Page 1


Est. 2004, Issue 229



Winner of 10 publishing awards



decor, trends, luxury, design & real estate



Camps Bay

Tara Whiting & Marius Botha of Acquire Africa discuss the pivotal role of a buyer’s agent

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Contents DECOR





Marcelle Roberts of





Q & A with Victoria Verbaan

Café 1999 on her latest

of the Smoking Daxi

venture, new dining gems,

Tau Game Lodge in Madikwe

Stylish loft apartments in

fame, quirky decor items,

business lunch takeaways

Game Reserve

Knysna, the Eastern Cape’s

delightfully functional objets

and delightful reads

d’art, and a speedy hob







On-trend storage solutions

Our new book review slot,

for living rooms, kitchens,

plus all the hot happenings

home offices, bedrooms

to pencil into your diary

and bathrooms





page 14.


RESIDENTIAL iMbabala Forest Estate’s apartments along the South Coast, and the recently

The rising trend of living on

a stone’s throw away from

launched Bird Valley Estate

a residential wine estate

the beach

TRUE TO FORM Top architects talk





COMMERCIAL New A-grade office space on Umhlanga Ridge, and

Michael Viljoen’s

Seardel’s all-modern New

comprehensive design

Germany Industrial Park

strategies that put businesses on the map



THE RISE OF THE BUYER’S AGENT Guest editors Tara Whiting and Marius Botha of Acquire


Africa on the benefits of

The View Boutique Hotel

getting a buyer’s agent on

& Spa, Amanzimtoti’s

your side

best-kept secret


the Pretoria CBD

to luxurious minimalism,

trendy trinkets

Bay home. Full story on

glamorous Durbanites

perfect location, new luxury

appliances to


investment opportunities in

A Camps Bay home’s ode


accessories, from

Prime Property – Camps

residential development, and

Hitting the town with


The latest in wine


first Green Star-rated



contemporary design


A treat for senses and soul –



AFRICA Our new section dedicated

New indulgent places to

to investment, real estate,

visit and gorgeous products

news and leisure on, and

to discover

from, the African continent

January 2012 | 1


THE PROPERTY MAGAZINE ONLINE VISIT Browse for the latest features. Photograph Grant Difford

FOLLOW US on Facebook and Twitter: SUBSCRIBE Call 0860 100 203 to learn more about our special subscription offer.

I – Improve, Innovate, Inspire 3

As we welcome in the new year, it’s not unusual to look back at the year gone by and examine its gifts as well as its disappointments. The Property Magazine abides by five pillars – Decor, Trends, Luxury, Design and Real Estate. How did these areas fare in 2011? With regards to property, we definitely experienced some market stabilisation, with careful yet steady growth, pockets of excellence, and adjustment in areas where there had previously been overpricing. We noticed that buyers and sellers had more knowledge and were better informed.There was also a noticeable decline in the number of registered real estate agents in the marketplace, which may have been the result of the introduction of mandatory qualifications. It was an extremely successful year in terms of decor and design, with the biggest coup being our Mother City being named World Design Capital 2014. And when it came to trendsetting, no one did it better than Table Mountain, by

087 230 0101

donning its best tablecloth and earning the title of Seventh New Natural Wonder of the World. And finally, even luxury had its place. While many of the world’s economies were still trying to shake off the recession, South Africa saw numerous new restaurants, shops and hotels opening their doors across the country and proving that entrepreneurship is still thriving and that South Africans are still spending. I hope that in 2012 we continue along the path of ‘I3’ – to Improve, to Innovate and to Inspire. Wishing all of our readers a very happy and prosperous New Year!

Nicky Manson, Editor

This month, I would love to splurge on …

Evian’s limited-edition Issey Miyake bottle. Celebrate

A bowl from the Peretti Collection. Using a traditional

This delightful, quirky teapot from Staub. A gorgeous

the end of 2011 and the start of 2012 with this inspiring

Italian sand-casting method, Peretti creates these

accessory for any countertop, the Staub La Theiere

bottle that takes its cue from a shimmering flower, a

bowls from 100% hand-beaten aluminium and sand.

teapot is made from enamelled cast iron and comes

symbol of youth. It will make a welcome addition to

And thanks to their individual finishes, all the bowls are

in a range of colours. Available from Kitchen Passion

any summer party.


stores nationwide.

2 | January 2012


IF ONLY YOU COULD TEST-DRIVE AN INSURANCE POLICY. It would certainly solve a lot of problems. No more worrying whether a policy is right for you or whether it will perform when you need it to perform. But until that day comes, you can be assured that at Santam, we provide personal insurance that leaves no doubt and gives certainty that, if something happens, you’re covered. Solid, reliable cover that others have test-driven for you. Santam. Insurance good and proper. Visit, call 0860 726 826 or your broker or SMS “Santam” to 37567*. Santam is an authorised financial services provider (licence number 3416). *Standard SMS rates and T&Cs apply.

22384-R_"Car"_340x245_Eng.indd 1

2011/12/12 4:29 PM

Property EDITORIAL Editor Nicky Manson KwaZulu-Natal Bureau Chief Anne Schauffer Senior Subeditor Yaron Blecher Features Writers Genevieve Fisher (Western Cape) André Fiore (KwaZulu-Natal) Staff Writer Catherine Riley ART Art Director Warren Uytenbogaardt Senior Designers Keverne Morland, Trudine Scannell Freelance Designer Ingrid Taylor Senior Retoucher Tim Lake CONTRIBUTORS Candace King, Tammy Sutherns PHOTOGRAPHERS Sally Chance, Riekert Cloete, Erik Förster, Adam Letch, Grant Pitcher, Shirley Williams PRINTING Unity Press ADVERTISING Sales & Marketing Director Shanee Smart Gauteng Sales Anine Ehlers, Wilhelm Odendaal, Sarah Steadman Western Cape Regional Sales & Marketing Manager Michèle Jones Western Cape Sales Tharien Nel, Justin Lyons KwaZulu-Natal Regional Sales & Marketing Manager Jenni McCallum KwaZulu-Natal Sales Assistant Sonja Ackerman Directory Sales Amanda Faas Media Coordinator Cindy Comer Traffic Assistant Portia Mbele PUBLISHED BY MEDIA NOVA (PTY) LTD Managing Director Tony Vaughan PA to Managing Director Taryn Townsend General Manager Mark Pettipher Associate Publisher Namibia Mynard Slabbert Circulation Director Vanessa Marks Finance Manager Leanne Cox Finance Assistant Samantha Reinke Credit Controller Anthea Odendaal Debtors Clerk Assistant Logan Caswell IT Coordinator Adrian Petro Drivers Willem September, Themba Gumede, Joseph Khoza

SAPOA Property Journalism Awards 2011: Winner – Best Property Publication Nedbank Property Association Awards 2010: Winner – Mover & Shaker Award (Tony Vaughan) PICA Awards 2009: Winner – Special Award, Overall Publishing Excellence PICA Awards 2008: Winner – Consumer Magazines, Largely Free Distribution, and Highly Commended: Editorial Excellence, Public Interest Writer of the Year (Ed Suter) 20th SAB Environmentalist of the Year & Environmental Journalists of the Year Awards 2008: Winner – Merit Award, Print & Internet SAPOA Property Journalism Awards 2008: Winner – Best Property Publication, and Special Mention – Property Feature Journalist (Ed Suter) PICA Awards 2007: B2B – Publishing Excellence, Leisure Mondi Magazine Awards 2005: Winner – Foresight SAPPI PICA Awards 2005: Winner – Philip Tyler Trophy for Innovation in Magazine Publishing Brandhouse Media Owners Challenge Awards 2005:Winner – Innovation in Publishing SAPPI PICA Awards 2005: B2B – Highly Commended Mondi Magazine Awards 2004: Industry – Finalist Launch Edition: April 2004

WESTERN CAPE 3rd Floor, 33 Bree Street, Cape Town, 8001. PO Box 50601, The Waterfront, Cape Town 8002; Phone +27 (0)87 230 0101 Fax +27 (0)21 421 7891 GAUTENG 49 6th Street, Parkhurst, Johannesburg, 2193. Phone +27 (0)87 230 0101

DISTRIBUTION ABC Audited National Circulation – Total Circulation, Jul.–Sept. 2011: 59 926 AMPS (2011A) Audited Readership: 287 815 THE PROPERTY MAGAZINE KWAZULU-NATAL DISTRIBUTION 4 477 copies to luxury outlets: 8 935 copies free-to-home in the following The Boat House areas (including residential estates): The Vineyard on Ballito Berea Zimbali Lodge Musgrave Fairways Lodge Morningside Teremok Marine Windermere La Bordello Beverly Hills Madeline Grove B & B Cowies Hill The Palms Guest House Waterfall/Kloof Essenwood House Hillcrest The Balmoral Maytime Phezulu Game Estate Upper Umhlanga The Royal Hotel Lower Umhlanga Riverside Hotel & Spa Upper La Lucia Sica’s Guest House Lower La Lucia The Westville Hotel Prestondale Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel Broadway Quarters Hotel Mount Edgecombe The Manor House Hilton Fairway Guest House Wembley Docklands Hotel Ballito Umdloti

The Property Magazine is now available on all domestic and international Air Namibia flights! NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION Retail: CNA Exclusive Books (select stores) Spar Clicks Woolworths (select stores) Airport-based retailers

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION Select services Showrooms Industry-related businesses and events Namibia-specific distributions

FREE VIP DISTRIBUTION – NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL Airlines and Luxury Railways (Rovos Rail) HRG Rennies Travel Premier Club Lounges South African Airways – Domestic & International Lounges Cape Aviation Business Centre BIDAir Premier Lounges

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Plus free distribution to VIPs in these sectors: Property Media Advertising Marketing National and local government-related industries

EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES General Society Hot Property Published monthly in three regional issues: Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal Current ABC Audited Circulation (Q3 2011, July–September): Western Cape – 22 734, Gauteng – 23 468, KwaZulu-Natal – 13 724, Total Nationally – 59 926 Web Stats: Property Club Members – 24 884 AMPS Audited National Readership (2011A): 287 815

National Readership

287 815

ON THIS MONTH’S COVERS Gauteng: The Grove, Namibia, +264 61 254 972/3 Western Cape: Prime Property, Camps Bay Home KwaZulu-Natal: Prime Property, Camps Bay Home Disclaimer The publisher and editor of this magazine give no warranties, guarantees or assurances and make no representations regarding any goods or services advertised within this edition. Copyright Media Nova (Pty) Limited. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any form without prior written consent from Media Nova (Pty) Limited. The publishers are not responsible for any unsolicited material.


AMPS (2011A) Audited Readership

REGIONAL CIRCULATION The Property Magazine – KwaZulu-Natal The Property Magazine – Gauteng The Property Magazine – Western Cape The Property Magazine – Combined

ABC Audited National Circulation (Jul.–Sept. 2011) 13 724 23 468 22 734 59 926

You tell us Property involves us all. What’s your view? Email BIG IN JAPAN I think it was a great idea of yours to do a travel piece on Japan, especially at a time when I would think they need all the positive representation they can get. The Japanese are some of the most hospitable people in the world, so I can imagine that holidaying in Japan would involve top service all the way. Thanks for shedding some light on an overlooked skiing holiday spot. Malcolm Shrieb, Northcliff

LETTER o f the Month

Our�hallmark�is�the�unwavering�commitment�we have�to�designing�environments�that�shape�the�way people�live,�learn,�work,�and�play.

