SATURDAY STAR, DECEMBER 7 2019
Traditional and immaculate
Double-storey home in the heart of Parkhurst with spacious bedrooms and an established garden is perfect for a family Insiderâ€™s Guide to Atholl
Become the perfect house guest
Plus commercial and residential property inside
7 December | 2019
7 December | 2019
T is that time of the year again, where we bid you farewell until next year. This has been such a full year for HOME. We have covered all sorts of topics from ‘death cleaning’ to downsizing and decor mishaps. We looked at being gentle on our planet; veganism and recycling made our headlines. We do feel the trend of the year has been decluttering, less consumerism and about going green. Changing weather patterns, droughts and Eskom’s on and off again switches forced those not already conserving our treasures to do so. Now the countdown begins to the end of this decade and the opening of a new one. Thank you for making 2010s so memorable and for being part of our HOME journey. We wish you good cheer, health, solid friendships and love in your home as we wind down the year. Merry, merry everyone
Tips for the festive table
How to make this year’s holiday dinner memorable for you and your guests EXPERT: RONDA CARMAN, AN ENTERTAINING AND ETIQUETTE EXPERT AND AUTHOR OF ENTERTAINING AT HOME. Q: DO YOU still use holiday tablecloths for formal meals and do they have to be white?
the table set for everyone, but I am setting up a buffet in the kitchen and breakfast room.
A: I don’t use tablecloths. I love to layer with place mats and dishes. I was just playing with setting my table and did think about using a tablecloth. Maybe I will at Christmas. White is classic, but I say have fun with texture and colour.
Q: What could you serve in a punch bowl – besides punch – that would be different and festive?
Q: Should you carve the roast (or vegan roast) at the table or in the kitchen? Should you serve gravy hot or at room temperature? A: I love the idea and image of a roast being carved at the table, but in reality, I always do it in the kitchen because it can get messy. As for gravy, though I prefer it hot, I’ll take it any way any day – it’s my favourite part of the meal. Q: If you have 10 guests for dinner, should you do a buffet or a sit-down meal?
Vivian Warby and team A white tablecloth is a classic choice, but have fun with colour and texture. PICTURE: DARIA SHEVTSOVA
A: I think it is a personal preference and either works. I am having 14 guests for a dinner and I am doing a hybrid. I have
A: Popcorn, chips, pretzels or a trifle would be great. When you’re not using the punch bowl, fill it with wine corks in the kitchen. Q: I see many lovely table settings where the dishware is stacked – charger, dinner plate, salad plate, bowl. While this looks great, it doesn’t seem helpful for eating the meal. I would worry that what’s in the bowl would get spilled on plates yet to be used, for example. How do you balance serving and eating with a great-looking table? A: I do love a layered look, but I use only dishes that I will need and in the order I need them. For example, if I am not doing a salad, I won’t use a salad plate. Once you are done with a dish, you can take it away. – Washington Post
Market treads water while waiting for politicians to move on, reigniting investor confidence SOUTH AFRICA is the embodiment of the “good news, bad news” paradigm and for the good to outweigh the bad, our political leaders must make decisions that will reignite investor conﬁdence, says Lew Geffen Sotheby’s Yael Geffen. Until consumer and business conﬁdence is restored, the market will continue to tread water in 2020, but it can only tread for so long. “At best, annual house-price inﬂation is unlikely to move beyond 5% next year as people continue to watch and wait while the government gets to work. We need decisive, business and investment-friendly policies implemented soonest.” Should there be “no further threats” to economic growth next year, Re/Max’s Adrian Goslett believes the local market will remain “more or less stable” and reﬂect higher house-price growth rates and numbers of transactions. However, he adds: “I believe the luxury market will continue to feel the pinch within this tight economy and the majority of transactions will continue to fall within the affordable price ranges.” It is hoped 2020 will see higher economic growth that will contribute to increased incomes, improve affordability and boosted consumer conﬁdence, and thereby drive property demand, says Rawson’s Craig Mott. “The trigger of price growth will help stimulate healthy competition for property, and may just help swing the market from buyer-lead to sellerdriven.”
