Nowadays a holiday home means so much more than just a place to stay when you head to the beach. Working longer hours, with busy social lives leaving little time to relax, many of us really only catch our breath at the weekends. Perhaps these houses should be rephrased “retreats”, places where we can centre ourselves, reconnecting with family and resting our overloaded minds.

For this Johannesburg-based family, a second home only a short flight away was the deciding factor when buying this home on the Zimbali coastal estate, near Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal. “It has the most amazing calming effect on us as soon as we walk trhough the door,” says the owner.

This property really does let you breathe; with various soft-seated areas, both indoors and out, you can have a full house and still find somewhere to relax in peace.

The owners’ love of neo-classical pieces is evident in the stylish interiors, and the locally sourced kitchen blends well with the dark wood dining area. The double volume opens out this already spacious home, allowing an oversized, statement pendant light to zone the seating area below.

A clever mix of finishes means the rustic stone-clad walls fit in well with the clear glass balustrade. Creamy stone floors soften the experience and continue into the lavish bathrooms with wall-hung toilets and walk-in showers.

Areas of interest continue outside, with a striking water feature greeting you from the main living area, surrounded by deep-green planting.

As the owner so eloquently puts it: “This home is very, very special; it provides a peaceful haven away from the hectic lifestyle of Johannesburg.”