DOT ORG The new summer menu at Gingko in Parkview is fantastic! I have tried their frittatas as well as their new organic burger and they’re both delicious. It’s so hard to find restaurants that serve organic food. Thanks for the heads-up. Organic is the way to go! Sharon Oosthuizen, Rosebank


NAUTICAL NICETIES I particularly enjoyed your ‘Lap of Luxury’ article. It’s fascinating how certain people spend their days. The boating life sounds like wanderlust! But it’s good to know that water lovers without boats have options – the charters sound like fun. David Jackson, Midrand

hans coetzee

TRADE ROUTE The Kuoni Fair Trade Garden Route Tour is a great way to regulate the international trade in tourism services and it will definitely benefit our country. Jackie Hart, Camps Bay

TICKLED PINK I just wanted to say thank you so much for my beautiful bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rosé in its pink fridge. You don’t understand how much I appreciate this beautiful gift. I will treasure it forever and it will always remind me of The Property Magazine. You’ve made my day, my week and my Christmas. I just cannot believe I won! Lynn Nagel

WINNING LETTER Write to us and you could win a case of Waterkloof Circle of Life Red 2009! Circle of Life wines embody the ongoing cycle of nature at Waterkloof Estate’s amphitheatre of vineyards on the outskirts of the Helderberg winelands. Made from biodynamically farmed grapes and only natural yeasts, the wine has low sulphur levels. Waterkloof Circle of Life Red 2009’s strong flavours are the result of the estate’s site-specific vineyard blocks, some of which rise up to 300m above sea level. Notes of spice and cassis dominate this classic wine, with soft, juicy fruit following through. The wine ages well. +27 (0)21 858 1292,

architect Commercial Industrial Residential Tel: 031�566�5750 Fax:�031�566�0007 Mobile:�+27�83�650�9775 Web: E-mail�:










There was simply no other option but to call this establishment ‘The View Boutique Hotel & Spa’


dmittedly, there’s always a slight

nothing. The spacious suites offer hand-carved

Dermalogica menu and Lilian Terry wraps, this

sense of apprehension when

beds, lovely linen, spa baths and balconies that

too is as good as it gets. The spa offers a wide

checking into places named after

open onto birdsong, sea views and vast skies.

selection of holistic treatments that include

to offer. This was one of those occasions. Until, after winding through the tight ‘Hot Property’ words André Fiore The View photographs Sally Chance

Barely a year old, the restaurant, Giorgio’s,

the views and horizons they claim

named after father and son, George and Giorgio, has already won the Diners Club Gold

scrubs, massages, hydrotherapy, steam baths and the lovely vitality pool. And then there is the staff. When a

streets in the Doon Heights hillside above

award for its wine list and a Fabulous Food

team is truly content, it sets the tone at any

Amanzimtoti, we arrived, and drank in the full

Award from the AA.

establishment. The team at the View was

Giorgio’s also flaunts that just-right

impact of the View.

flawless. Not only were the members well

combination: a totally unpretentious and

trained, friendly and helpful, but also the extra

Indian Ocean worked like an instant dose of

relaxed atmosphere, luxurious decor –

attention and apt comments were impressive.

relaxation. The angles and height made it

sumptuous seating, wooden floors, chandeliers

only more spectacular. And then there was

– and a wide terrace for starlit dining. The

for guests, caters for small, specialised

the vision of those who belong to the View

menu is recognised for its fillets and its fusion

weddings and has conference facilities for up

Boutique Hotel & Spa. A treasure in itself.

dining, and Giorgio’s is packed with very loyal

to 50 people. All at reasonable rates.

The 180 blissful degrees of rolling blue

The View is a family-run venture that

locals on its Designer Pizza Saturday nights. The latest addition is the spa, gloriously

started off with the hotel component. This has grown and evolved dramatically over 18 years,

decked out in pearls and silvers, with an

has a five-star rating, and skimps on absolutely

occasional pop of pink. With its extensive

This venue also has two swimming pools

Those who know it say it’s Amanzimtoti’s best-kept secret. They’re so right.

+27 (0)31 903 1556,

Plush furnishings and wooden floors at Giorgio’s. 2The hotel’s namesake – need we say more?


Visit for more


A little decadence at the spa. 4The honeymoon suite opens onto a private pool. 5The spa is

boutique hideaways.

sumptuously decorated in pearls and silvers.

January 2012 | 7



New dining gems, business lunch takeaways and delightful reads

MARCELLE ROBERTS (left) is the wizard in the kitchen of Café 1999 and now in Unity Brasserie and Bar’s too!

Q What’s your background? I trained at Christina Martin School of Food and Wine in 1998, and thereafter spent a year in London and Guernsey working in fine-dining restaurants. Back in SA, I worked as front-of-house manager at La Tala restaurant at Tala Game Reserve, and then opened a small restaurant, Merlot, in Pietermaritzburg. Two years later I started at Café 1999.

Q What makes your food extraordinary?

I have a lot of fun and really love cooking! I can stand and cook all day long. I read loads of food magazines, and keep up with the seasons. I love local produce and have built up a good relationship with local suppliers. Fresh ingredients are very important. Hard work is also a big part of it, as your restaurant effectively becomes your second home.

Q Where do you eat out?

I haven’t travelled much in the last three years, but I love restaurants such as Haiku in Cape Town, and Bread & Wine in Franschhoek. Locally, some favourites are 9th Ave Bistro, and Bel Punto.

United shades

Introducing a dollop of light-hearted fun to the Kloof and Waterfall areas, Colour Café offers inviting decor designed by Kevin Boyd and a fabulously colourful menu by Lucy Markowitz. With lights conjured out of broomsticks, big chairs to lounge in, a kids’ corner

Q The most important thing when running a restaurant?

and dishy presentation, it’s guaranteed to make you smile. Feeling lazy? Colour Café caters for functions and does daily takeaway meals too. +27 (0)31 762 1105; +27 (0)78 448 9922,

Planning, hygiene and consistency.

Q What made you open a second restaurant next door? We’ve been in Silvervause Centre for 10 years and the current Unity site has been empty (and an eyesore) for three of them. It was very much an impulse thing, and when the landlord said ‘yes’, my husband, Sean, and I just had to go for it! Café 1999 is more of a fine-dining establishment with an award-winning wine list, whereas Unity is a relaxed bar and bistro. +27 (0)31 202 3406,; +27 (0)31 201 3470

Culinary collaboration Three heads are better than one, as Savour so

deliciously proves. Written by Marc Hirschowitz, Karen Alsfine and Estelle Sacharowitz, this extraordinary cookbook is as much for the enthusiastic foodie as it is for those with an appreciation of exquisite photography, fine design and presentation that pops off the page. With the link between words and food highlighted in quirky chapter headings, such as ‘Slurp’, ‘Sizzle’ and ‘Spread’, the authors have carved out their own ‘literal gastronomy’ niche. Savour is published by Random House Struik, retails at R350 and is out now. +27 (0)21 460 5400,

8 | January 2012



Ballito’s little Italy

With space to spread out and unwind, the newly launched Gianni’s Ristorante on Ballito’s beachfront offers a wide-open deck from which to soak up the best of both worlds – Indian Ocean views and great Med flavours, from a generous range of pizzas and pastas to steaks, fish and seafood. Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. +27 (0)32 946 3217

Hang out

Newly opened Peg Café in Steven Dlamini (Essenwood) Road is hitting the mark with its all-round good-quality meals and coffees presided over by a full-time chef and barista. ‘This is a simple, easy spot where everyone from grannies to 14 year olds finds it tempting to chill,’ says owner Greg Parry. Also on the menu are Peg surfboards, skateboards and clothing, all specially imported for the brand. +27 (0)31 201 7314,

Green lunch feasts packed to go

Southern Sun Hotels has launched a treat for hasty business travellers. Available from all Southern Sun hotels, MyLunch is a wholesome all-day takeaway meal made up of the freshest ingredients, including a sandwich of choice, a barley-based salad, a snack bar, two fruits, a fruit juice, a water and fresh vegetable crudités with a dip. Packed on the day, MyLunch is for businesspeople who do not have time to plan for lunch. The elegant packaging is eco-friendly and compostable. It’s made from Rock Paper, a 100% treeless material created from natural stone and inorganic mineral powder with a non-toxic resin. +27 (0)31 362 1300,

Justin Bonello Cooks … for Friends

We love this new book from Justin Bonello. Fresh, arty layout with fabulous food pics and great anecdotal happy snaps cook up a visual feast for the eyes. Photos this good can only mean the meals are just as superb. Delicious recipes include messy chocolate sushi (yum), bunny chow, and ostrich fillet covered in peppercorns. Learn how to feed a fellow scuba diver by cooking crab in pumpkin leaves right on the beach. The Prego roll recipe requires a passport and a smattering of Portuguese as it guides you to Moz to find the world’s best Prego. Quirky stories and gorgeous graphics make this a must-read. Memorise and then share with mates, à la Justin. Available at all reputable bookstores nationwide. +27 (0)11 327 3550,

January 2012 | 9



Quirky decor items, delightfully functional objets d’art, and a speedy hob

VICTORIA VERBAAN and her Smoking Daxi

The world of

is filled with whimsical, quirky artwork, illustrations and products.

Q Where did it all begin? I studied fine art at Michaelis and art direction at the Red & Yellow School. Art has always been my escape into a fantastical, humorous world. It elicits a warm and comforting feeling. I worked in publishing, then fashion retail, always freelancing on the side with my art, supplying certain galleries and illustrating for local magazines. My work is the place where I have fun. And the desire to forever be creative is what pushes and excites me every day.

Q Your style of illustration is quite distinctive. Tell us about it.


My work is continuously evolving. It’s

as table, floor or wall lights and come in antique bronze and silver finishes too.

taken years to find the style I’m now

Available from La Grange Interiors. +27 (0)31 566 1137,

Take tradition, give it a modern twist and you have these hot little lamps in matt black metal. Suitable for a contemporary or classic look, these numbers are available

comfortable working in – it’s always been very detailed, fairy-tale-like and fictional. Contradiction, fashion, nature, emotion – without being too serious. I look at a lot of ‘content’. Anything, anywhere, anytime. Books, blogs, magazines, a face, colours, nature, cheap bits and bobs, the shopfront window at Bergdorf, surrealism, and of course, Roald Dahl.

Q The business side of it – how does that work?

Everything falls under Victoria Verbaan or Victoria Verbaan & the Smoking Daxi. I try to keep things as simple and clean as possible so that everyone wins.

Q Where to from here? It would be my ultimate to have a stand-

– so that when you step into it, you’re

Like magic

transported to another world.

and accessories. The great news is that Magis is now represented in KZN by Union 3. Embracing

+27 (0)82 896 0282,

the creativity of leading global designers, such as Jasper Morrison, Ron Arad and the Bouroullec

Brothers (their Steelwood chair is shown here), Magis offers the kind of glorious decor we love to

alone shop filled with everything from Daxiland – the art, fabrics, rugs, products

There’s nothing boring about Magis, an off-the-wall range of internationally applauded furniture

embrace too! +27 (0)32 946 3394,

10 | January 2012



Stack ’em high

We love these two new items – the My Mag Stool and the Z Table – by Michelle Trimborn, owner of Cape- based firm, Design Quarters. The My Mag Stool lets you convert your piles of old magazines into

Vintage cool

a bespoke and functional piece of furniture. It has a wooden base

We’ve always had a thing for vinyl wall stickers – they can change

solid timber and is Duco-sprayed in a range of vibrant colours. It’s

the look and feel of any room. Kids’ rooms are great canvases for

also available in pastels and muted tones. Design Quarters delivers

wall stickers, as they are private enclaves that stimulate your little

nationwide. +27 (0)21 801 6680,

to support the pile of magazines, leather straps to keep them neatly in place and a linen cushion on top. The striking Z Table is made of

ones’ imaginations. De Waal Art’s new collection, Vintage Kids, will definitely add a touch of enchantment to any child’s room with its character motifs recalling children’s nursery rhymes and stories. De Waal Art delivers nationally and internationally. +27 (0)83 445 2301,

Carrol in Wonderland

Hob to it

In February, Miele’s new range of ceramic hobs, the ExtraSpeed KM 6230, with its clean, linear design, is set to hit the market.

