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Sage Park House

Complete with White Picket Fence  –  Situated in the hill above Romney Park, Sage Park House manages to be both pristinely elegant and cozily informal. I can imagine savouring a five-course meal in the Federal-style dining room as easily as I can imagine playing a game of Scrabble on the floor of the sunken family room.

A wooden gate and cement entranceway, dripping with bougainvillea, open to a private drive and impressive retaining wall. A white picket fence adorns both sides of the house, and the deep red roof contrasts with the azure sea.

 

The main entrance of the house, accessible from the tiled, two-vehicle carport, opens to a majestic foyer with a cathedral ceiling. Escher-esque staircases that lead either up to the bedrooms, down to the main floor or even further down to the family room, wrap around an enormous, built-in planter, full of tropical greenery. A steady but gentle indoor breeze blows fresh air in all directions. The ceramic-tiled floors and ceiling fans throughout the house keep it cool without being crisp.

The staircase up leads to the bright and airy master bedroom, which feels regal in dimensions only. The king-sized, spindle-carved four-poster bed invites breakfast in bed or a lie-in. The far wall mostly consists of windows and French doors which open to a private balcony and views of the Romney Park valley, the Sir Francis Drake Channel and St John. The master suite includes a palatial bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, separate shower stall and double sinks atop matching vanities. Also in the master suite is a dressing room, fit for royalty, with walls of hanging space and storage.

 

The second upstairs suite also boasts a walk-in closet that separates the bedroom and bathroom. The seafoam green walls contrast with the painted white wooden ceilings and the natural woods of the furniture, including another four-poster, a slightly more modest version of the master bed. The full bathroom, as white as sea-polished coral, refreshes and invigorates—a perfect place to start the day with a brisk shower or end it with a warm soak in the tub.

A hallway leads back to the towering foyer and a staircase down to the main level that includes the kitchen, scullery, dining room, game room and powder room. Sturdy solid wood cupboards and acrylic countertops grace the airy kitchen, fully equipped with a dishwasher, double-door refrigerator/freezer combo and all the other necessities. Beyond the kitchen, a scullery houses a washer and dryer, and a side door opens to the vegetable garden.

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A cutout archway between the kitchen and dining room shows off the large, formal table and eight scroll-back chairs. The arch shape is mimicked in the glass doors of the traditional, formidable china cabinet. The dining room, with its close access to the kitchen, begs for entertaining and large family meals. After dinner, the game room, with large Olhausen slate pool table, dart board and flat-screen TV, encourages the festivities to continue. Or for a more casual cooking experience, the wooden deck off the game room, complete with large gas grill, offers the perfect locale to host a barbecue. A powder room is conveniently located between the game room and the family room.

The family room is the centerpiece of the house—the architecture, décor and even the descending hillside contribute to a feeling of being gently nudged into the sunken room to laze around. Once there, overstuffed couches, shelves full of books and games, a large flat-screen TV and soft area rugs increase the desire to decompress. A handsome, wooden chair rail separates the walls into soothing green on the bottom and buttery cream on the top. Everything about this room reduces stress and induces relaxation, including the view of the sea out the oversized windows and double doors.

 

Adjacent to the family room is a wraparound balcony. The view down the valley and across the Channel to St John upstages the otherwise impressive terra cotta tiles, columns, wooden ceiling and white railings reminiscent of the white picket fence in the front of the house. Slat-backed benches invite lingering as the breeze, the same breeze that cools the entire house, smells hillside sweet.

Directly off the family room, the large guest bedroom with full en suite bathroom has cathedral ceilings, calming sage walls, an oversized closet with overhead cabinets and appealing dark-wood furniture.

 

If it’s possible to break free from the pull of the family room and balcony, the multi-level grounds of Sage Park House offer lush vegetation, beautiful landscaping and a large vegetable garden. A stone staircase beside the wooden deck on the side of the house leads up to a small yard that could easily accommodate a moderate-sized swimming pool. On the other side of the house, a vegetable garden grows up the hill and is easily accessed from the kitchen. Between the carport and side yard is a fenced, cemented area which could be used as a play area, kennel or hot-tub locale.

With its optically engaging foyer, dining room equipped for entertaining, sunken family room, breeze-swept porch and bedrooms fit for royalty, Sage Park House embodies everything the white picket fence symbolizes: prosperity, security, family, comfort and peace. 

 

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