gorgeous views and is just brimming with character and soft light – it has been equipped with an ‘unfitted’ kitchen of beautifully crafted wooden cabinets with English stone and wooden worktops, an Aga, and a generous window seat with fitted bench seating wrapping around the breakfast table. The master bedroom certainly qualifies; an enormous space tucked away at the top of the house it really would be the perfect place to retreat to. Going up the private staircase you almost feel you could escape there for the weekend, especially with the treetop views to the front and the, and I imagine you would catch some beautiful sunsets from here.’
Why you should buy it
‘This is a once in a lifetime house and over the next few years, I am sure there will be lots of people who wish they had been house hunting when The White Cottage was available for sale.’
The White Cottage, Lyford Road, London, SW18. For sale through John D Wood & Co., 020 8871 3033, www.johndwood.co.uk. Guide price £4.1 million.