Carrol Boyes bases all her sculptures on drawings that she has

The new technologies in this range allow for extremely short

accumulated in her sketchbooks for more than 30 years. At the

heat-up times for quick cooking and added convenience. This

urgings of her stepdaughters, Kim and Martine, Carrol has now

innovation is achieved via the HiLight radiant heater elements,

transferred the best of these images to her Sketchbook Collection of

which heat the ExtraSpeed hob up to 23% faster than Miele’s

functional porcelain homeware. The four distinctive styles are named

previous ranges of hobs. Available from various outlets across

‘Contemplation’, ‘Oh, My!’, ‘Let’s Face It!’ and ‘Wishful Thinking’. Use

KZN, including Hirsch’s Umhlanga. +27 (0)31 570 4000,

the sets for dinner parties or display them in a suitably posh cabinet at; +27 (0)31 584 6929,

home. +27 (0)31 572 2846,

January 2012 | 11



New indulgent places to visit and gorgeous products to discover



The Clarens Country House is a century-old stone sheep shed that

Designed to contour, shape, slim and firm your body,

has been transformed into a luxury self-catering guesthouse of five

Miraclesuit’s sexy swimwear brings the glamour of the red

individually themed suites. Its thick walls make it a cool summer retreat

carpet to beaches and pool decks. Aquatic blue makes its

and a cosy winter refuge. The Bosman Suite is ideal for families and

debut, while prints include black-and-white patterns, exotic

houses a collection of drawings from The Illustrated Bosman by the

tribal and floral prints, sophisticated skin prints and the new

proprietor, Peter Badcock-Walters. There’s also an in-house nutritionist, so

red leopard print. +27 (0)82 883 3991;

guests leave feeling lighter and brighter. +27 (0)82 449 2082

IN GOOD TASTE Body cream with a conscience just got delicious now that Éminence has arrived in SA. Éminence offers a range of certified-organic creams, masks, scrubs and lotions that are pure enough to eat and are made from ingredients such as tempting papaya, chocolate and champagne. With the lowest possible carbon footprint emanating from its importation, this is a range of beauty products to feel and look good about. Available from In Sense Organic Spa. +27 (0)39 315 7315,

WIND DOWN Camelot Spa at Peermont Mondazur Hotel in San Lameer is one of the very latest spa offerings on the South Coast. It not only offers you a fabulous spa experience, but also magnificent lagoon views. The highlight of the spa is the Rasul chamber. There’s also a stateof-the-art gym with a Pilates and Zumba studio. +27 (0)39 313 0642,

HONEY, SPICE AND ALL THINGS NICE Recently launched on a global scale, the new Drambuie 15 is the subtler, smoother, more sophisticated version of the original Drambuie that was created more than 260 years ago exclusively for Prince Charles Edward Stuart of Scotland. The more refined Number 15’s key ingredients are the finest selection of 15-year-old Speyside malts, infused with a secret recipe of herbs, spices and heather honey, to create a fine malt whisky. Available from selected liquor stores nationwide.

12 | January 2012





History of a Champagne This book by Gerhard Steidl will rest well with history buffs and champagne aficionados alike. It tells the story of Dom Pérignon – the champagne and its creator. It follows the sparkling golden liquid’s history, starting with its birth during the reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV, in 17th-century France. The Sun King and the champagne’s creator, Père Pierre Pérignon, were born just months apart in the same year, 1638, and their fates would be entwined forever. Dom Pérignon was named after its creator, unusual because in those days, and still today, wines are usually named after their terrain. Dom Pérignon got its first taste of fame when it was served at King Louis’ great parties at court. That was the beginning of Dom’s rise to fortune, and through the centuries the champagne has quenched the thirst of royalty at court and celebrities on movie sets. Said to be the favourite tipple of Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich, the champagne has enjoyed being the toast of society and continues to be so to this day. This book is an ode to champagne, and with its rich illustrations and photographs, it reads like an interesting history lesson with the odd flirtation with fame and fortune.;

Midmar Mile 2012, 11–12 February The 39th Midmar Mile, the world’s biggest open-water swim event, has received an enormous boost from Martin Strel, aka ‘Big River Man’, who has confirmed his intention to swim in the race. Born in Slovenia in 1954, Martin holds successive Guinness World Records for swimming the Danube, the Mississippi, the Yangtze and the Amazon rivers (a record-breaking distance of 5 268km – wider than the Atlantic Ocean). He prepares himself for a long-distance swim for over a year and a half and it usually takes him six to seven months to recover physically. His motto is, ‘Swimming for peace, friendship and clean waters’. The 50-member men’s and women’s 8-Mile Club are also swimming on both days, aiming to beat their record charity amount of R1 million, raised last year. Entry fees range from R110 to R250, depending on the category entered. Entries close on 23 January. The Midmar Mile is sponsored by aQuellé. +27 (0)33 341 0790,

KZNSA Members’ Exhibition, Red, 17 January – 4 February

moderate-to-hard point race, it begins with

which dealt with the power of the arts to

2km of cross-country running through the

advance global health. The new exhibition’s

This much-awaited exhibition being held at

graveyards of Isandlwana, and about 1km

title indicates that SA is now considered to be

the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts (KZNSA)

before the race’s end, runners enjoy exquisite

in the post-treatment phase of the epidemic

Gallery encourages loose interpretation and

views of the Buffalo River and the battlefields

but still faces many challenges. The exhibition

exploration of the topic ‘red’. It presents

of Rorke’s Drift. Walkers and strollers are

features artists and collectives from SA and

an excellent opportunity for artists, new or

welcome to participate. Entry is R50. Contact

other countries, such as the US and India.

experienced, to be part of an exhibition that

Paul Garner. +27 (0)34 212 1931

+27 (0)33 392 2800,

by the KZNSA. The public is encouraged to

The A.R.T. Show: Reclaiming Lives, until 29 January

Suncoast Whisky Club, 9 February

attend and spend!

On at the Tatham Art Gallery in

For all whisky connoisseurs and rookies, the

+27 (0)31 277 1705,

Pietermaritzburg, the exhibition is organised

monthly Suncoast Whisky Club is the perfect

by the Make Art Stop Aids programme and

opportunity to taste some of the finest

jointly curated by Durban’s Carol Brown and

whiskies while enjoying a three-course dinner

Professor David Gere from the Department

and views of the ocean. Ideal for couples,

In commemoration of the legendary battles

of World Art and Cultures at the University

friends and corporate events, the club kicks off

fought in Rorke’s Drift, runners cover about

of California. This show developed from an

at 7 p.m. Tickets are R150 a head.

20km of this scenic terrain. Rated as a

earlier South African exhibition, Not Alone,

0861 915 8000,

features diverse works. Prizes are awarded to the top works, as judged by a panel nominated

Isandlwana Rorke’s Drift Half-Marathon, 21 January

Send your 2012 event information to January 2012 | 13



Words Genevieve Fisher Photographs Adam Letch

14 | January 2012


prime property

A Camps Bay home sets the benchmark for contemporary minimalism, where every corner has been expertly thought out and designed to retain sleek congruent lines throughout

January 2012 | 15

prime property

“For me the most rewarding part of working on this home was the amazing grace, commitment and level of engagement of the clients.�

16 | January 2012

prime property

Opening page Street view of the home that architect Greg Wright says afforded him the opportunity to explore ways of articulating a simple rectangular box with the use of a framed steel element that defines the face of the building to the street edge. Opposite The main bedroom which looks out onto its own patio with views of the sea. This page, above Greg explains that the floating concrete staircase makes the transition from the entrance of the home to the upper level into a layered, multifaceted experience incorporating natural elements of water, light, and earthy textures.


he first thing you notice about this Camps Bay home, a stone’s throw away from the bustling beachfront, is how peaceful and quiet it is compared to the summer mania outside. The double-volume spaces of this two-storey home face onto the sea, and the light illuminates the stark white concrete and marble interiors ethereally. Something else that stands out is the lack of clutter. This is a home where minimalism rules and everything else obeys – no picture frames, vases or knick-knacks anywhere. The only things that sparkle, apart from the light, are the marble, concrete, stainless steel and glass that swathe the home every which way you look. ‘The brief from the client, a successful couple, called for a home that suited their lifestyle and provided a private calm sanctuary that was voluminous, took advantage of the beachfront views, was simple and uncluttered by detail and comprised of straight lines,’ says Greg  Wright, principal architect on this project and director of Greg Wright Architects. It is a sign of design genius when the bones and finishes of a home are its crowning glory and none of the usual interior soft furnishings are added to round the spaces off. But ‘round’ is an adjective you’d

be hard-pressed to use when describing this home, where it’s all about angles, clean lines and symmetry. Federico Pastor, associate architect at Greg Wright Architects, was the assistant project architect who was brought on to see the home through to completion. He says,‘The brief that Greg got from the client sounds contradictory – “complex simplicity” – but after the construction had begun and many consultations between Greg and the clients had taken place, this notion of complex simplicity began to present itself.’ So what does an architect do with such a brief? Well, according to Federico, it is one that is also informed by a maxim in architectural circles, that often what looks like clean, exceptionally simple design is actually the most complicated to execute, and execute well. ‘What most people don’t realise is that most of the time clean angular spaces that look simple are very intricate and require a lot of mathematical calculations to get them right,’ he says. One of the design features of this house that required such expert calculation of angles was the windows that capture the views around Camps Bay. ‘When construction began, we realised that there weren’t only views of the sea from the site, but also of

the surrounding mountains. To capture them we had to be very specific in the calculations of the windows and strategic in their placement, so although you get the sea views from the open-plan living area, which flows onto a patio, we also put in windows at the top of the back wall for the living area to capture the views of the Twelve Apostles. From the main bedroom you can see Lion’s Head from the bed, and when in the bath or shower in the en-suite bathroom, you can see Table Mountain,’ he says. This balance between exposing the surrounding vistas contrasts well with the concealment of the home’s functionalities, creating the sleek, minimalist aesthetic. This was part of the design strategy conceptualised by Greg, who spent a lot of time with the clients, getting to know them and understanding their needs, likes and dislikes. It was a strategy that, according to Federico, was at worst, difficult, and at best, inspiring. ‘Every corner of the house was a challenge. Simplicity is difficult, as you have to hide a multitude of design sins. What’s more, the client wanted all lines to be symmetrical – even the toilets are square, and the door handles and light switches are a design match,’ he says.

January 2012 | 17

prime property

Above left The main en-suite bathroom with views of the Twelve Apostles. Above right The bridge from the main living area on the second floor to the main bedroom, with the courtyard below on the left. Opposite The view from the driveway of the house clearly indicates the elemental nature of the materials used – slabs of limestone, and translucent stainless steel mesh within the raw steel frame – an experiment, says Greg, in letting the building age as the materials do.

This remarkable strategy of ‘concealment’ carries through the rest of the house too. Fortunately for me, Federico was there to point out the hidden features. On the second floor are the open-plan living area (kitchen and dining and TV rooms) and the master bedroom with en-suite bathroom. The kitchen’s stark stainless-steel cabinetry and marble countertops extend to a back scullery that is closed off by a black glass sliding door so that visitors and guests don’t see it.The lines, angles and materials are a continuation of the exposed half of the kitchen.The master bedroom is framed by views of Lion’s Head and a patio facing the sea. Separating bedroom from bathroom is a concrete slab. The cupboards are his and hers and feature the same sliding glass as is found in the scullery. There are no exposed light fittings either – all have been hidden to moody effect. The lower level of the house is comprised of two bedrooms with bathrooms en suite, an entrance with a water feature and a stone courtyard with a single elegant Ginkgo biloba tree, as well as a laundry room and wine cellar. Federico says, ‘Security and privacy were important to the client when it came to the lower level. Ventilation was also a concern, so we decided on a central courtyard that both rooms and bathrooms overlook, but have shutters to create privacy.’ Minimalism and concealment on this level

18 | January 2012

are achieved through such detailing as shower drains with special coverings and the lack of handles on bathroom consoles. The wine cellar’s front wall is of the same black glass used throughout, and its door doesn’t have a handle or visible lock (it’s tucked in under the door), cleverly concealing the established wine collection within. But the linearity of the home belies an exuberant tactility. Greg says the brief called for all materials to be simple, done in a monochromatic palette and allowed to ‘speak for themselves’. Upon entering the home on the lower level, you are met by a floating concrete staircase directly ahead, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows to your right. To your left is a cast concrete wall with a water feature at its base. Bouncing off all these surfaces is light. The look is elemental, to say the least. The interiors, by Limeline, also tie in with the brief, through their interesting mix of materials and textures. The team’s biggest challenge yielded one of the most rewarding results. The clients didn’t want any joinery or seams to show, especially not in the floor. ‘We had to have many samples made up for them to approve.We ended up going for solid polished concrete

slabs on both levels, which was very complicated to achieve as we had to consider waterproofing,’ says Federico. The result is seamless concrete floors made up of two layers sandwiching a waterproof layer, but all the untrained eye will see is a clean, smooth surface, with not one joining line visible. Admiring the total effect, you realise just how much thought went into the design of this house and that despite the overriding minimalism it has its own warmth, something that the owner and his wife admit that they came to appreciate only after they had moved in. ‘We were amazed at the applied artistry and creativity of the different elements. We loved the fact that it fitted our brief of simple minimalism and linearity, without feeling cold and stark,’ says the client. Greg says, ‘For me the most rewarding part of working on this home was the amazing grace, commitment and level of engagement of the clients. They are the perfect clients!’ And what do the clients have to say about living in a design masterpiece? Well, according to them, they are amazed at the outcome, particularly it’s sense of space: ‘It’s not a mansion, but the light and feeling of spaciousness certainly makes it feel like one.’

