By Karien Slabbert, Project Consultant and Property Coordinator Lorna Ioakim, Photography Bronwyn Greeff

Family homes are made for living, laughing and spending time together. While redesigning this home in a country estate, the owner drew inspiration from fond memories of her childhood home in KwaZulu-Natal.

“We had a large family home and I loved my mom’s kitchen. It was huge and every afternoon, after school, we would sit there and talk for hours. I had that feel in mind when I designed the house,” says the owner.

The owners had relocated from Rustenburg. With little time to get everything organised, they looked for a secure home that was close to work and schools. “My brother suggested a good school for my kids, so we rented a house nearby.”

The couple eventually bought the house they were renting, whereafter a dramatic redesign ensued. On the face of it, it wasn’t to their taste, but then most new buys aren’t.

“While we were renting, I started looking at the house and thought of what I would change,” she explains. For about four months, they drew sketches of possible alterations and modifications.

The owner loves both country-style and French designs, and tried to fuse the two in the redesign.

The family spends most of their time in the lounge, kitchen and entertaining areas, so it was important that there was a clear flow from one space to the next. Stacking doors were installed between the entertaining area, patio and garden, which can be flung open when they’re entertaining.

To delineate private and public spaces, the bedrooms and home office are upstairs.

“We wanted privacy when our kids, aged nine and 18, have friends over. I made sure the X-Box room and any other entertaining areas were on the ground floor.”

The owners have managed to mix functionality and aesthetics to craft a comfortable, lived-in space. The combination of old and new pieces is thanks to the couple’s varying tastes.

“I love the old, vintage furniture and my husband is more a modern kind of guy,” she notes. Touches of French country style give this home a comfortable, yet stylish personality, while contemporary elements create points of interest.

The couple are avid entertainers, and friends and family regularly pop in.

“I love cooking, and there’s a large counter with ample seating space so that I can chat with friends or family while I’m busy in the kitchen,” the owner says.

It seems history does indeed repeat itself.

House Murrish 076_o