houses

Minimalist Noordhoek Home


Text Deborah Louw Styling Jeanne Botes Photographs Elsa Young When Clint and Taryn Vosloo saw the piece of land perched high above the beach in Noordhoek, near Cape Town, they let their imaginations run wild. With views that embraced the sweep of the coastline from Chapman’s Peak to Kommetjie in the south, they wanted to build a home that could do justice to this visual drama while providing ample space and a fun lifestyle for their growing young family. The couple had just completed their previous home, a few blocks away, when they were made an offer for it – and ‘almost overnight’ it was sold. ‘And so we began again,’ explains Taryn. ‘We looked at it as an opportunity to avoid a couple of mistakes and improve on some aspects to create our dream home.’ They enlisted the help of architect Jane Boardman-Smith and builder Andrew Phillips. The collaboration was a happy one. The result is a home that stretches comfortably over three levels and makes the most of its superb position. A generous entrance – almost a room in its own right – offers up a speech-silencing view, and stackable glass panels ensure that the vistas all along the length and side of the house are uninterrupted. Turn your gaze (if you can) away from the view, though, and there is just as much inside to please the eye. The glossy, polished interior is dressed predominantly in an all-white palette, with occasional colour accents of the palest sand. The flooring, which Taryn had made up to her own specifications, is a seamless expanse that literally ‘grounds’ the interior and provides a neutral canvas for the carefully chosen furniture. The living area is dominated by a large wooden dining table, easily big enough for family and friends, although guests are usually entertained in the sheltered outdoor braai area. Arranged for maximum enjoyment of the view (or, sometimes, the TV) are an L-shaped sofa, cocoon chair and a giant, squashy pouffe that ‘accommodates all five of us’. The open-plan kitchen area is a generous space, with a central kitchen island bounded by neat white cabinetry. Beyond it lies a scullery, which opens into a double garage. Completing the lower storey is a playroom packed with toys for Sienna, six, Jagger, five, and one-year-old Scarlett. Clint and Taryn favour clutter-free, minimalist decor but in this room, cheerful disorder is permitted. Also free to enjoy the rough-and-tumble are two tall Weimaraners, Charles and Tess, and – the unquestioned leader of the pack – diminutive terrier Elvis. On the top storey are the children’s bedrooms – two splashed in girlie pinks, one a distinctly boy’s space – and bathrooms, and the expansive master suite. In a sea-facing corner of the main bedroom stands a white limestone Victoria + Albert Barcelona bath, all soft curves and pared-down glam. From the big, white low-slung bed in the master bedroom, the view takes in the spread of Noordhoek – the oaks, houses, horses – and the Atlantic. The house’s L-shaped design works both for its aesthetic interest and as a practical buffer to channel wind away from the outdoor-living area. When the glass doors are opened, there’s an easy flow to the outdoor space with its wide, terraced meranti decking, pool and barbecue. A flight of steps tucked into the side of the house leads down to a separate guest suite and the sea-facing lawn. In time, American shutters will be installed to screen off the westerly afternoon sun (there are as yet, by choice, no blinds or curtains). And they plan to extend the stepped decking all the way to the lawn below – the finishing touches to complete this already spectacular home. TARYN AND CLINT’S HOME TRUTHS Every day after work and during weekends I feel like we’re on holiday (Clint). The best thing about living here is the sense of community, feeling safe, and the guinea fowl and peacocks (Taryn). My favourite room is the lounge – that’s where we’re all together (Taryn); our bedroom – it has always been a dream of mine to wake up and see the sea (Clint). My style is minimalist, modern yet homely (Taryn). What I love about the design of this house is that when I’m in the kitchen or lounge I can see the kids playing outside (Taryn). The first thing I do when I get home is hug my kids (Taryn); pull on a pair of shorts (Clint). When it comes to entertaining we’re big braaiers, all year round! (Clint) The best way to spend a weekend is chilling at home or going to local restaurant Café Roux for a bite (Taryn); an early-morning surf, breakfast at Café Roux; the afternoon at the pool, followed by a braai (Clint). My favourite way to relax is reading and watching a good movie once all my ‘chickens’ are asleep (Taryn). The place that inspires me the most is Italy (Taryn); Hawaii (Clint). This article was originally featured in the May 2012 issue of House and Leisure.