my friend Lar and her husband Craig moved from Cape Town to the north coast of KZN a few years back (you may remember that i posted about her beautiful ballet photography, and i also designed her website many moons ago!) they bought a plot of land a few minutes walk from the beach and decided to build their dream house. i followed along on Instagram as they went from breaking ground to site visits to choosing paint colours to landscaping and finally moving in. it is now a happily lived in family home, filled with the pitter patter of feet and paws thanks to daughter Luca and sweet pooches Friday and Whip. i have been bugging her to send me photos every so often and she finally relented to my persistent demands – and here it is for me to share with you!
Our whole reason for leaving Cape Town and moving to the North Coast was the search for more space and to surround ourselves with nature again… A luxury we couldn’t afford in the Cape at this point in our lives. Our brief to our architect Lisa Rorich was that we wanted a home that let the outside in, completely, so that wherever you are, whether it be the guest loo or the kitchen, you have a strong sense of the outdoors and the freedom of space. The Natal climate lends itself whole heartedly to outdoor living, and our home embraces this concept.
before we dive right in i just wanted to let you know that their house is available for holiday rental on Airbnb. here is the link if you’d like to check it out! also wondering why the photos look so great? that’s because Lar is a photographer who has shot interiors for Elle Decoration, Visi, House and Leisure and many more.
We were drawn to a barn-style from very early on and have always loved timber facades, so when our architect first showed us the Japanese technique Shou Sugi Ban we knew we had to go for it. She came up with a design that sets walls of transparent glass against solid panels of wood – giving the feeling of living in a freestanding timber barn, but still having the transparent nature of tall windows and over-sized sliding doors.
I would describe our general style as being very pared down and simple. Since being together, my husband and I have moved houses / countries and provinces more times than I would like to remember. The only up side of this is that we have whittled down unnecessary clutter and possessions completely. The result is refreshing and also allows strangers to feel at home in our space, which is an interesting concept. We have kept an eclectic mix of new and old art and furniture: the vintage dresser in our bedroom was given to me by a dear friend – it’s taken pride of place in our bedroom in 4 different homes / locations now!
We designed the wooden vanities in the bathrooms ourselves and had a local carpenter make them up for us to save costs, but they are made from good quality poplar and have been treated with a first class product. Our bath tubs are pre-loved but they’ve been restored to their former glory and we love how they interact with the modern vanities and basins. One of the most surprising spaces in our home is the guest loo. Usually guest rest rooms are pokey little rooms designed out of pure necessity, tucked away in awkward places. Ours is unique in that it is spacious and has black shutters that open up from floor to ceiling with views of the garden and indigenous bush beyond.
Weekends at home are our favourite, more often than not spent pottering in the garden – always music playing in the background, the smell of a freshly lit fire, always a crumpled newspaper on the couch and our little girl chasing around the house with our dogs. We love that our home allows people to re-connect with nature.