With thanks to … Greg Wright Architects, +27 (0)21 465 9775,

prime property

January 2012 | 19



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20 | January 2012

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House of trees

Words Anne Schauffer Photographs Grant Pitcher

The trees’ life force was the design impetus behind this naturally stylish, luxuriously liveable home on Simbithi Eco-Estate on the North Coast


wners Celia and Graeme Davis chose the site for its wealth of existing trees, and of the 17 or so which textured and shaped their landscape, 99% of them were retained. So passionate were they about the trees’ forming an integral part of their new home that, after collaborating on the design with architect Mabette Vermaak, Graeme and Celia spent hours marking out the footprint, ‘walking the house’. ‘They ensured’ says Mabette, ‘that we fitted on to, and in between, our tree markers as we’d planned on paper.’ To stress the

point, Celia says, ‘Even though the property was fully fenced, we cordoned off the structural footprint so as to protect the trees and created only one access point for the builders. The massive steel roof beams had to be carried individually onto the site. Designwise, half the lounge and a third of the patio outside the kitchen was cantilevered, so the trees’ roots didn’t interfere with the home’s foundations.’ No trees were harmed in the making of this home … Mabette was the architect, but insists it wasn’t a solo act – homeowner and project manager Graeme,

MD of Stedone Homes, meshed his engineering skills with Mabette’s design skills, and the plans for House Davis left the drawing board to become a home. Simbithi, like most high-end estates, has an architectural language within which homeowners have to work. For Celia and Graeme, their treed terrain connected perfectly with the various specified media, so the clean, natural look and feel they sought grew creatively and comfortably within the guidelines. The foliage not only encircles the home, but the house’s design takes cognizance of, and in some instances

January 2012 | 21


On Tap Ballito, +27 (0)32 946 2807

The Sandstone Story, +27 (0)82 339 5571

Top left On Tap is the chosen supplier for a comprehensive range of premium-quality bathroom, kitchen and plumbing ware, such as exclusive products and designer ranges, and cutting-edge plumbing supplies and hardware at affordable prices. On Tap’s established business system guarantees service excellence. Top right This Mabette Vermaak signature home has been designed with the surrounding environment at front of mind. The design incorporates modern techniques and materials that allow for unobstructed views and an open, airy feel. Above Mixed boggoms were supplied to, and installed in, this magnificent home by the Sandstone Story. The Sandstone Story offers a truly bespoke service in terms of design and the way in which its stonemasons cut and install the stone. The company supplies and installs stone nationwide as well as in other countries. RIght Concrete by Design is a specialist flooring company and the approved applicator for various producers in the cement industry. Polished concrete, exposed aggregate and in situ terrazzo are fast becoming the preferred material and look on the North Coast. Interior Edge offers a comprehensive private and corporate service for new and redesign projects. The company prefers to be involved from as early as possible and likes setting trends. Its speciality is creating clever designs with pleasing spaces that blend in with the environment.

22 | January 2012

Concrete by Design, +27 (0)83 654 0694


Stedone Homes, +27 (0)82 440 7203

Interior Edge

Interior Edge, +27 (0)82 813 3333

Ilsa van Niekerk heads up Interior Edge. She qualified with a degree in interior design from the University of Pretoria in 1987. Additional qualifications in interior decoration, computer-aided design, business management and colour integration followed. She is now a full member of the South African Institute of the Interior Design Professions. Her years of experience and her vast network of professional contacts and suppliers add to her ability to deliver what her clients want. Ilsa is also a disciplined athlete. She boasts a previous world record in stationary cycling and has completed the Comrades Marathon and three Ironman triathlons in good time. The combination of a professional qualification, an established supplier network, passion, and endurance are the ingredients for achieving the desired results. Interior Edge operates from Ilsa’s home studios in Ballito and Johannesburg. Ilsa commutes between KZN and Gauteng regularly and can undertake projects in any location. Passion makes perfect! Interior Edge focuses on detail and personal service, and its excellent reputation in the industry is travelling rapidly by word of mouth.

January 2012 | 23


Left Pringle Sawmills is a third-generation timber merchant specialising in solid wood flooring, hardwoods and laminated beams. Based in Alverstone, Durban, Pringle Sawmills strives for quality and excellence in all its product brands.

Pringle Sawmills, +27 (0)83 777 1044

gives right of way to, the twists and turns of branches and tree trunks. Landscape and home are one. For Mabette, this project spoke straight to the heart of a book by theorist Christian Norberg-Schulz, Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture: ‘In contemporary usage, genius loci usually refers to a location’s distinctive atmosphere, or a “spirit of place”.’ Mabette says, ‘Assisting Graeme and Celia with the design, I was overwhelmed by the definite existence of a “spirit of place” on this site. The challenge was to create an enclosure, a building and a home (not always the same thing), taking my cues from this “place”.’ She interpreted the cues superbly – a seamless home with no visual noise, everything clean, natural, light and calming:  ‘With the materials, we created a play of tension between raw industrial and natural finishes. The boundary between internal and external spaces becomes blurred by the use of glass facades opening up to create visual and physical flow. Simplicity was our key design principle, creating a backdrop to the amazing beauty of the nature surrounding the house.’ A great deal of focus went into the aspect of light. There are vast double-volume banks of glass and stackable doors, but only the bedrooms have blinds; the living areas are uncurtained. Just as the materials are honest, from the grain and patina of planks, slats and decking to the tree trunks and steel, so too the colour palette. Organic colours – stone, tans, greys and greens – complement the

24 | January 2012

colours and textures of concrete, wood and foliage. Interior decorator, Ilsa van Niekerk, responded to the property with great sensitivity by replicating the tones and textures of the natural, neutral shell and the surrounding landscape. Nothing jars, just as the owners wanted, but as Ilsa says, ‘It’s still essentially a work in progress, so even though “muted” is the base, we do want to introduce a few surprise colours in accessories.’ The home is clear and uncluttered. The interior design is cleanly, simply crafted, and so the few signature pieces, such as the John Vogel chairs and Heath Nash chandeliers, draw the eye as works of art. As sophisticated as the house is, there’s a playful, liberating sense of ‘tree house’ to the design. There’s little feeling that the landscape gave way to the house, but rather the opposite, and that’s amplified by the varying levels both indoors and out. Decked platforms link up to create walkways and a wonderful central courtyard, yet some platforms appear to be floating. The large, central, protected courtyard is at the heart of the home, and most rooms open up wide onto it.  At its core, a sunken boma with inviting circular seating, intimating everything we love about  Africa, yet not rustic.The home has perfect chill areas for different times of the day, different seasons, different moods, some outside, others in the partially open gazebo. Mabette is convinced that they have done justice to the spirit of this site. Who could argue?

Professionals List Concrete by Design – Cement Flooring +27 (0)83 654 0694, Ilsa van Niekerk – Interior Design +27 (0)82 813 3333 Interior Edge – Interior Design +27 (0)32 525 4636,, On Tap Ballito – Sanitaryware +27 (0)32 946 2807,, Pringle Sawmills – Timber Floors +27 (0)31 777 1044, +27 (0)83 777 1044, Mabette Vermaak – Detail Architects +27 (0)82 459 5435 The Sandstone Story – Natural Stone Ceramics, Porcelain, Cladding Tiles and Mosaics +27 (0)32 946 3249,, Stedone Homes – Builder +27 (0)32 946 2606, +27 (0)82 440 7203,


Outside the


Storage solutions aren’t mere functional requirements of a home. More often than not, they inspire and inform the aesthetic of a room Words Genevieve Fisher

STORAGE PROBLEM SOLVER Espresso Design is well known for its high-end contemporary interior solutions, including storage facilities for kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms and home offices. Manager Andrew Barr tells us what’s up, in and out when it comes to storage solutions. Storage is all about finding and accessing your stuff easily and making this practical. Top of my list for practical storage solutions are in the kitchen. Pan drawer units are essential. While they are great for pots and pans, they also offer exceptionally versatile storage for everything else, from plates to foodstuffs. Most storage mechanisms are designed to bring the contents of a cupboard out to you rather than your having to climb inside or empty the

On these pages we bring you storage solutions for living areas, bedrooms and bathrooms,

cupboard to find things. Magic larders make

kitchens and home offices. From the retro to the contemporary, these products will inspire

items more accessible, and there are several

you to think outside the box when it comes to storage solutions for your home.

different types, including units that pull out and then revolve. These units are best for smaller items, such as condiments and foodstuffs. Le Mans Magic Corner solutions are extremely popular for maximising access to those hard-to-reach places. When it comes to kitchens, it is important to remember that they are the central living

Living room lovelies

space in our homes and their design needs to allow space for everyday activities, functional items as well as the things and people we love. The latest trend is to create ultra-clean, light spaces where everything is conveniently allocated a space and where most practical items are accessible but

Kitchen confidential

hidden from view. These are combined with areas that highlight and display personal items, such as cookbooks, art, kids’ pictures, flowers and key appliances. In living room spaces, we find that customers have similar needs. They want highly stylised spaces where they can

Work from home

organise their external and internal storage very carefully as well as display their favourite things. Storage in children’s bedrooms is also becoming very innovative. As most parents know, kids’ bedrooms need storage that can absorb vast quantities of kit, but in

Bedroom banking

a way that makes it easy to find again later! Children want instant access to their favourite toys and books, so the latest designs are less about hiding stuff and more about storing it in a practical, user-friendly way. As children get older, their needs change, and so our designers have come up

Ablution revolution

with some clever solutions for incorporating extra beds, desks and so on.

January 2012 | 25


Living room lovelies

The living room is the place where guests are entertained, which is why storage here is mostly utilised to display precious family mementos that aim to enhance the interior of this room.

1. & 5. Seated shelves

This range includes various shelf modules

The Bottoni Sofa by Marcel Wanders

that can be joined together to make up

for Dutch furniture brand, Mooi, is not

eye-catching shelving units. Available

only a stylish, clean-lined sofa, but also a

from Limeline.

practical solution for storing books and

4. Iconic wood

magazines. This is dual-purpose design at

Made from birchwood, Raw Studio’s Ikonik

its best. Available from Créma Design.

range of cabinet modules is an interesting

2. Book bone

take on the original steel locker. Fully

This attractive free-standing oak Spine

modular, flexible, durable and available in

Shelf from Cape Town-based interior

a variety of prints and colours, their raw-

design store, Lim, is an unusual solution to

wood look will update your living room.

housing books, ornaments or trinkets. It


can stand alone or up against the wall or be moved around. 3. Random organisation This attractive white lacquered display cabinet and bookcase, known as the Random Box, by Neuland Design for MDF Italia, is part of the Random Shelf series.





