THE LAND OF PLENTY

De­signer Greg Mel­lor uses tone and tex­ture to cre­ate seam­less in­doorout­door liv­ing at a fam­ily get­away

Condé Nast House & Garden - - CONTENTS - TEXT TRACY LYNN CHEMALY PHO­TO­GRAPHS GREG COX

Adoor­mat cus­tom­ar­ily suf­fices as the en­try point to a front door, but there are par­tic­u­lar homes that war­rant ad­di­tional pomp. nowhere is a stoep more cer­e­mo­ni­ous than at Bobbe­jaan­skloof, a farm­house perched pas­torally atop a plateau just 20 min­utes from Plet­ten­berg Bay. here, the deeply re­cessed front stoep plays the part of out­door en­trance hall, re­ceiv­ing guests with sea­sonal blooms picked from the abun­dant land as their jack­ets are whisked off to the coat cup­board and vis­i­tors sink into arm­chairs, re­mov­ing hik­ing boots while be­ing greeted by a zeal­ous dog. ‘That’s when you ar­rive at the house,’ an­nounces in­te­rior de­signer greg Mel­lor, de­tail­ing the home’s hos­pitably warm re­cep­tion, un­de­ni­ably ev­i­dent be­fore you even set foot through the door.

‘The own­ers wanted the in­te­rior to be seam­less with the ex­te­rior,’ he ex­plains, point­ing to the gar­den’s en-masse plant­ings of aga­pan­thus, eu­phor­bias, aloes and vy­gies that are echoed in in­door vases and pots, and mu­rals painted by artist sarah Pratt that ref­er­ence the pro­lific birdlife. Botan­i­cal spec­i­mens plucked from the gar­den and dried are framed as art­works that al­low the home to hold the flo­ral en­chant­ment found beyond its walls.

It’s no won­der the na­ture-lov­ing own­ers were drawn to the prop­erty. he, the pro bono chair­man of a con­ser­va­tion ngo and busi­ness­man, and she, a psy­chol­o­gist, were both thrilled at the op­por­tu­nity to be ste­wards of these 151 hectares pre­vi­ously owned, re­stored and nur­tured by an african-de­sign doyenne.

‘she was rev­o­lu­tion­ary at the time,’ says the owner of her pre­de­ces­sor, who pur­chased Bobbe­jaan­skloof 25 years

be­fore. ‘she had such an ex­tra­or­di­nary vi­sion to bring it back to its nat­u­ral beauty by restor­ing the fyn­bos. We need to do all we can to look af­ter it,’ she in­sists, pas­sion­ately af­firm­ing their com­mit­ment to con­tinue the clear­ing of alien veg­e­ta­tion.

By es­tab­lish­ing cy­cling tracks around the perime­ter and hik­ing trails through the gorge, the new own­ers have max­imised their en­joy­ment of the sur­round­ings. Yet it’s at the house that they wal­low in it most.

‘sorry for the cliché, but there’s no other way of say­ing it,’ warns the owner. ‘It’s a deep out-of-africa ex­pe­ri­ence.’

At BOBBE­JAAN­SKLOOF much time is SPENT ON the BACK STOEP, BASK­ING in the TRAN­QUIL AT­MOS­PHERE AND AD­MIR­ING the WILDLIFE ROAM­ING in the AD­JA­CENT GAME RE­SERVE

a large fire­place and an un­pre­ten­tious ap­proach to fur­nish­ings make this cor­ner of the lounge area a homely com­fort zone Clock­wise, from top left greg mel­lor de­signed the Wo­ven din­ing chairs; there are flow­ers and plants all about the house; sarah pratt’s mu­rals Were in­spired by the lo­cal birdlife

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