For James and Clare Templeton, a decision to change pace and focus on a better quality of life led them to a small coastal village near Cape Town, where they built their contemporary, farmhouse-inspired home
A modern farmhouse-inspired abode in scenic Noordhoek near Cape Town combines the individual design aesthetics of its occupants with the growing trend for indoor-outdoor living
Fifty years ago, Noordhoek was a valley known more for its fertile farmlands than anything else. Since then, the growth of a like-minded community of people seeking a semirural environment and a lifestyle that embraces nature has made it a sought-after place to put down roots. It was for these exact reasons that the area attracted James and Clare Templeton who, after living in fast-paced Johannesburg, moved to this part of South Africa so they could breathe out a little.
An important part of their brief to WP Bosch & Associates was to create a two-storey home that fully embraced the environment. The architect and local builder, Lee Slabber, began by demolishing the original building down to foundation level and starting again. ‘When we first saw this house, it was pretty ugly, but we knew the site was really special. WP Bosch brought our needs together beautifully with the design,’ says Clare, who explains that while James loves an ultra-modern aesthetic, she wanted more of a farmhouse feel for their new home.
Their architect managed to combine both James’ and Clare’s desires, and created a space that they felt was made for them. Aspects like the crunchy stone driveway, slate-coloured tin roof, external stone masonry and dramatic view of the garden and pool on entering the house feel delightfully oldschool, while the double-volume steel windows and monochrome palette of raw and polished cement, exposed brick, tempered steel and natural textures give the abode a thoroughly contemporary edge.
Since the couple loves to entertain, the kitchen forms a central part of their home. ‘We wanted something really special that was a bit of a showpiece without being too over-the-top,’ says Clare of the central island that is made of a single piece of tempered steel and an impressive slab of oak. They also commissioned a local boat builder to design and build their kitchen cabinetry. The result is a seamless and thoughtful design. And while it’s clear that both Templetons have an eye for beautiful things, comfort is an important factor in their lives. The living area is an informal space, boasting a huge lowslung sofa that’s ideal for marathon TV sessions, and the inside living area flows easily onto the outside patio, effectively doubling the living space in the summer months. ‘We worked with local landscaping legend Tone Alexander who helped create our garden, and we love how peaceful it is,’ says Clare.
While the downstairs half of the home is all about work and play, the upstairs zone centres around relaxation. Perhaps it’s the sea view, the carpeting underfoot or the oversized master bedroom and monochrome bathroom, but the serenity is palpable. Patches of light fall in just the right places, a gigantic leather upholstered bed begs to be leapt on and, here and there, a cat stretches in repose. It’s no wonder the Templetons love spending time in their new home. ‘It’s the perfect balance of style and comfort,’ says Clare. ‘We couldn’t be happier here.’
this spread The patio of this Noordhoek home is revealed by doors that slide away completely, inviting it to be part of the house itself. Two woven couches from Weylandts add to the relaxing feel and provide a prime place from which to gaze out onto the indigenous garden planted by landscaper Tone Alexander.
this page The nature-loving Templetons wanted a space that felt at one with the verdant site, where organic textures and tones were key and where the outside was as important as the inside. opposite Designed for indoor-outdoor living and entertaining, the layout centres around a main social space which incorporates an openplan kitchen and dining area.