By Jess Binns, Project Consultant Avril Elias, Property Coordinator Catherine de Vincenzo, Photography Chris Allan
Set among rolling hills, with front-row seats at the resident golf course’s sixth hole, this is a deceptively spacious home. Entering on the first floor, you are guided down the rich kiaat staircase, treated to majestic views of the KwaZulu-Natal countryside.
“I love that there is an element of surprise to our home; the house looks fairly small and unassuming from the front,” explains the owner.
The majority of the ground floor is open-plan, so as not to disturb your connection with the outdoors. Even at planning stage the structural element of this home was altered to eliminate visual barriers.
Taking charge of the layout, the owners decided to centre the ground-floor living spaces around a feature bar area. This pivotal positioning really paid off, and it has become integral to how the family socialises and interacts on a daily basis. And for this family, entertaining is really at the heart of the home.
Fondly known as “the clubhouse”, due to its proximity to one of the most prestigious golf courses in the province, the house has a constant flow of visitors. When describing her home, the owner summarises: “It’s a place that’s an open house for all, where everyone is welcome.”
Coming from a smallholding, where days go by without one seeing a soul, moving into this Hillcrest estate was a definite change of lifestyle for this family. An avid golfer himself, the owner regularly enjoys spectating rounds from the comfort of his bedroom balcony.
Not only a great place to congregate, this home has many other attributes. Being a new home, the owners opted, where possible, for fixtures that displayed sustainable and eco credentials. This continued into the sourcing of custom furniture, such as the French oak dining table and barstools made from responsibly sourced timber.
As the north-facing house is built into a bank, an internal courtyard was created, allowing air to flow through. Functionally this works well, but it left a rather dominating retaining wall to look out on. To combat this, the idea of a “living wall” was explored. The courtyard has been brought to life by vertical green planting adjacent to the two water features. What started as an exercise of concealment soon turned into a space of meditative enhancement.
This bijou garden has become part of the fabric of the home. “We find ourselves drawn to the plants, to tend and nurture them; we really enjoy the living walls.”