By Jess Binns, Project Consultant and Property Coordinator Catherine de Vincenzo, Photography Val Adamson

In need of escape from the coastal salt belt and humidity of Durban, this husband and wife took to higher ground in search of a second home that would provide cooler evenings, surrounded by vast, open spaces, and to enjoy KwaZulu-Natal nature at its best.

Situated in the Valley of 1000 Hills, their new home was designed and built to ensure year-round comfort for themselves and their children when visiting. The signature thatched roof sets the tone and immerses the building into the fabric of the game reserve on which it is situated.

Not unlike the undulating landscape, the roof drapes itself over the rough-hewn stone walls, softening the harder elements of the build. Inside, the owners wanted open-plan spaces with no passageways to segregate living areas. The result is a beautiful, yet practical home to enjoy.

While rustic on the outside, on the inside the owners have used ivory gloss floor tiles to reflect the light – a refined touch that serves as a practical one too, in terms of maintenance. The patio area is deliberately versatile; the splendid views can always be appreciated, whatever the weather may bring. The rimflow pool is a great place for spotting game in the distance, in addition to capturing the sun’s rays, an immediate tonic for anyone looking to unwind. The roof is an important feature of the house – the intricacies are for all to see and admire.

A mezzanine level – which also serves as a TV lounge, cosy and hidden away from view – brings you even closer to inspect the detail.

Being a new build, the house has been kitted out with LED lighting, and the main geyser comes with a heat pump. The owners also set out to ensure that the landscaping is sensitive to its surroundings – nothing jars with the scenery.

The result of their efforts is a home that speaks to its surroundings, all the while providing a relaxing and nurturing environment to while away the hours. Who could resist that?