26 | January 2012





1. Uncluttered delight

is functional and stylish and provides

The Milena Kitchen by Assirelli Design

a safe haven for your household keys,

features cabinetry with soft-closing

whether they’re for the garage, pool room

Blumotion mechanisms. While the

or the hidden sweets cupboard. Available

minimalistic look of the kitchen is retained,

from Jeeves.

deep pot drawers are used to house

4. Store cupboard surprise

big pots and pans, and there’s a further

This simple, bright mesh locker from

upper-level internal drawer for cutlery,

Vamp Furniture is a fitting storage

plates, crockery, and utensils. It helps you

solution for people who spend most

avoid the clutter that comes with having

of their day in the kitchen. No more

too many drawers and cupboard doors.

scratching around as you search for spices

2. Sleek slide

and condiments – you can see everything

It Is, by Euromobil, is a sliding storage

at a single glance.

solution with glossy black-and-white

5. Kitchen industria

lacquered doors. It hides all your unsightly

This industrial-look cabinet, called the

appliances and accessories behind a sleek

Hinge Unit, by Dokter & Misses, would

and unassuming facade. Available from

make an attractive storage cabinet in

Espresso Design.

any kitchen. We love the charcoal colour

3. Key closet

contrasted with light wooden legs and, of

The Stainless Steel Zack Geo Key Cabinet

course, the hinge handles.



Kitchen confidential

When it comes to storage in the kitchen, two main trends apply: to keep applications, utensils and functionalities hidden, and to expose your crockery and sleek appliances.

January 2012 | 27





Work from home

1. Cute perch

Home offices are becoming more and more

Not only is it cute and eye-catching, but

trendy these days, and the storage solutions

it also keeps all your most utilised work

for these home extensions are becoming

accessories, such as diaries, journals and

decidedly more design and decor focused.

stationery, in one easily accessible place.

This useful Desk Shelf by Dokter & Misses is the ideal adornment for your work desk.

2. Italian tide Presented to the public at last year’s Milan Design Week, Tide, by Zaha Hadid for Italian furniture manufacturer, Magis, is a glossy plastic shelving module that allows you to create different compositions by building and rebuilding the components to fit the space around them. The pop colours of red, black and white and the glossy finish will liven up any home office. Available from Créma Design.


3. Retro-file We love this metal filing cabinet. In line with the retro look, it’s inspired by ’70s design but has been updated with a lick of bright red paint. It will add a playful touch to your home office. Available from Vamp Furniture. 4. Power pot This multifunctional lamp, the Multipot, by Rotaliana, lights up a desk space with LED lights and acts as a container and outlet point for electronic devices. The lid has multi-outlet points for charging your devices while keeping the wires concealed. Available from ELDC. 5. For the love of doves Designed by Andries van Onck for Magis,


these Dove Baskets can be bought separately, but it’s in their union that they’re most effective as storage space for a home office. Fitted with steel wheels, these transparent units are an appealing filing and storage solution, as they can be moved around with ease. Available from Créma Design.

28 | January 2012




Bedroom banking

Bedrooms are the ultimate enclaves where we relax among our most prized and intimate possessions. Storage in this room is a fine balance between displaying and concealing these items in a way that is aesthetically pleasing



1. Walk this way

functionalities come together

Ask any woman what her

to form one multipurpose

ultimate indulgence for the

unit, as with this Easy Bedside

bedroom would be and more

Table with Sad Lamp, by

often than not she’ll say a

Adriaan Hugo for Dokter

walk-in closet. This functional

& Misses. This attractive wood,

Cabina Walk-In Wardrobe by

steel and ceramic unit with

Silenia has a timber veneer

built-in lamp is a winner.

that would convince any man

4. Reflective retro

of the importance of having

This retro Sapele mahogany

a walk-in cupboard. Available

dressing table with flip-up top

from Espresso Design.

and mirror looks like it was

2. Shelving around

taken straight off the set of

This integrated plywood

Grease. With its yellow, cream

wall storage unit by Koop

and dove-grey accents, it’s the

Design was initially designed

one that you want.

for a child’s bedroom. It’s

5. All packed up

comprised of shelves, bedside

Aside from its obvious use as

tables, dressing table and

a storage trunk, Weylandts’

desk. We think it is a great

1969 vintage chambray trunk

idea for any bedroom, no

with antiqued leather trim will

matter the age of the person

add the final touch to your

who sleeps there. We love its

bedroom when kept at the

nonconformity to vertical lines.

foot of bed. Good for storing

3. Bedside combo

linen, it can also be used as a

We love it when two design

display unit.

5 January 2012 | 29


1 1. Sanitary stacking Keep your toiletries within easy reach with these Linea brushed


stainless steel floating shelves by Zack. Available in three sizes. Get them from Jeeves. 2. Hardy yet soft The Genesis Range by Globo Ceramica is characterised by round, smooth shapes. These attractive units hide or display your bathroom products in wall-hung, semi-recessed or sit-on installations. They can even be added onto existing bathroom furniture. Note the emergence of black as a trendy colour for bathroom storage units. Available from Lavo Bathrooms. 3. On the edge Bathroom cabinetry is becoming increasingly sleek and contemporary. Bathroom design specialist, Kohler, has launched its Escale range, an angular and simple cabinet. With no visible handles, and finished in ultra-modern matt black, this range has the edge. Available from On Tap. 4. Hot rack The Tangent M heated towel rail from Jeeves is a practical solution to your towel storage needs and keeps towels toasty and warm too. The unique design is geared towards folded and stacked towels and allows air to circulate between them so that they remain as warm and dry as possible. The best part is that it uses a minimal amount


of electricity and also saves you from having to dry your towels in the tumble dryer.

Ablution revolution

Bathroom storage space has to be durable as well as heat and water resistant. But now more than ever there also has to be a focus on sleek, minimalistic design.

Stockists Assirelli Design, 0861 277 477, Créma Design, +27 (0)21 434 0661, Dokter & Misses, +27 (0)11 023 0336, ELDC, +27 (0)21 448 8684, Espresso Design, +27 (0)21 422 5283, Jeeves, +27 (0)21 706 2604, Koop Design, +27 (0)31 303 3922, Lim, +27 (0)21 423 1200, Raw Studios, +27 (0)12 940 4211, Smac Harry, +27 (0)21 448 2755, Vamp Furniture, +27 (0)21 448 2755,

4 30 | January 2012

Weylandts, +27 (0)11 262 4747, Zack, +27 (0)21 706 2604,

Land from R650 000

Brettenwood Lakes from R3 295 000

Homes from R3 250 000

When you choose Brettenwood Coastal Estate you choose to live on an estate that is a symbol of excellence and exceptionally high standards. Our attention to quality and detail has earned us the prestigious Europe & Africa Property Awards 2010, held in association with Bloomberg Television in London, proving that our Estate can compete within the highly competitive European property arenas.


Words AndrĂŠ Fiore Portrait photograph Sally Chance Project photographs courtesy Millhouse Integrated Brand Communication

For Michael Viljoen of Millhouse Integrated Brand Communication, getting it right, in a business environment, is about creating an experience designed with precision

PRESENCE 32 | January 2012


Opposite Michael Viljoen in his non-corporate studio and work clothes. This page, above left to right The respective interiors of Café 1999 and Pizzetta, and the logos of several establishments. Michael’s touch is evident in the presence and personality of many of Durban’s landmark eateries.


ichael Viljoen is one of those people who recognise fonts in the street. But that’s not unusual for a graphic designer, he says. What makes him far from ‘usual’, then, is perhaps his vision. It’s a vision that has fuelled his fidelity to remaining an independent designer, a vision that translates into enormous benefit for his clients. It’s evident that what Michael does – running the works at Millhouse Integrated Brand Communication, with creative, design, social media and Web assistance from Ryan Renaud – is vastly more than graphic design. He labels it ‘brand custodianship’, which it is, combined with his signature style, strategic thinking, creative direction and design flair. ‘People who get it right appreciate that you don’t go around doing arbitrary things. A brand custodian is there to seek out and present the macro vision, to see the project as a whole and conceive of the experience that it is going to create. We set out to help a business tell a coherent story and thereby create the personality of the business.’ Personality, in 2012, means something rather complex. ‘We’re not here to design pretty logos that look good in our portfolio. I believe people need to think about multichannel, integrated marketing communication. Everything they do, each of the

different channels of expressing themselves, contributes towards the presence and personality of their brand and reputation. Our objective at Millhouse is to take care of that. Clients are always looking for the magic ingredient that makes them instantly successful. It’s actually about looking at the whole thing in a cohesive manner that makes it special.’ Cohesiveness is one of the bonuses of being an independent designer. ‘In South Africa we are not forced to confine ourselves to one specialised area. This gains us immense experience, the ability to move away from mainstream design and the space to conceptualise a macro vision for the sustained success of any venture.’ Michael’s business relationships testify to this. Long-term professional-service clients include PKF Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers, PFT Burger Attorneys, Pierian SA and Converg Tailored Financial Training, while a current project involves the creation of an international e-learning software solution for PKF International. Millhouse also has a long association with many NGOs, including the Wildlife and Environment Society of SA (WESSA) and its affiliated brands, St. Mary’s Foundation and the Sunflower Fund. ‘People with a cause are generally worth listening to,’ Michael quips.

Michael’s biggest love, however, is the portfolio of restaurants that he looks after, and the conceptualising, branding, design, interior design, menu planning and ongoing marketing and promotion that go into this pot. This extends all the way back to Legends, Durban, 1994, and with the same owner, over the years, Gringo’s Cantina on the beachfront, the Prawn Shack at Mvoti, and Bud’s on the Bay. Michael’s close relationship with Café 1999, through both sets of owners, led to his creating the good clean fun of Pizzetta in Davenport Road. ‘We gutted the old building totally, opened up the spaces, and used a red-and-white colourway to give it an injection of modern style. The logo grew out of my interest in Italian car badges and Italian family crests.’ The menu saw the introduction to Durban of items that people are still going back for today: dessert pizzas, bambino pizzas to give patrons tasters and variety, and exciting combos, such as onion marmalade and Gorgonzola. After Pizzetta came the recently launched Unity, designed to fall in with the revitalisation of the Musgrave area, the branding a play on the convergence of simple, quality ingredients, an eclectic clientele and a brasserie. Equally eye-catching is the recently refreshed 9th Avenue Bistro, another Millhouse project.

January 2012 | 33

DESIGN Profile

Above The 1930s style of 9th Avenue Bistro completely contrasts with the squeaky modern interior of Taco Zulu.

‘9th Avenue is known for its brilliant food, but this wasn’t complemented by a cohesive identity.We pared down the colours completely and now, with a 1930s’ New York art deco theme in greys and minks, the ambience is spot on.’ Ambience was also important for the newly launched Chicken Xpress in Umlazi, the first of a string of franchises. Everything, from the concept to the menus and packaging, carries that Millhouse signature.‘It was important to communicate the product offering in a tangible yet un-clichéd way to the target market. We wanted it to be immediately accessible and easy to understand, even to illiterate customers,’ says Michael. ‘We chose warm colours – butternut and red – and created huge wallpaper from photos of people jumping and enjoying themselves, to give it its own special touch. We used incandescent lights to warm up the space, and good-quality finishes.

34 | January 2012

The goal was to bring a little bit of high street, a little bit of cosmopolitan buzz, to a fairly neglected shopping precinct.’ The relaunched Taco Zulu is all about buzz too. ‘We created a contemporary space that appealed to a much broader market spectrum, including a segment of the market that wasn’t being catered for at all. It’s now a highly fashionable bar and eatery for young people who are very aware of social media. It has taken off as a real brand, involving all media types, both on- and offline.’ To keep the buzz alive, total commitment to this type of work is essential. ‘It becomes a way of life. You’ve got to love being there to render the service, listening, understanding, and then imagining the solution using creative thought. We do love it. In fact, I don’t feel as if I’ve ever worked,’ says Michael. ‘We have lots of laughs, especially at ourselves.’ +27 (0)83 234 5694,

The Lighter Side of Michael Mad






and language. Can’t do without: My Mac, and a good knife. Can’t stand: More than two fonts on the same page. Always avoid: Ugly roads – even if it means a long detour. Currently: Busy embracing the colour purple – ‘Somehow I’ve got to get to like it!’

