This house was de­signed to cap­ture nat­u­ral light and link the in­doors to out

South African Garden and Home - - Contents -

A KZN home de­signed around fam­ily heir­looms

Hav­ing lived on farms for most of their lives, the own­ers of this house at Bret­ten­wood Coastal Es­tate on the KZN North Coast wanted the il­lu­sion of lots of space. “We found the per­fect site on the edge of a pro­tected green belt with beau­ti­ful views,” they say. Their brief to ar­chi­tect Ju­lia Ruther­fo­ord and builder Karl Wang of KR Projects was to em­pha­sise the views and al­low for in­doorout­door liv­ing with as much nat­u­ral light as pos­si­ble.

“The sea and wet­land views are to the south, which is not great for light, so we de­signed court­yards on the north so that warm light il­lu­mi­nates the in­te­ri­ors. We po­si­tioned the house so that there’s a com­pletely open feel but it’s pri­vate as it’s far down from the road, on a bank sur­rounded by a trop­i­cal gar­den,” says Ju­lia. To en­hance the set­ting, she

THIS SPREAD, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Large pieces, like the an­tique ar­moire in the liv­ing room, were placed on the plan to en­sure they would be fo­cal points. “The soft greens and whites of the colour palette go a long way to­wards en­hanc­ing the in­door-out­door flow,” notes in­te­rior de­signer Tessa Proud­foot.

The pa­tio on the pro­tected side of the house is used for en­ter­tain­ing all year round and fea­tures a built-in braai and stor­age cab­i­nets.

in­cor­po­rated lots of nat­u­ral tex­tures such as stone cladding and tim­ber deck­ing and screens in the ar­chi­tec­ture.

In­te­rior de­signer Tessa Proud­foot has worked on sev­eral of the own­ers’ homes over the years and they en­listed her ex­per­tise once again. “The ar­chi­tec­ture leans to­wards con­tem­po­rary but in a sub­tle, easy-liv­ing way,” she says. “There’s noth­ing pre­ten­tious about any of the rooms and noth­ing that can be termed fash­ion­able or trendy, which, in my opin­ion, is ex­actly what a house should be. Build­ing is so ex­pen­sive these days that styles need to last.”

To en­hance the time­less feel, Tessa in­cluded many of the own­ers’ trea­sured pieces, in­clud­ing an ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of art and an­tiques. “From the first ar­chi­tec­tural drafts, we po­si­tioned the key pieces on the plan to en­sure that they

THIS PAGE, CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: The court­yard is pro­tected from the el­e­ments and al­lows nat­u­ral light into the in­te­ri­ors. Nat­u­ral tex­tures and colours en­hance the sense of space.

“The beau­ti­ful cop­per bowl with the or­chids in the en­trance hall was used by my hus­band’s great aunt and then his mother to make guava jelly for the last 100 years or so,” says the owner. The din­ing

room is of­ten used for en­ter­tain­ing. The light fit­ting from Tessa Proud­foot and As­so­ci­ates is the per­fect coun­ter­point to the clas­sic fur­ni­ture and Per­sian car­pet. The carved mir­ror is from Cé­cile & Boyd.

would fit eas­ily into the rooms rather than end up as white ele­phants tak­ing up space,” she ex­plains. “The in­te­ri­ors are in tra­di­tional old Natal style. Colours are cool and calm to coun­ter­act sum­mer heat and hu­mid­ity and the fur­ni­ture is clas­sic. There’s a mix of tex­tures (dark and light woods, rat­tan and cane) and pot­ted palms and plants abound!”

As the owner didn’t want the house to feel too old­fash­ioned, she and Tessa chose bas­kets, glass­ware and mir­rors as well as con­tem­po­rary planters in monochro­matic pat­terns to add some mod­ern touches. “To avoid turn­ing our home into a mu­seum, we also up­dated the chairs and so­fas with loose cov­ers in an off-white fab­ric,” ex­plains the owner.

“The house needed to be a place where they could en­ter­tain their large ex­tended fam­ily and wide cir­cle of friends in com­fort and style, but equally be a cosy spot for when it’s just the two of them,” says Tessa. The most fre­quent guests are the cou­ple’s grand­chil­dren so prac­ti­cal el­e­ments like the slip­cov­ers, guest be­d­rooms on a dif­fer­ent level and a TV lounge were es­sen­tial. It’s this care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion of the own­ers’ life­style that has re­sulted in a home that ticks all the boxes and finds a bal­ance be­tween in­ti­mate and invit­ing and clas­sic and con­tem­po­rary.

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