By Jess Binns, Project Consultant Avril Elias, Property Coordinator Catherine de Vincenzo, Photography Chris Allan
What was planned as a holiday home soon became the main residence for this KwaZulu-Natal couple. As they were based inland, weekend beach trips to the glorious North Coast were part of the family’s ritual. So it was only natural that when a piece of land came up for sale some eight years ago, the offer was too good to pass up.
“We were at our daughter’s water polo tournament at the time,” explains the owner. “My husband picked up a property magazine and, while flicking through, saw the advert. It was such a rare opportunity that we called the agent there and then and, in a nutshell, drove there, said yes and drove back, all in our daughter’s hour-and-a-half break from matches!”
However, it was only in the last few years that the land was developed, and a last-minute decision was made that this would become their permanent home. Flirting with the fringes of the Sheffield Beach shoreline, the house can only be described as the ultimate “beach house”.
A mix of render and clapboard to the exterior is finished in a chalky blue tone, nodding to its neighbour, the Indian Ocean. To connect with the home’s surroundings, almost all of the ground-floor rooms open out onto the greyed timber deck facing the sea, maximising its location. A large pool sunk into the deck area make for a perfect setting to enjoy lazy, balmy summer days with family and friends, and the striking braai area with its cool-to-the-touch concrete counters.
Inside, the house is awash with natural light, echoing off the white walls. The kitchen, also white and classic in style, is finished with oak surfaces and display shelves, a timeless and attractive feature that sets it apart from conventional kitchen designs.
The tranquillity of coastal life is reflected in the decor throughout the house. Cool blues and teals are paired with sandy neutrals, alongside pops of lemon, yellow and pink.
While still under the impression that this was to be their second home, the owner purchased some of the furniture items from auctions; these then received makeovers to revitalise them and bring them up to date.
The blend of vintage furnishings within the contemporary setting gives it a lived-in, relaxed look, without being overbearing. Giant, squashy sofas fit in happily with ornate filigree chairs. Bright, zesty stools add a light-hearted element, as does the fine art that adorns the walls.
This decor sentiment mirrors the home owner’s personality. “If I like something, I buy it; then I’ll find a home for it.”
Not only visually striking, this home is also “off the grid”, as solar panels drink in the sun to provide electricity. Underground JoJo tanks serve the watering of the garden, adding to the home’s “green” credentials.
Although every area of the house is beautiful and comfortable, the treasured space is a small courtyard off the kitchen. Here you’ll find the owner pottering over her herbs or enjoying a coffee, sheltered from the coastal winds, in peace and quiet.
The kitchen is also a favourite; what could beat watching whales out at sea while preparing lunch? “This home is so peaceful. At night I hear nothing; the ocean lulls you to sleep. I can’t believe how lucky I am to live somewhere like this.”