By Jess Binns, Project Consultant Avril Elias, Property Coordinator Catherine de Vincenzo, Photography Chris Allan

Situated inland, approximately 40km from Durban, the house enjoys uninterrupted views from its elevated position within a gated estate. Initially not convinced about estate living, the family now embraces the freedom it provides, allowing the children to experience growing up as their parents did.

Looking for a home that was child and pet-friendly, the owners were instrumental in the design process. Careful not to capture a cold, soulless feel that can sometimes be experienced in large, new homes, a warm and homely ambience was woven into the architecture by way of rich earth tones and natural materials. “I chose to decorate the house myself, as I have a passion for decor,” explains the owner. “I wanted the house to have a rustic, warm, contemporary feel. So I opted for a neutral colour palette with stone and grey tones, and added pops of colour to each room to give character and warmth.”

Due to the winter months bringing a significant drop in temperature, the decision was made to install cushioned vinyl flooring that takes on the feel and appearance of wood. Having an affinity for the country look, but aware of maintaining a timeless appeal, the owner treated select areas in the home to rustic finishes, such as a facebrick feature wall, autumn-toned slate cladding and taupe-grey screeded countertops. The expansive, open-plan living areas open out to an exposed pitched roof, as do the bedrooms, incorporating interesting built-in units – a clever way to make use of otherwise awkward spaces.

Up on a plinth of its own, the kitchen really is the centre and showpiece of the home. An area where you might expect less colour introduction, this kitchen is accentuated with a vibrant poppy red.

“Everyone congregates around the centre island drinking wine while I cook. My sons also do their homework here. I love to chat to them while I cook.”

Being a new build means that thought was given to the energy-efficiency factor; heat pumps were installed, which has noticeably reduced their electricity costs. From an environmental perspective, the stone gabion vegetable garden has been a huge success, keeping the family in good supply of herbs, veggies and lemons.

With a house of this size comes entertaining on a similar scale. The spacious enclosed patio, complete with pizza oven and bar, can be contained on cooler days or opened out to the elements on long, lazy summer days.

A new home always brings a stream of visitors, and it was one of these who perfectly summed up the house: “Impressive, grand, appealing, exquisite and captivating.” I have to agree.