Country estate ‘De Vrijhof’ spanning 17 acres situated between Zutphen and Lochem.
What is exceptional about this listed historic property is the spacious outdoors with forest paths and heath meadows, combined with the warm and multifunctional interior indoors. Comfortable, homely quarters are combined with a monumental living room.
Thanks to the architect Loggers this house offers a plethora of practical advantages you may not expect at first. When designing this property in 1933 he was inspired by the English Arts and Crafts movement, where simplicity, eye for detail and the use of natural materials are key.
The ideal home for country living
The floor plan of the house is L-shaped. In the long wing you will find all of the common areas including the sitting room, dining room, kitchen, utility room, cellars and on the first floor two children’s bedrooms with sinks and shower. The short wing features a granite floor hallway, which takes you past three bedrooms with bathroom, the horse stables and garage. The sturdy construction featuring a lot of indoor wood and stone provides a natural transition to the outdoors. Dogs and horses have plenty of space to frolic about and the children can safely play all day long. The grounds are secured with a large fence.
Watch the seasons come and go
It’s clear that the architect has let nature play a key role in the design of this country estate, keeping you sheltered from the elements. The locations of the rooms are adapted to the rhythm of the day. For instance, the bedroom is facing east, where the sun rises through the high trees every morning. The kitchen is facing east to make the most of the sunset while cooking dinner.
All around the house the windows have deliberately been set low: they temper the sunlight during the summer, while allowing in extra light when winter time shortens the days.
When coming up the driveway you can immediately enjoy the view of the lily pond. The historical name of the estate is spelled out in wooden letters above the double wooden arched front door. Inside you can choose to go one of three ways. To the right you will find the cloakroom and kitchen, to the left a long granite floor hallway leads to the bedroom, or when you go straight you find the living room. In the adjacent dining room you have plenty of space for a large table, with a full length view over the garden.
Dining and living rooms
From the dining room you enter the large monumental living room with the eye catching ceiling which is over five metres high. Both of these rooms feature parquet. Here you can see the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement represented in the ‘inglenook’ chimney corner: a symmetrical recessed fireplace. Above that there is a wonderful landing with balustrade, which can be used as a sitting area, study or play area. From there you can also reach the guest bedroom featuring inbuilt closets. Back to the ground floor, adjacent to the living room are two more spaces: the conservatory which is currently used as a plant nursery and the former weaving area which is now designated for reading and watching television. All of these spaces united create this monumental living room, suited for a whole range of activities.
Kitchen and utility room
Immediately as you enter the kitchen you are greeted by its homely thirties atmosphere: tiles, granite floors, large windows. In the large glass cupboard and pantry you will find an unexpectedly practical solution to gather the things you are collecting for your recipe: pull-out shelves. The door leads to the two cellars.
An ideal complement to ‘country-living’ is the practical utility room: a covered area which is reminiscent of a porch, which lends itself remarkably well as a transitioning area connecting the indoor and outdoor space of this gorgeous property. It currently houses a dryer, with space for taking off muddy boots and washing your hands.
Bed- and bathrooms
When you exit the kitchen through the cloakroom, past the front door and into the granite floor hallway, you will find a large bedroom with parquet flooring, which used to be a master bedroom and two smaller bedrooms. Here you will also find the cosy tiled bathroom, which isn’t tremendously big, yet houses all the comforts of a shower, heated flooring and a whirlpool bath.
The other two bedrooms, shower and toilet are situated above the dining room.
Horse stables and garage
When you continue down the hallway you will enter the horse stables, which are currently in use as a workshop, but which can easily be converted back to fully functioning stables. A little further we see the garage, providing indoor parking. You could even fit two cars if you really want to. There is also a staircase leading up to the three attic spaces.
Garden, forest and meadows
Right around the house there is a lawn featuring an irrigation system for the entire garden. The outdoor space of this property includes much more than the lush garden. Past the lawn you first come upon the original octagonal gazebo with awning roof. You can tell straight away that this gazebo was also designed by architect Loggers. Behind it are two sheds and 2.5 acres of meadow where you can grow wild flowers in the summer, which is also perfect for grazing. From here you have the best view over the estate: over the meadow you can see ‘De Vrijhof’ in its full glory.
A large part of the terrain borders, the estate and natural reserve “'t Waliën”.
‘De Vrijhof’ is centrally located between the historical cities of Zutphen and Lochem. The village of Almen is situated only 1.5 kilometres (a little under a mile) away. This allows you to actively participate in societies and associations if you so please. Concerts are regularly held in the church. This region is culturally very rich with a theatre in Lochem, and cultural hotspot de Hanzehof in Zutphen, which includes a theatre, a regular cinema and an arthouse cinema. In the direct vicinity there is a good primary school in Almen, and there is a large and diverse range of secondary schools: from Dalton Plan to English speaking education. There’s also a variety of sports clubs available, including the field hockey clubs in Zutphen and Lochem. Golf course ‘De Graafschap’ is situated a mere three kilometres (less than two miles) from ‘De Vrijhof’. But if you still find a reason to leave this paradise: you can reach the A1 highway in less than fifteen minutes.