A dream home worth the wait (and stress!)

Although the process of build­ing a home that met their ex­pec­ta­tions was long and ar­du­ous, these home­own­ers will also tell you it was ab­so­lutely worth it!

Home (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - By Frieda le Roux Pho­to­graphs Fran­cois Ober­hol­ster Styling Mar­ian van Wyk

When Arno and Ger­aldene du Plessis bought an empty plot in Sun­ridge Park, Port El­iz­a­beth – less than 1km from the prop­erty they’d been hap­pily liv­ing on for 36 years – the plan was to move into their “dream home” within a year. “Our pre­vi­ous house was quite large with a big gar­den and ex­pan­sive lawns – and all the bells and whis­tles as­so­ci­ated with homes from the ’80s!” says Ger­aldene. “But as time passed, we started to con­sider the mer­its of a home that would re­quire less up­keep; one that we could en­joy and ap­pre­ci­ate be­fore mov­ing on to the re­tire­ment home down the road.”

On one of their morn­ing walks in April 2012, they came across an over­grown and un­kempt plot that was in the process of be­ing sub-di­vided. “We hastily es­tab­lished who the owner was and within weeks we had con­cluded the pur­chase,” Ger­aldene ex­plains.

How­ever, the cou­ple soon learnt that pa­tience would be of the essence if they wanted to sur­vive the build­ing process! Not only that, but the trans­fer couldn’t take place un­til ser­vices had been in­stalled and this took al­most 12 months.

Dur­ing this time, Arno and Ger­aldene met ar­chi­tect Quins­ley Sale of Kiu Ar­chi­tec­ture, a reg­u­lar at a cof­fee shop the cou­ple also fre­quent. “We briefed him on our ex­pec­ta­tions and bud­get and then com­mis­sioned him to com­mence with the de­sign,” Arno ex­plains. “He pre­sented us with his first con­cept which was an ab­so­lute hit, so we in­structed him to con­tinue with the de­tail work and find an ap­pro­pri­ate builder.”

WHO LIVES HERE? Arno and Ger­aldene du Plessis WHERE Port El­iz­a­beth SIZE 350m²

Ar­chi­tect Quins­ley Sale wanted to cre­ate a sim­ple, open-plan lay­out with well­pro­por­tioned spa­ces and a high stan­dard of de­tail. “I wanted to de­sign a space that re­tained warmth and so­phis­ti­ca­tion yet still had an in­dus­trial feel to it. This ap­proach was ap­plied to both the fur­ni­ture and ar­chi­tec­ture to cre­ate an eclec­tic yet con­tem­po­rary home while main­tain­ing a re­laxed at­mos­phere.” A partly cov­ered pa­tio (top right) over­looks the front gar­den and new pool. The house has been de­signed to ac­com­mo­date so­lar pan­els and will soon be off the grid en­tirely.

Ger­aldene and Arno du Plessis

Main en-suite bed­roomLiv­ing area Din­ing area Braai room

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