By Janine Jorgensen, Project Consultant Monique Rankine, Property Coordinator Chantel Spence, Photography Nic Baleta

This home, on a country estate outside Johannesburg, encapsulates some of the best aspects of rural living – sustainability, a peaceful environment and a welcoming farmhouse style.

“We went for a Highveld farmhouse design, which melds into the natural landscape, while still providing a feeling of space and luxury,” says the home owner.

Working with the limitations of the site, orientation and estate guidelines, the architect designed the house as two linked sheds, making use of a simple material palette of plaster and steel, and exposing the trusses of the pitched roof.

Extra-height doors and high windows in the living area add to the sense of airiness and spaciousness.

“We fell in love with the design and added only one element – the firepit,” adds the home owner.

The firepit forms part of the entertainment area, which includes a circular splash pool, and is a favourite spot for admiring the surrounding views and listening to the resident fish eagles, owls and jackals at night. In keeping with this awareness of the environment, the house has three rain tanks for the supply of water, and is north-facing, to make the most of the sun for optimum thermal comfort.

The decor draws inspiration from the natural landscape – wood-look floor tiles have been used throughout the house; colours are kept to soft sand, stone grey and sky blue; and rooms are accessorised with botanical elements.

In the open-plan living area, large wooden tables, reminiscent of a traditional farmhouse, enable family and friends to gather around, but are combined with modern chairs and light fittings for a contemporary look.

Overall, it’s a home that’s uncluttered, yet has a relaxed feel, providing the rural retreat the home owners desired.“We’re in awe of the spectacular result. From the initial architect’s plans to building, finishing and landscaping, it all worked out better than we anticipated,” says the home owner.