It is pretty impressive to hide a huge and distinctive house among the mini-mansions of one of Cardiff’s most exclusive areas and expensive streets.
This bespoke five bedroom property inhabits a corner of Cyncoed rarely seen.
There’s an inconspicuous driveway with a posh gate that hides between two detached houses on the main road.
If you can get through the electric gates, there is a private lane that goes nowhere else but to this hidden house and the neighbour.
As the lane progresses this contemporary Cardiff mansion called Woodlands is slowly revealed.
And it reveals itself to be a truly distinctive home designed by Cardiff architect Mark Taylor that in 2007 won the Cardiff Council Quality Award Scheme, which recognises and commends high building quality within the Cardiff area.
There’s plenty of parking for family, friends and guests on the driveway and that is where the first bonus of the home is discovered – a coach house with first floor office and a triple garage below.
The office is of course handy for anyone working from home, but the detached building could be converted into a separate annexe for multi-generational living once planning is investigated and the builders finish the conversion.
As the land on one side slips away it creates a raised deck area, surrounded by trees rather than the prying eyes of neighbours.
When the owners are eating out in the sunshine on this deck surround by greenery it surely must feel like you’re on holiday somewhere more exotic than Wales’ capital city.
And the facade of the property that greets you sets high expectations for what waits inside.
The brick work, huge sections of glass and panels of wood – combined with the angular roofline and occasional curved corner – ensures that this dream home is a unique property proposition.
In the spacious hallway, the spine of the house, there is a central pathway from one end to the other with substantial and uniquely shaped rooms running off it.
To be able to see right through the house to the rear garden ensures the most enticing of welcomes.
A central interior design theme is contemporary, neutral and minimal. The pale walls create the perfect backdrop to the warm solid oak wood flooring and glass and wood structural features like the open-slat contemporary staircase and exposed roof rafters on the first floor.
But the first room to find on the ground floor is the main sitting room.
It has a feature fireplace framed in exposed blonde toned brickwork, which provides visual warmth (while the log burner inside provides actual heat).
This sociable room is flooded with light from a bank of bi-fold doors on opposite walls that allows a choice of ways to access the garden.
The next room to discover might need a knock on the door first – or you could disturb the movie.
This cool cinema room is even more interesting than what is showing on the big screen, with a curved wall behind the seats creating a degree of intriguing quirkiness.
But what about those seats, they look good enough to snooze in should the lights go off and the film gets boring.
There’s even a place to pop your popcorn or drink in the armrest, but everyone needs to be super careful with their snacks as the seats are white.
At the end of the hall there’s the garden room, an open-plan space that allows that an impressive view through the property from the front door mat.
However, as with the whole of this house, the design of this space is more detailed than first appears.
The space is sunken below the hall’s floor level to give it a defined area and functional zone, so it doesn’t just feel like an awkward add-on to the hall that happens to be filled with chairs.
No, these chairs are not an accident, the house has been designed so that they should be there enjoying the views and the direct access to the garden.
The space, called the garden room, completely opens out onto the main garden deck via a bank of bi-fold doors.
When open there is a continuous air flow created from the front door directly out onto the garden deck.
Next to the garden room is a separate room currently being used as a lounge. However, this could easily be a formal dining room, study or playroom.
In the corner there is another bi-fold door opening out onto the deck, so the easy flow between inside and outside continues in this space.
Even when the weather is bad, the garden and surrounding trees are still a key aspect of the house. There are huge picture windows found throughout, ensuring views in every room.
Then to the large kitchen diner and lounge area, which is the most sociable space of the home.
The fully-equipped kitchen includes granite work surfaces, range style cooker, a huge American-style fridge freezer and a coffee machine.
The breakfast bar is also a sociable space to chat to the cook while they create. And there is also ample space for a dining table.
There’s a lounge area within the room that nestles around an integrated wall fireplace.
Continuing the “inside outside” theme, this room also has views out of another set of corner bi-fold doors from the sofa one way and a huge picture window the other way.
Once the staircase has been climbed, the first floor has lots of surprises to delight and to compete with the ground floor.
The landing has a huge gable end window that rises into the roof rafters, leading to a door out onto a first floor decked area.
This sleeping level on the first floor arguably hides the most impressive feature of the whole house – the vaulted ceiling with painted exposed beams and rafters that make the space in the master suite feel light and airy.
This design coupled with the soft and pale colour palette gives the house almost a colonial decor style, like a posh pad on a Caribbean island or on the California coastline, where the heat of the day rises into the white-washed roof rafters to keep the space cool.
All the bedroom needs to complete this coastal look is a ceiling fan.
The master bedroom has an ensuite that is a luxury addition, encased throughout with limestone tiles, an impressive “his and her” bespoke sink unit.
There is a sizable bath positioned next to the window at the end to ensure that even the bath has a positive connection to the garden and views of the suburban treetops.
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At the other end of the landing is another special bedroom with a unique shape that also includes a part-vaulted ceiling and another large glass wall made up of a triangular window fitted into the apex of the roof.
In the corner there is a curved wall that hides a ensuite wetroom.
There are three further bedrooms on this first floor, one of which has an ensuite, and all of which have their fair share of connection to the outside via their own large windows.
And just when you think this hidden home is not hiding any more surprises, pop down a secret staircase to a basement level not obvious from the front of the house to find a gym with full mirrored walls.
This hidden, bespoke, award-winning home is for sale for £1.5m with estate agent Kelvin Francis, call them on 029 2076 6538 to find out more.