Com­fort and joy

Against a stun­ning back­drop of nat­u­ral hues, earthy tones and stylish fin­ishes, Ta­nia Mitchell pre­pares her home for a re­laxed fes­tive sea­son

Woman & Home (South Africa) - - Contents -

A home’s nat­u­ral, earthy tones and stylish fin­ishes that are the per­fect back­drop for a re­laxed hol­i­day sea­son

‘ Our home is the per­fect base from which to rem­i­nisce about the past, en­joy the present, and forge more warm mem­o­ries for years to come’

To­gether with her hus­band and three chil­dren, Ta­nia Mitchell hosts Christ­mas fes­tiv­i­ties for the whole fam­ily in their beloved home, a fu­sion of mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture and French-pro­vin­cial decor notes.

Ev­ery year, the Mitchells cel­e­brate the same way Ta­nia did as a child. “We have a corny lit­tle tra­di­tion,” she says. “We play car­ols and spend a whole af­ter­noon dec­o­rat­ing the tree to­gether. This year, it’s also our turn to host rel­a­tives from around the coun­try. The day it­self will be a tra­di­tional fam­ily aair: a lav­ish feast, fol­lowed by a lively game of cricket in the gar­den.

De­signed with a warm cli­mate in mind and to al­low for plenty of nat­u­ral light, Ta­nia’s house has high ceil­ings and large, steel-framed bi­fold doors >>

that lead out into the gar­den. At the back of the prop­erty is a self-con­tained pool house, fea­tur­ing a sunny liv­ing space, out­door kitchen and cov­ered en­ter­tain­ment area ar­ranged around the sparkling pool. “It’s such a re­lax­ing space,” ex­plains Ta­nia. “It makes us feel like we’re on hol­i­day and is per­fect for when we have visi­tors.”

When it comes to lay­out, the home has a ca­sual feel. There are no for­mal rooms, just var­i­ous liv­ing spa­ces that ex­tend into the gar­den. The chil­dren – Wes­ley, 16, and twins Grace and An­nie, 13 – are free to en­joy their own area at the other end of the house. Here, they each have a bed­room and share two bath­rooms, as well as a lounge and study ad­ja­cent to the main liv­ing area.

“The way the house is laid out al­lows ev­ery­one their own space to un­wind and de­com­press,” Ta­nia points out. “The kids can shut a door and chill out, and my hus­band Craig can go to the pool house.” As for Ta­nia, she prefers the leather chair in the read­ing nook just o„ the kitchen. “I can open the doors

and look out onto a pond,” she says. “It’s my favourite place in the whole house.”

What is im­me­di­ately strik­ing is the su­perb use of build­ing ma­te­ri­als and fin­ishes all through the home. From stone and tim­ber to mar­ble and French oak, the pal­ette en­cap­su­lates the merger of so­phis­ti­cated aes­thet­ics with nat­u­ral el­e­ments. “The pal­ette is soft grey, but not at all cold,” notes Ta­nia. “The stone and tim­ber bring warmth.”

Dec­o­rat­ing the tree, the fam­ily looks for­ward to an­other re­laxed Christ­mas in their stun­ning home. “It’s the per­fect base from which to rem­i­nisce about the past, en­joy the present as a fam­ily, and forge more warm mem­o­ries over the years to come,” Ta­nia adds. w&h

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