Wine Estate Living

36 | January 2012

Living on a wine estate epitomises the romantic country lifestyle. The perks are dreamy, and right now, if you’re in the market there is not much swaying you against it. We consider the varietals

Nothing to ‘wine’ about Words Genevieve Fisher Photographs Supplied


side from Table Mountain and the beautiful stretches of coastline, what sets the Western Cape apart from the rest of the country is its established wine industry.  Although small in scale in comparison with many other viniculture regions around the world, its impact is profound, with many South African wines being voted the best in their category worldwide. Anyone worth their weight in property investment portfolios would recognise the appeal in making their home in the Cape Winelands, given its beautiful vistas of mountains, vineyards, fynbos and Cape Dutch architecture. Indeed, over the last couple of years the Cape Winelands has seen a burgeoning harvest of residential wine estate developments taking shape. Tara Whiting of Acquire Africa, a property buyer’s agency specialising in luxury residences for international clients, says the demand for wine- and other estate properties is on the rise. ‘The biggest advantage of wine estate living is that you have the benefit of the land around you without actually owning or having to maintain it. Currently there is a surplus of plots for sale on wine estates, most of them at large discounts. I believe in a few years we will wish

we had bought these now, as there are some good deals around,’ she says. Dawn Arendse, a property consultant at Diemersfontein Wine and Country Estate in Wellington, says living on a wine estate gives you all the benefits, without the stress of maintaining and working the land. But if your inner winemaker needs attention, you’ll find that many estates allow you to engage in the winemaking process, whether it’s harvesting the grapes, bottling the wine or just creating your own label. The perks of living on a residential wine estate are many.  A big drawcard is that there is more privacy and less density than on any other kind of estate. Esther Provoyeur of Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate in Stellenbosch explains, ‘A wine estate, by definition, needs large tracts of vineyards, which of course means less space for development, resulting in a feeling of spaciousness with beautiful views.’ This means that these homes are also exclusive. Easy access to world-class wines is a big advantage of living on a wine estate. This culture ties in closely with the culinary character of the Cape Winelands. Corius V   isser of Croydon V   ineyard Residential Estate just outside Stellenbosch says it best: ‘The romance of

drinking your own wine on your stoep as you watch over your vineyards is a dream for wine lovers and appeals even to non-drinkers.’ It is this lifestyle that most wine estates pride themselves on. The sense of belonging to a vine-growing community is also important to many of these estates, which are essentially little villages. At Croydon this is enhanced by the fact that owners of land or property on the estate are not only residents but also co-owners of the farm and its produce. ‘At Croydon we bring people closer to wine and their vineyards. Residents are entitled to a yearly quota of  72 bottles of wine under the Croydon label, to enjoy themselves or to present as gifts. Not to mention the options of participating in winemaking activities, guided educational walks in the vineyards, grape stomping evenings and pruning days, even if they’re not experts.  All of this contributes to shaping a community that lives side by side and in harmony with nature,’ says Corius. This closeness to nature plays a big part in creating the overall pastoral ambience of wine estates, in that every day you can watch the vines change, and you get to really appreciate the transformation from vine to bottle. It gives a whole new meaning to knowing where your food comes from! But a major environmental

January 2012 | 37

Wine Estate Living

concern has now arisen because of the rising number of residential wine estates being developed in the winelands. Prime agricultural land, rich in minerals and nutrients, is being developed and zoned for the exclusive residential use by those who can afford this romantic lifestyle. Ryk Neethling is the marketing director for Val De Vie  Wine and Polo Estate, where in addition to its two 25ha wine farms there are also vines growing among the houses, along the roads and in the public areas. Ryk believes that it is going to be exceptionally difficult from now on for wines estates to be zoned for residential development, because of the environmental concerns. Tara agrees: ‘This is a highly sensitive issue and I believe fewer developments will get approval because of it. The spin-off is that existing properties on wine estates will increase in value.’ Benguela Cove Wine Estate just outside Hermanus is an example of such exclusivity. It is located on the Botrivier Lagoon, which is part of the extended Renosterveld Nature Reserve. According to Flora Drummond, the director of the estate, only 6% of the land will have homes built on it. It’s a doubleedged sword, because the main incentive for wine farms to develop land for homes is to create income for the running of the farm.Tara explains, ‘Many wine farmers are finding the current environment difficult to operate in, and being able to develop a few houses on their farm is often the only way that they can maintain the agricultural operation.’ That’s why many wine estates also offer other activities, such as golf or polo. Steenberg Estate in the Constantia Valley is a wine and golf estate and, says Jacques Marais of Steenberg Property Sales, this is one of the things that set this established estate apart. ‘Steenberg offers all the advantages of living on a wine estate as well as having a golf course facility and being located within the Cape Metropole. Val De Vie, just outside Paarl, has a polo club and fields, and stables for the horses of residents and non-residents.’ The question then is what of the first edge of the sword, the environmental impact of these kinds of estate? Both Steenberg and Val De Vie have noteworthy eco-credentials. Jacques says Steenberg Estate has many measures in place, from recycling facilities and the greens’ being watered with grey water to indigenous gardens and battery-operated vehicles. Val  De Vie also takes an impressive green stance towards its operations.

Prior to the establishment of the estate, part of the land was a clay quarry with rich soil, most of which was mined out and the rest relocated to the vineyards. When the development of the estate began, most of the land was sterile, and the Berg V   alley, which is surrounded by the Cape Floral Kingdom, a World Heritage Site, was littered with alien plants and in a bad state after the clay mining. The developers put in place a biodiversity initiative to preserve the local flora and fauna, and extensive water saving and water recycling strategies especially for keeping the polo fields green. There are also glass and paper recycling plants on the estate, and the pesticides used contain the minimum of harmful ingredients. ‘We produce 80 000 to 100 000 bottles of wine a year,’ says Ryk.

Our polo facility and property development initiative are all run as separate entities. We developed all the promised amenities, such as the clubhouse, restaurant, gym, tarred roads, wine cellar, polo fields and dams at the beginning, and that, coupled with Val de Vie’s being a primary residence estate, helped us in times when other estates really struggled.’ There is more building activity going on at Val De Vie than at any other residential estate in the country, and 48 new homes are in the pipeline, he adds. The only thing to whine about, then, is that soon this dreamy lifestyle will be exactly that – a dream for those who don’t wake up now. If you’re in the market, then you should give serious consideration to living on a wine estate. Go on, fill your glass.

With thanks to … Acquire Africa, +27 (0)78 211 5923, Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate, +27 (0)21 671 5417, Croydon Vineyard Estate, +27 (0)21 701 3227, Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate, +27 (0)21 865 2199, Diemersfontein Wine & Country Estate, +27 (0)21 864 5050, Steenberg Estate, +27 (0)21 713 2244, Val De Vie Wine & Polo Estate, +27 (0)21 863 6100,

Opening page, top Many of the homes and part of the golf course at Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate overlook the estate’s dam. Bottom left A home overlooking the lagoon at Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate. Bottom right Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate hosts weddings and other functions. This page, top right The polo field at Val De Vie, framed by the Helderberg Mountain. Below, left to right A large home amid the vines at Diemersfontein Wine & Country Estate; at Croydon Vineyard Estate, stands are priced from from R600 000 to R1 million and houses from R2,2 million to R3 million; a home on Steenberg Estate, where the average sales price of a home is R13 million.

38 | January 2012

The Tao of Tau For a great game-viewing experience in harmony with nature, look no further than Tau

Words Nicky Manson Photographs courtesy Tau Game Lodge

40 | January 2012



he North West Province is host to a number of game reserves and tourist paradises. Situated on the northern border of South Africa and neighbouring Gaborone, Zimbabwe, lies our fourth-largest game reserve, Madikwe. This 75 000ha malaria-free reserve includes five of its own breathtaking lodges, which are settled in among rugged beauty and ecologically diverse vegetation. One of these is Tau Game Lodge, ‘Place of the Lion’. Tau is actually the biggest of the lodges, but with only 30 chalets, visiting it is like coming home. Its charm lies in its majestic location along a winding waterhole that boasts an abundance of flora and fauna. Each chalet sits alongside this watery paradise and has unparalleled views of the African bush. The chalets to the right of the lodge overlook deeper waters that are home to many a playful elephant family. The waters to its left are shallower, and this is where waterbuck, giraffe, warthog and other species of game come in droves to drink. In fact, although the lodge offers fabulous game drives twice a day, it almost needn’t, because the game watching from the comfort of your own balcony is all you really need.We spent the greater part of a morning watching a herd of elephants, including a newborn,

cool down at the waterhole. We were also told that just a few weeks prior to our visit there had been a kill right there on the edge of the water. Game-viewing just doesn’t get any better than this. The chalets are compact and open up onto a private viewing deck. The bathrooms are fully equipped and there is also a luxurious outdoor shower. Mosquito nets romantically fall from the wooden rafters while a fan gently creates a breeze, and you would be forgiven for thinking you were on the set of Out of Africa. The main lodge is a short walk from even the furthest villa and is a warm, comfortable haven which sits unobtrusively in its surrounds. There is a library for the intrepid reader and a large lounge area filled with leather armchairs, couches and a big-screen TV, so that even the biggest sports enthusiast won’t miss a game while holidaying in the bush. Upstairs is another large viewing deck, the perfect place for a cocktail and to watch the sun go down over the waterhole. The dining area also enjoys bountiful views of the waterhole. It puts a different spin on your typical game lodge cuisine in that it offers a mix of buffetstyle dining and fine dining. Indulge in a meal in a traditional boma with sand at your feet and a gentle breeze on your neck and try the delicacies of various

Left and top centre The rough, uncultivated terrain adds to the wild authenticity of a bush stay at Tau Game Lodge, which is barely a step away from the big, active waterhole. Within the main lodge, however, it is all double-volume spaces, plush furnishings and Africana. Top right The local giraffe are perhaps the only other mammals in the area who have a view to rival the one that guests have from their chalet decks.

January 2012 | 41


Clockwise from top left Fine dining under the stars is one of the services that distinguish Tau from other game lodges; lion sightings are common at Tau; elephants stop for a cold one while visitors watch from a single game vehicle – virtually private game-viewing is a big drawcard; a waterbuck pauses for a photo opportunity while wading in the waterhole; the spacious family suite with its trendy African feel; the entrance to the Tau Spa Oasis.

game, or enjoy a four-course set meal where the desserts are to die for. Obviously, when in the bush, you must go gameviewing. If you can bear to tear yourself away from your private chalet’s viewing spot, Tau has a great team of game rangers to lead you on your gameviewing adventure. There is a wonderful comradeship and mutual respect between the team members, so if you chance upon a lion (we saw four) you won’t be sharing the sight with more than one other game vehicle. As experienced bushgoers will tell you, this is a huge plus. Our driver regaled us with small facts and anecdotes throughout the drive, and my lively Swedish

42 | January 2012

companions and I came away with an abundance of new knowledge. As with all getaways, relaxation is key, and early mornings are certainly a part of the bush experience, so a spa treatment is a great way to unwind after the excitement of the day. The Tau Spa Oasis has a number of treatment rooms all nestled deep in the bush, to create a private space with intimate views. It also has an enticing pool area, another great place for drinks and afternoon naps. But if you are like me, you will repeatedly retreat to your private balcony to enjoy the views and to follow the Tao of Tau. +27 (0)11 314 4349,


true to


Photographs Val Adamson

Top architects talk contemporary design January 2012 | 43


Choromanski Architects

Hans Coetzee Architect

Rod Choromanski, Director

Hans Coetzee, Owner

Tell us about a recent project that personifies your signature or favourite architectural style. The Pan-African Parliament Competition: artistic, mysterious, driven by principles and philosophy, rooted in tradition but interpreted in a contemporary African voice, an international platform for Africa, maybe an ‘African minimalism’. What are the current trends in your field? Environmental responsiveness, a digital-technology-driven aesthetic and production, the opening up of the imagination to the New. The non-standardisation of parts (the end of the Modern’s dream of standardisation), from the design computer to digitally controlled production (machines have changed). What improvements have you seen in the field of

Tell us about a recent project that personifies your signature or favourite architectural style. Our practice is very involved in gated residential estates and we are working on a number of exciting projects on Simbithi Eco- Estate. Although you have to work within the design parameters and ethos of the estate, the type of architectural language appeals to me. What are the current trends in your field? There is a paradigm shift towards buildings with low carbon footprints and making buildings more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Big corporations want to be seen doing their part and thus want designer buildings with the most green stars. What are the most innovative storage solutions you’ve seen? Automated robotic car parking systems with on-site renewable energy power solutions integrating solar photovoltaic panels and aeroturbines. A robotic trolley whisks the car to an elevator, which in turn takes the car to another trolley. From there, the machine parks the car in about three minutes. Name a recently completed building or development that takes your breath away. The Burj-Dubai tower, and the 2012 Olympic Aquatic Centre by Zaha Hadid.

