houses, Indoor / Outdoor

It's a kind of magic

Text Sarah Buitendach Production Jenny Andrew Photographs Elsa Young This is the kind of house where you’d expect magic to happen. If the dancers in the Kevin Macintosh photographs on the landing suddenly sprang from their frames or the vintage hats on the hat stand whirled to life, it would hardly be surprising.  It’s no wonder, either, that this enchanting Dunkeld home belongs to one of South Africa’s most creative couples – Linda Notelovitz Goodall and Miles Goodall – who head up a commercial-production company. In between making exceptional adverts and jet-setting around the globe, they’ve created a home that’s fit for royalty but is happily inhabited by their family – their 10-year-old daughter, Sophie, and a pack of dogs that includes Irish wolfhounds and a tiny yorkie. The couple bought the property, the original 1907 Dunkeld farmhouse, in 2004 and spent a year renovating and restoring the building. With the help of heritage architect Rocco Bosman, they turned the house into a home in a light, airy, French style. As the spiritual Linda explains, ‘we undertook huge structural work to support her for the next 100 years, and freed up the trapped energy in the house and garden by clearing, opening up spaces, healing spaces, and letting in light and movement’. The original barn was turned into a studio, guest suite, staff cottage and their company’s offices.  The garden was also revived and now includes rolling lawns, an abundant vegetable garden and a spectacular rose garden – Linda’s ‘blessing garden’. The exterior of the house may be classically and understatedly beautiful, but behind the old teal shutters on the doors and windows is an exciting interior. Linda describes the pair’s tastes as ‘complementary – we both think in pictures, light and movement, just differently’. Together they’ve combined an eclectic mix of antique and modern pieces with a fantastic collection of contemporary art to create a space that is reminiscent of both a regal manor house and a colourful, seductive boudoir. Conrad Botes artworks hang on the walls of the double-volume entrance hall and landing.  Linda describes the space as the ‘compassionate heart of our home, which holds the energy and gratitude for the whole property.’ The lower level includes a large, sunny kitchen, decorated with eau de nil metro tiles on the walls, which opens into the dining conservatory.  Colour accents the entire house in the form of art, floral-embroidered curtains, rich velvet cushions and iridescent coloured-glass collections. Upstairs, Sophie’s bedroom is the quintessential girl’s dream room.  With its multicoloured carpet, rocking horse and beaded curtains, it’s the perfect place for fun and fantasy.  In comparison, Miles and Linda’s bedroom is the epitome of luxury and peace, with a spellbinding view of the garden from its sprawling French bed made up in sumptuous linen. The house is a work of art – restored beyond her former glory and, as Linda puts it, ‘now even more beautiful and content’.


My most romantic getaway is the Dorothy Parker Suite in the Algonquin Hotel in New York, where Miles and I once holed up for a month. I’d like to go to Iceland next.

I’m inspired by the things in my life I have learnt so far.

My pet design hate is loveless or totally wasteful design.

The luxury I couldn’t possibly live without is the freedom to express and create, love and learn.

Right now I’m looking forward to having some fun with Miles, Max (Linda’s son), Sophie and my hounds in a special place.

After family, the things I’d save in a fire are my pearls and my altar.

Buildings I especially love are the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, The Church of Saint-Roch in Paris, and, in New York, the Rockefeller Center (for the José Maria Sert murals) and the Flatiron Building.

I entertain with love and abundance, and often.

My favourite restaurants are Assaggi and The Loft in Jo’burg, and Bizerca in Cape Town.

My all-time best movies are anything by Wes Anderson and the Coen brothers.

  Rocco Bosman, 082-450-1249 This article appeared in the February 2010 issue of House and Leisure.