A touch of the moderne - Creek House celebrates Art Deco style
PUBLISHED: 16:53 28 October 2010 | UPDATED: 18:05 20 February 2013
Creek House celebrates Art Deco style, but this 1930s home will also enable you to live a 21st century lifestyle, says Jill Belcher
At any moment you expect Hercule Poirot to emerge from the Art Deco gem which is Creek House, in Barton-on-Sea.
Stylish doesnt even come close to describing this stunning five-bedroom home in Barton Common Road, set in two-acre grounds and enjoying the twin blessings of privacy and amazing views.
It was the location which attracted engineer Bill Wheatley and his wife, Fay, when they moved to the house in the late 1960s with their young daughter, Julie.
They came on holiday and fell in love with the area, Julie remembers. My father is a very keen golfer and Barton-on-Sea Golf Club is literally just across the road.
Bill had started his career in engineering by making rewinds for electric motors in his garden shed and ended up a major manufacturer, supplying equipment to the mining industry in Nottinghamshire.
His business grew and grew and he invented a process for making continuous hydraulic hose, called Winster Hose, Julie adds.
Bill continued to travel back to Nottinghamshire regularly to run the business but at the same time he extended the original house, retaining its Art Deco integrity but more than doubling it in size and adding an impressive indoor swimming pool.
Now in their 80s, Bill and Fay have recently moved to a bungalow in nearby Keyhaven, close to Julie and her husband, Lymington-based award-winning architect John Pardey, who have prepared the house for sale.
Over the years I have made sure things are maintained, for example the roof is immaculate. Bill is the sort of guy who doesnt want to sell a house that is not exactly right and we have replaced all the bathrooms and this year fitted two new condensing boilers, says John.
They have retained the original red classic 1960s kitchen, which is still in excellent condition and which John describes as rather cool.
Built by New Milton architect W. Hinton Stewart, Creek Houses first owner, John informs me, was married to an Italian woman whose father was involved in the marble industry in that country, hence such exotic features as Travertine marble door frames and skirtings. There are also Tasmanian oak floors.
While the original front entrance is at the rear of the house because in those days it was usual to drive the car round to the back, nowadays visitors enter through the front, turning left to enter the breakfast room, which faces south, and the north-facing kitchen. Because these two rooms are joined, the whole area is light and spacious.
Off the kitchen there is a laundry room, while the dining room faces south. The 22ft south-facing drawing room has a gas fire set in a fireplace featuring original 1930s tiles.
The windows are replacements, made by Crittall, but are identical to the 1930s ones except they are a double-glazed system, John points out. There is a door to the study, which has teak fitted units and a fireplace.
Anyone for golf?
A beautiful Art Deco staircase leads to the first floor, where the master bedroom boasts sweeping views across to the Isle of Wight, Barton Common and the golf course.
Says Julie, My mother had binoculars and said that she could follow my fathers progress when he was playing there!
The room has a dressing room and bathroom with views across the grounds to the rear of the house. This bedroom and the two adjacent bedrooms have access to the balcony running along the front of the house.
John adds, Downstairs there is a lovely sense of privacy, because the house is screened by hedges and trees, while there are wonderful views from upstairs.
There are two linked bedrooms, mirror images of each other with matching fitted wardrobes, while Julies former room has a huge bay window, fitted wardrobes, and its own bathroom. Another bedroom also has its own bathroom, while there is also a family bathroom on this level.
All the bathrooms have been replaced and now have underfloor heating and Julie says it always feels a warm house because it is south-facing.
At this point on the first floor, you move into the extension which the Wheatleys built when they moved in.
The 26ft games room leads to the huge party room, once used as a gym, which runs the full width of the house and has bench seating a bar, a sauna and bathroom.
You could make a complete flat here, says John. It is bigger than an average two-bedroom flat.
There is a door giving access to a large area suitable for storage and you can take a spiral staircase down to the ground floor. Here you will find two sets of changing rooms with toilets and another door through to the impressive indoor pool, which has a three-metre deep end and sliding doors opening onto the garden.
It was wonderful growing up here, says Julie. And having the pool was fantastic.
Outside the grounds run to about two secluded acres, including a lily pond, vegetable garden, lawns, a small stable block, tack room and workshop and even a well which Bill built for watering the garden. There is ample parking and a large double garage at the front of the house.
The couples gardener still works at Creek House and much of the familys furniture, chosen for the house, remains and would be available for a purchaser to buy.
John says, Houses like these along the south coast are very unusual. It has a very optimistic feel about it.
Creek House is on the market at a guide price of 2,950,000 through Caldwells, Lymington, tel. 01590 675875.