Name a recently completed building or development that takes your breath away. The Apple Retail Store in 5th Avenue, New York, has to be top of the pile in terms of brilliant innovation, technological use of glass, and bravery in terms of concept and construction – an aesthetic triumph of architecture and art. Locally, I appreciate Moyo uShaka and

+27 (0)31 303 2985,

+27 (0)31 566 5750,

+27 (0)31 563 2354,

+27 (0)82 820 3257,

green building? It’s a serious culture, industry and science and not merely a concept. It’s learnt, shared and passed on. It’s an interactive, organic process that needs to happen very quickly due to the critical global crises we face. For example, natural light and ventilation are not concepts but requirements in architecture; however, the innovative handling of these becomes the art.

44 | January 2012

Mark Leslie-Smith Architect Mark Leslie-Smith, Director

the Moses Mabhida Stadium. What improvements have you seen in the field of green building? Sustainable architecture is our moral responsibility and is here to stay. With a second degree in horticulture, this has become the core of my business. Developments in this field are advancing rapidly, in tandem with technological advances in clean energy and energy storage. Living roofs, vertical gardens, solar control measures and advances in construction materials are all exciting. The way we integrate all this into the environment is also critical. Tell us about a recent project that personifies your signature or favourite architectural style. Simbithi Eco-Estate is home to some of our houses which portray an African contemporary feel, encompassing use of earthy materials, in harmony with current technology and their immediate surroundings.

Stefano Vatteroni architect Stefano Vatteroni, Director Tell us about a recent project that personifies your signature or favourite architectural style. My favourite project of the moment is iSimangaliso Wetland Park. I am busy building the interpretation centres, craft market, chalets and gatehouse. It’s a contemporary design of steel, glass and timber structures showing the contrast between man-made and nature. This is always my signature. What are the current trends in your field? Locally, I have seen an awareness of sustainable architecture – building with careful attention to costing. A very modern feel, moving away from the traditional, antiquated forms of architecture. Today’s clients are becoming more educated and well travelled and are therefore aspiring to good spaces. Also, more people are building to live permanently, not only as a quick investment flip. Internationally, there’s a very similar move, with buildings becoming simpler and more ecological in design. Name a recently completed building or development that takes your breath away. Apple’s HQ in California is breathtaking in its simplicity, magnitude and concept – 17 000 people work/live there. It’s transparent, using natural light to form a symbiosis between nature and man-made.

ha ot RS B O us IT ari ED M T and ES g U in G hit W ra Ta

Real estate

residential & commercial

If sellers can have agents, then why can’t buyers find a partner in their search for the perfect property investment?

The rise of the buyer’s agent

Left Tara Whiting Right Marius Botha

Main photograph


n today’s property market – with so much choice available, silent listings that are not advertised to the public, and the changing values of properties – a professional buyer’s agent can provide you with all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about the value of a property, without the sales hype. Because buyer’s agents do all the legwork on behalf of their clients, including the legal work and investigations into the background and true value of a property, buyers are enabled to make an informed choice, without the stress and without wasting time visiting properties that don’t fit the brief. By doing the right research, a buyer’s agent can save you thousands on your property purchase. Many believe that using the services of a buyer’s agent is expensive and reserved for highprofile properties. This is not the case. Commission structures are bringing buyer’s agents’ services within the reach of the middle market. (In the US, over 50% of the population uses a buyer’s agent to assist in the purchasing process.) Buyer’s agents agree on a commission directly with the seller or the seller’s agent, so there are no additional fees for the buyer.

A buyer’s agent’s role is to conduct a search based on the brief, shortlist properties, which are thoroughly researched to reveal any deficiencies that could affect the price, and ensure that the buyer’s financing is in place so that the transaction can go smoothly and quickly. The buyer’s agent will then negotiate the sale, deal with all the administrative and legal aspects and ensure the buyer’s move is a happy one. Unlike the centralised listing system used in the US, properties in South Africa are listed with only a handful of agents, and so a buyer has to contact numerous real estate agents, developers and individuals in order to view everything that is on offer. These agents are also incentivised by the seller, and while they may be knowledgeable in their specific areas, they cannot necessarily advise the client on the pros and cons of two properties in two different areas, for example, Fresnaye and Camps Bay. Buyer’s agents maintain an extensive database of agents organised according to location and corporate contacts and have property listings that the average buyer would not normally have access to. The buyer’s agent thus becomes the central point of contact for all agents.

Buyer’s agents also deal with homes that have yet to come onto the market via silent listings and information from reputable agents. For example, in the Western Cape there are currently several beautiful wine farms on the market, but for various reasons, such as not wanting to spook their staff into quitting, the sellers do not want to advertise. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance in this type of transaction, where a buyer’s agent becomes a valuable asset. Buyer’s agents can also assist with offshore investment opportunities, since they have good relationships with law firms, tax advisers and other professionals in foreign countries.

Tara Whiting and Marius Botha, Acquire Africa

January 2012 | 45


investment, real estate, news & leisure

Baines’ River Camp in Zambia will transport your mind far away from the worries of the concrete jungle

NO BAINES’, no gain 1

2 our clients will love the opportunity to explore and witness this once-in-a-lifetime wildlife and river experience.’ The camp has eight classic Explorer suites with private verandas. The interiors feature carefully selected rich fabrics, leathers, cotton percale linen, and oriental rugs that blend in with the natural hardwood finishes. Air conditioning, spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers, a complimentary mini-bar and coffee and tea facilities ensure complete comfort for guests. The main lodge, which faces onto the scenic river, includes an open-plan

dining and lounge area with fireplaces as well as a reception area, a bar, a swimming pool, and a boardroom with a growing library that guests can explore at their leisure. The Lower Zambezi Valley is home to over 60 mammal and 370 bird species, affording ample opportunity for game-viewing and birdwatching. Guests can also go fishing on the river. The camp operates from March to mid December. It is located 9km from the Royal Airstrip, where guests are collected in a courtesy game drive vehicle. +27 (0)33 342 7793,


Campfire romance on the banks of the Zambezi River. 2Exterior view of one of the

Visit for more

camp’s eight Explorer suites. 3Friends enjoy sundowners on the riverbank.

international luxury getaways.

46 | January 2012

Words Candace King


he Mantis Group has extended its portfolio through its development of Baines’ River Camp in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi Valley. Named after the legendary artist and explorer, John Thomas Baines, the luxury safari camp offers breathtaking views that extend across Africa’s fourth-largest river to the Mana Pools World Heritage Site in neighbouring Zimbabwe. Mantis Group CEO Adrian Gardiner says, ‘We are extremely excited about welcoming Baines’ to our collection. With Royal Chundu above the Falls and now Baines’ below, we are confident that



Last resort Mozambique’s Coco Cabana Beach Resort, near Inhambane, between Tofo and Barra, is on the market. The semi-built holiday development is sited on 36 435m2 of beachfront property and is going for a negotiable ¤350 000 (about R3,8 million). The resort was established to fill the gap for medium- to high-end luxury holiday homes and tourism accommodation in Tofo. The area is a well-known tourist attraction and is believed to possess phenomenal growth potential in the real estate and tourism markets. There are three complete chalets as well as a camping area and a large ablution block. The resort has a reception building, a 120m2 workshop, Photograph

an outdoor entertainment area and kitchen, two boreholes and a generator room. ‘We have decided to put the semi-built resort on the market as we are relocating overseas and no longer have the time or means to continue to be in Mozambique full time to oversee the completion of the project,’ say the developers. +267 (0)72 469 262,

Children of the river Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge now offers a bespoke Kids on Safari programme through its Chundu Children’s Club. It is aimed at keeping children entertained while their parents relax. Guided and supervised by trained staff, kids get to take part in a variety of activities, such as treasure hunts, quizzes, and cooking lessons from Chundu’s chefs. Katombora Island Lodge and the Royal Chundu Zambezi River Lodge are both members of the Mantis Collection. They are situated on the banks of the Zambezi River, 30km upstream from Victoria Falls, and offer great family accommodation. +27 (0)21 438 9160,

From left: Tony Clarke, Richard Matengambiri, Simon Bere, Jason Lee

Beyond borders Rawson Property Group has extended its reach beyond South Africa by establishing an office in Harare. MD Tony Clarke has signed an agreement with the well-established property sales and marketing group, RM- Africa, to launch a residential property franchise in Zimbabwe. Richard Matengambiri, RM-Africa’s managing director, says South Africans will be surprised at how efficient and active the Harare property market is. The residential market is firm in the US$25 000 (about R200 000) to US$150 000 (about R1,2 million) bracket and there is activity in higher the next year we expect to take on a further three,’ says Richard. He

Steady growth helps sales

says that most of South Africa’s top national firms and at least one

Over the past few years the real estate market in Mozambique has seen

international property group, Knight Frank, are already established in

a pattern of steady growth and, based on findings from Rand Merchant

Zimbabwe and are doing well. Marketing strategist for RM-Africa, Simon

Bank, Mozambique’s is currently one of the fastest-growing economies

Bere, says RM-Africa desired the Rawson franchise because its brand

in Africa, with an expected average annual GDP growth of 7,8% from

power will appeal to, and benefit, Zimbabweans. Tony says that if the

2011 to 2016. Ettiene Erasmus, MD of Mozambique Property Development

Zimbabwean franchise performs well, then Rawson Property Group will

and Investments, says, ‘Over the last 20 years there has been as dramatic

establish franchises in other African countries too.

a change in Mozambique as there was in South Africa. Mozambique is

+263 (0)4 775 130,

definitely growing.’ His group is busy developing Bazaruto Island View

and lower brackets too. ‘Right now we have seven agents but within

Estate, a beach holiday resort in Vilanculos, 700km north of Maputo. Ettiene says foreigners find it hard to understand Mozambique’s property laws: ‘The moment a house is built on a piece of land, the owner can get a title deed on that building. I always say to people in South Africa to go to their banks. All the South African banks will give you a bond to buy

Mozambique’s is currently one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa

a house in Mozambique. A bank is not going to approve a loan if they are not sure about property ownership.’ Bazaruto Island View Estate fully complies with all property legislation in Mozambique, he adds. On its completion, Bazaruto Island View Estate will feature privately owned homes, hotels, a marina and a plastic surgery facility. Construction work on the first houses begins this month. +27 (0)11 513 3306,

January 2012 | 47

South Africa Get your teeth into it

Stylish loft apartments in the historical Sawtooth Buildings are giving investors a chance to get a paddle in the water in Knysna’s Thesen Islands

1 1 are close to the newly completed Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa and have direct access to public parks and event spaces, such as Sawtooth Square, which hosts food and craft markets. These secure lock-up-and-go apartments come with undercover parking. They are north facing, and their energy-efficient design includes solar water heating facilities. Thesen Harbour Town is a 10-minute stroll from the residential core, with scenic paths and gracefully arched pedestrian bridges that span the waterways. The main street of this commercial village is framed

The contemporary urban feel of the converted Sawtooth Buildings reflects the

by weather-protected arcades. Other historic buildings in this area are the Parking Shed and the Boatshed, which have both been modernised and refurbished. The Sawtooth Buildings offer residential and office space for people who enjoy being part of a safe harbour community. There is a bird park, sporting facilities, a beach, and orchards and gardens. Office suites are priced from R580 000. Apartments are available from R1,1 million. Architectural firm CMAI is behind the design and development of  Thesen Islands. +27 (0)44 382 6732,


Visit for property

area’s industrial heritage.

investment opportunities in South Africa.

