By Karien Slabbert, Project Consultant Lorna Ioakim, Property Coordinator Chantel Spence, Photography Nic Baleta
“We originally planned the house as a weekend refuge,” the home owner says. The biggest drawcard was that the plot was situated at the edge of a lake, which creates a sense of being enveloped by nature. “The views are amazing,” she adds.
An interior decorator, the owner knows how to pull a look together like a pro. “While planning the house, I compiled a scrapbook to determine the look and feel. Any well-orchestrated design scheme needs a visual point of departure,” she notes. This was given to the project manager to guide the home’s design narrative.
“During the planning phase, my husband did an aerial survey of the property. He created a computer-generated drawing, which he discussed at length with the architect,” says the owner. The architect originally suggested that the living areas be on the top floor of the double-storey home, with the bedrooms on the ground floor. “We literally turned the design upside-down. We decided that the bedrooms should be upstairs, which provides a bird’s-eye view of the downstairs open-plan living area,” she adds. “My husband created a basic design where all the rooms had a view of the small lake.” The property’s aspect and soil presented certain engineering and architectural challenges. Due to the soil quality, the entire home was built on a raft foundation. Explains the owner: “Large amounts of steel and concrete were used to anchor the structure and counteract natural geological movement.” From an aesthetic perspective, it creates the feeling that the home is floating in the air.
Indoors, the light, airy open-plan spaces were designed to maximise functionality. “It’s a multi-use space where children can play, and friends and family can socialise.” While each area was carefully planned, the kitchen received special attention. “It’s my pride and joy,” says the owner.
She designed the kitchen personally, to ensure ultimate efficiency. “I added a wall so that the scullery was out of sight. Two fridges were included – one in the main kitchen and one in the scullery,” she says.
The kitchen boasts high-gloss white finishes, while the scullery fuses white and timber cladding. “The high-tech Smeg double ovens are definite favourites.” The kitchen and bar area were designed to create a sense of unity, in terms of colour and finishes. While the kitchen has the white base colour with subtle hints of silver and wood, the bar turns the tables, with large wooden panes and subtle white detail. With a well-trained eye for striking decor ensembles, the owner incorporated many pieces from her previous home in a fresh, new way. “Every aspect of the home was designed for open-plan living, and the furniture was arranged accordingly,” she explains.
As she has an affinity for classic, timeless design, her colour palette, unsurprisingly, gravitated towards opulent, elemental shades of silver, gold and cream. “Classic design is timeless and you can add modern touches without having to redecorate your home,” she states.
Upstairs, the main bedroom, en suite bathroom and dressing area are the home’s most lavish spaces. “To create more space, the one bedroom was transformed into a dressing area,” says the owner. The bathroom walls were clad with marble-look tiles, while an outdoor shower ensures that the owners can connect with nature. “I’m obsessed with glass, which informed our decision to add a crystal chandelier to the walk-in closet.”
Despite the beguiling interiors, Mother Nature undoubtedly enjoys pride of place. Glass stack doors blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces, and ensure that the breezy home is filled with ample natural light. Outside, the scenery reveals itself in fluid increments. A braai area and boma were added to soak up the views, while the rim-flow swimming pool creates an architectural counterpoint. The lawn area stretches all the way to the verge of the dam.
“This seamless integration is one of my favourite aspects of the property,” says the owner. “We live in a nature reserve, so we have frequent visitors, like kudus, nyalas and rabbits, lounging about the property.”