By Helen Grange, Project Consultant Wendy Robinson, Photographer Nic Baleta

Ideally located near Midrand, this house is the perfect marriage of form and function. It’s an entertainer’s dream, defined by lots of open planning, but it’s also a thoughtfully designed family home that provides privacy where it is needed.

The owner is an engineer, so it was important to him that the house be built with functionality top of mind. The communal spaces can double up to accommodate large groups, together or separately, or transform to allow comfortable family living. Groups of 12 can be seated outside or inside, while the modern, open-plan kitchen allows easy communication with those seated on barstools at the counter.

The piece de resistance is the expansive patio that extends from the double-volume lounge-dining-kitchen area through folding aluminium and glass doors, with plenty of sunlight streaming in. The big windows in the pyjama lounge upstairs are critical for allowing light into the communal spaces below, which would otherwise be too dark.

Mindful of the drawback of some open-plan homes, where privacy between activities can be compromised, the house has a dedicated TV room that can be darkened, and is soundproofed. The main suite is also unusual in that the owner decided to create a bathroom-shower suite separate from the bedroom.

“My wife and I work different hours, so it made sense to have the bathroom split from the bedroom. I also wanted an extra-large shower cubicle,” says the owner.

The office nook is also spacious enough for two, and conduit cables were chased into the walls throughout to allow each room to enjoy Internet, phone and DStv. “I wanted the whole house to be ready to ‘go smart’, and I also had solar panel conduits laid, so the house can go off the grid,” he adds.

Downstairs, neutral, earthy tones and shades of grey were chosen for walls and kitchen cabinetry, offsetting the white floor tiles and inviting colours in the soft furnishings. Subtle ceiling spotlights, augmented by strategically placed spotlights, complete the ambience in this space.