48 | January 2012

Words Tammy Sutherns


ew residential property investment opportunities have arisen on Thesen Islands, the award-winning marina development in the coastal town of Knysna on the Garden Route. The nearly century-old Sawtooth Buildings in Harbour Town have been converted to a mixed-use building comprising three retail/office spaces on the ground floor and the six industrial-style Sawtooth Loft Apartments. The urban character of the apartments is inspired by the spirit of the historical building.  The apartments


AFRICA South Africa

Price it right, in Plett Homeowners in Plettenberg Bay who are hoping to sell their properties need to review their asking prices urgently. Hein Pretorius, principal of the local Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty franchise, says Plett is still one of SA’s most desirable places in which to own property, but sellers need to make sure that their asking prices are competitive. He says serious sellers should make sure that any valuations they are given are backed up with information about sales that have occurred in the area in the past few months – and get a second opinion if necessary. ‘No one wants to hear that their property is worth less than they thought, but that is far preferable to having an agent who tells you what you want to hear about the value and then can only bring you offers for amounts far below their own valuation, if at all,’ he says. +27 (0)44 533 2529,

Rural chic Construction has begun on Phase 1 of Crossways Village in the Eastern Cape. Planned on a 560ha site which includes a state-of-the-art-dairy farm, it recreates the village lifestyle of days gone by, where everyone knew each other, where neighbours were friends and where there was a strong sense of community. The development will comprise a residential component, a commercial component and the existing agricultural component. The residential stands range from 220m2 to 8 500m2 and are priced from R220 000 to R1 million. Stands sold quickly at the launch of the development in November last year, say the developers. +27 (0)42 286 0939,

Eat well en route

Green star in the east

Kurland Hotel, situated in the Crags near Plettenberg Bay, has made

A Green Star-rated residential development in Port Elizabeth,

the list of Top 20 Culinary Destinations on the Garden Route in

the first of its kind in the Eastern Cape, has been registered with

addition to being declared as having the Best Hotel Restaurant on

the Green Building Council of SA. It will be situated in Jutland

the Garden Route at the 2011 CXpress NLR Wines Garden Route

Crescent, on the 54ha nature reserve, Settlers Park. There are six

Culinary Destinations Awards. The South African Chefs Association

three-bedroom free-standing units of 250m2, priced from R4- to

has declared these awards an official, nationally recognised event.

R5 million. Features include daylight harvesting, a green roof, water

The recently refurbished hotel is a member of Relais & Châteaux.

management and renewable energy production. +27 (0)41 581 1142

Owner Peter Behr says 2011 was a great year for the hotel as it saw a new management team being put in place and multi-level refurbishments being done to the buildings. Kurland Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel of just 12 suites. It rests on a vast 700ha estate of great natural beauty, between the mountains and the beaches of Nature’s Valley. +27 (0)44 534 8082,

Out with the old Ageing buildings in the Pretoria CBD present a development opportunity that is currently not being capitalised on. Jan Oelofse, leasing and sales broker for JHI

Photograph courtesy

Properties, says that despite efforts

Baying for investment

of dedicated officials to create a

The final EIA report on a R180-billion

world-class capital city, the CBD

nuclear energy plant in Thyspunt,

faces the threat of urban decay

close to St. Francis Bay and Jeffrey’s

because of the increasing number of

Bay, is due in April. Experts say

vacant buildings. He adds that there

the project will give the region’s

is still demand for retail space, but

infrastructure a massive boost, create

a significant amount of money will

over 7 000 jobs and increase demand

need to be spent on upgrading the

for accommodation in the area. The

older buildings. +27 (0)12 401 4800,

power plant is expected to take eight

years to develop.

January 2012 | 49

Residential Real Estate

Coastal gem

If location were truly everything, then iMbabala Forest Estate would win hands down as the ultimate setting for family coastal living. iMbabala is set in a coastal forest teeming with animal, bird and plant life. It boasts incredible views and proximity to the beach, and is conveniently located just a short drive from Pennington on KZN’s South Coast. In addition to the stunning natural setting, with meandering trails throughout the estate, iMbabala offers world-class security, a genuinely eco-friendly lifestyle, exquisitely crafted homes on generous stands, a sense of real privacy, scuba diving and ski-boat fishing, a shared boundary and reciprocity with Selborne Park Golf Club and easy access to other nearby championship golf courses. ‘With land prices starting from R720 000, it represents a secure, guaranteed, long-term investment in prime South African property,’ says Bev Andrews of Stedone. +27 (0)82 441 5346;

These properties offer the double bonus of security and eco-conscious living. – Tara Whiting and Marius Botha, Acquire Africa Viewpoint

The newly launched Seahorse in Scottburgh on KZN’s South Coast offers buyers the dual options of an upmarket seaside residence or a holiday retreat. It consists of 30 luxury apartments priced from R1,41 million, 6 of which are at penthouse level. Each suite offers unobstructed sea views, and is outfitted with high-quality features, including fully air-conditioned bedrooms, cool ceramic tiled floors, large private patios and low-maintenance aluminium window and patio door frames. An elevator offers easy access from the basement parking to all five floors, and residents also have access to a swimming pool, which has a clear view of the Indian Ocean, all on highly secure premises with 24-hour security. ‘The proximity of Seahorse to Scottburgh’s Main Beach and business centre (both a five-minute walk), one of the South Coast’s most popular tourist locations, is a also big drawcard, as is the fact that Scottburgh is centrally situated on the KZN South Coast and close enough to commute to major industrial and commercial centres. It’s also within easy driving distance from Durban and Port Shepstone (both 60km away) on the N2,’ says Jeff Evans of Tyson Properties Scottburgh. +27 (0)39 978 1311,

Water world Launched in December, Bird Valley Estate is nestled at the foot of the Karkloof mountain range, beneath the second-largest indigenous forest in South Africa. This haven for wildlife and birds is just 30km from Pietermaritzburg and offers secure, eco-friendly country living in the idyllic KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Overlooking Satellite Dam and surrounding pristine wetlands, which have been described as ‘a mini Okavango Delta’, the estate is home to rare bird species and small game, including otter, buck, porcupine and jackal. The estate is already home to four families, with its excellent conditions for waterskiing and other water sport being a major drawcard. Remaining freehold plots on this development start at R650 000 and peak at R950 000. Mindful of the on-going effects of the economic slowdown, the developers are offering the first four purchasers of non-ski sites a R100 000 early-bird discount off the price of their site. This means sites are available for as little as R550 000, says agent Warren Eades. +27 (0)82 922 8108,

50 | January 2012


Open for business Due for completion in March 2012, airy new premises on Umhlanga Ridge will be home to the Business Centre and new Zenprop offices. Designed by dhk Architects and constructed by Rubro, the R70-million Zenprop development totals approximately 3 700m2 of A-grade office space and an accompanying 165 parking bays. Located between Nedbank and the Holiday Inn, the site offers 180º ocean views from Durban harbour across to Ballito. ‘There is still approximately 19 000m2 of bulk to develop on the site to tenant’s requirements,’ says Rob Thompson of Zenprop. +27 (0)31 566 4840,

Double edge In the heart of Ridgeside, Umhlanga’s busy new office node, two new adjacent office developments offer prime position, outstanding sea views and sleek premises to potential investors looking for corporate offices. Ridgeside 9 will have a total of 2 300m2 of office space and will be three storeys in height with approximately 550m2 per floor, including the ground floor. There will be basementlevel parking and four parking bays per 100m2 of office space with additional parking bays available. Each office can be built to spec according to the particular client’s needs. Ridgeside 12 will have a total of 1 400m2 of office space and will also be three storeys in height with 350m2 per floor. Four parking bays will be available per 100m2 and additional parking available. Tyson Properties agent, David Kopp, has extensive experience in the Ridgeside office node area and Richefond circle, which surrounds Ridgeside. +27 (0)31 312 9500,

Modern talking

Seardel Group Properties, part of the JSE-listed Seardel Investment Corporation, is redeveloping a portion of its 124 Escom Road, New Germany property to create a multi-tenanted, modern industrial park. New Germany Industrial Park will be approximately 165 000m2 in size and has been specifically designed with current and future transport and logistics requirements in mind. Large open yards for all tenants will be fed by 7m-wide roadways and 25m-diameter turning circles suitable for 22m super-link vehicle reticulation. The Park has been designed with five separate entrances to limit traffic congestion. These gateways will have 24-hour security and the gates will be closed after hours, except when in use. The redeveloped units start at approximately 1 000m2 and each has its own offices, ablution facilities, industrial waste outlet and separate water and electricity metering. The new main road currently under construction between New Germany and Riverhorse Valley will open up an important industrial corridor between the western and northern zones. ‘On completion early in 2012, New Germany Industrial Park will be the largest industrial park in New Germany. Its excellent location, modern-day access, high level of security, electrical power supply and competitive rentals make this a sought-after address for industrialists,’ says Simon Gardner of Maxprop. +27 (0)31 705 4191;

January 2012 | 51












11:09 AM



Living the high life in KwaZulu-Natal










The 2011 KZNIA Awards for Architecture: 1Beena and Suren Indhul, Dirk Meyer, Sydney Baillon 2Chantal and Gaye Pieterse, Claude Pretorius, Bharti Vithal, Peter Kidger 3Trish Emmett, Malcolm Wesson, Bharti Vithal 4Logie Naidoo, Nina Saunders, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, Fanual Motsepe, Mike Levinson 7Carey Davis, Brent Parsons, Clint Erlank, Clifton Smithers. Ballito Services Park North launch: 8Dave Williams-Jones, Manou Harris, Anton Maroun 9Greg Kruger, Gary Gould, Anton Maroun.

To see who else we’ve featured in our Society pages, visit Email social photographs for consideration to

54 | January 2012

Photographs Shirley Williams

Sutcliffe 5Nina Saunders, Peter du Trevou, Prof. Walter Peters, Dale Peters. Union 3 and Tile Trends showroom launch, Ballito: 6Chris Allen, Tracy


The Marine Building 22 Gardiner Street, Durban The Marine Building (031)Street, 374 8100 22 Tel: Gardiner Durban Tel: (031) 374 Fax: 374 8100 8135 Fax: (031) 374 8135

Property Winner of 10 publishing awards

decor, trends, luxury, design & real estate

To advertise in this space, please contact Amanda Faas on

0861 765 833 or e-mail To advertise in this space, please contact Amanda Faas on 0861 765 833 or email


OUR CUP RUNNETH OVER From appliances to trendy trinkets, these wine accessories are tops

Two’s company Keep two bottles chilled at once with this Kitchen Craft Bar Craft clear acrylic double-sided wine bucket. Just add your choice of tipple and ice. +27 (0)21 702 4969,

Boxed wine For the ultimate in stylish and environmentally friendly refrigeration, look no further than under-counter or free-standing wine coolers from Miele, with capacity for 38 to 143 bottles, respectively. Both models feature automatic defrosting, temperature regulation with digital display, and maintenance-free, flush-fit LED interior lighting. +27 (0)11 548 1900,

In-Spectra gadget Swedish homeware company, Sagaform, has teamed up with designer Ann-Carin Wiktorsson to create the Spectra glass series.

Bubble pop

Two ranges of large wine glasses in

These quirky, kitsch and cool

hues of blue, purple and green are

bottle openers from Ritzenhoff

available. These are accompanied

are bright and fun, with various

by carafes and water glasses in

cartoon portraits to choose from.

similar shades. Available from

Get them from Spilhaus.

Stuttafords. +27 (0)11 879 1000,

+27 (0)21 486 2800,;

Bucket list This Party Tub from @Home is not only functionally fabulous, but also keeps trips to the wine cellar to a minimum. Keep your chosen drinks cool as additional bottles are stored below until it’s their turn to chill. +27 (0)21 938 1911,

door. The Eva Solo 1l Fridge Carafe is not only the right size, but can also accommodate ice cubes and sliced lemon and features a patented drip-free lip for pouring. The accompanying neoprene zip jacket, available in a variety of bold colours, adds a decorative feel, and fits like a glove. +27 (0)21 702 4969,

56 | January 2012

Words Catherine Riley

Perfect fit Gone are the days of struggling to fit your favourite jug into the refrigerator

4307 Property Jan KZN repro.indd 1

2011/12/15 11:10 AM

111908 NISSAN murano 340x245.indd 1

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KZN TPM Jan/Feb 2012

KZN TPM Jan/Feb 2012  

KZN TPM Jan/Feb 2012