Large homes fell out of favour with homeowners andbuyers this year.
He says analysts anticipate lowered interest rates next year, and this, combined with more affordable mortgage rates, “will make property an increasingly attractive option in the future, stimulating demand and driving healthy house-price growth”. The multi-generational living trend – due to rising living costs,
security, and convenience – was a big movement this year and will continue in 2020, says Knight Frank’s Richard Hardie. “An increase in demand for secure estate living and that lifestyle – the peace of mind, the comfort, the lock-up-and-go convenience, and the community – is another trend.”
PICTURE: QUINN KAMPSCHROER
For the same reasons, Goslett says there has been a continued move towards smaller properties in secure environments. “Larger homes are taking considerably longer to sell.” Another trend in 2019, a direct consequence of the market and economic downturn, is far fewer
upgrades, says Lew Geffen Sotheby’s Yael Geffen. Many people sold their homes to downgrade to decrease expenses and fewer homeowners sold to buy bigger or in better areas. There was also a spike in emigration. “It is likely both trends will continue into 2020.”
INSIDER’S GUIDE TO
7 December | 2019
What’s happening is that property prices have come down like anywhere else in South Africa, but sustainability has been good. JUSTINE ROUX E STAT E AG E N T SEEFF SANDTON
BY THE NUMBERS There are many essential amenities close at hand for the residents of Atholl. PICTURE:NOKUTHULA MBATHA/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA) SOURCE: LIGHTSTONE
A PLEASANT MIXTURE
Affluent suburb is seeing a signicifant demographic shift as older residents move out to make way for young professionals and families seeking property close to the financial district and good schools A D U LT P O P U L AT I O N BY JOHN MAKONI
THOLL is a traditionally affluent suburb that’s undergoing a phenomenal demographic shift as older residents move out, making way for younger families. “Eighty percent of sellers are older residents. They’re people who have raised their families and are looking to move elsewhere,” says Seeff Sandton area agent Justine Roux, pointing out that more properties have been sold in the suburb this year than in 2017. Many young professionals, including advocates, lawyers and those in the financial sector, are replacing the older folk, using Atholl as a base thanks to its proximity to the financial district and main commercial
centres such as Melrose Arch, Illovo, Rosebank and Sandton, according to Roux. Quite a few captains of industry have also made Atholl their home. Her assertion is supported by statistics from property data company Lightstone, which show that 63% of buyers in the past year were below 50 years of age. “What’s happening is that property prices have come down like anywhere else in South Africa, but sustainability has been good,” says Roux, who observes that proximity to workplaces, places of worship, shopping centres, private schools and highways has become essential to residents intent on cutting down on the time spent in the traffic. “People want to live, work and have schooling and tertiary education
in the same area.” This is underscored by the fact that there are numerous essential amenities close at hand for residents. For example, Sandton City, Atholl Square and Village Walk Centre are all in a 2km radius of the suburb. Roux also states that Atholl has become more culturally mixed – an application for the building of a mosque has just been approved. There is also a synagogue in the neighbourhood. The properties are generally large freeholds on stands of between 1 000m² and 2 000m², says Roux, who adds that some of the large, older, traditional properties are being subdivided for more intensive housing developments in order to feed the demand for accommodation close to the financial district.
The new sectionals are more common along the neighbourhood’s peripheral routes, but these have not been welcomed by everyone; some residents have been campaigning against higher density developments on the grounds that the neighbourhood’s integrity must be preserved. Although homes in Atholl can fetch as much as R25 million, the higher transfer costs that buyers must now pay have proved prohibitive in some cases. One consequence of this is some buyers are opting to buy cheaper homes and spend more on renovations, so saving on the final price. One example is a young couple who purchased a home for R15m, only to spend an additional R10m on renovations.
2 479 PREDOMINANT LSM
10 high Market stock
8.14% SECTIONAL SCHEME Age of owners
Jean Baillie’s favourite places and things to do ing. We have just completed our 91st parkrun with an average of 350 participants a week.
Park cleanup I organise regular cleanups of the park with the support of City Parks and City Of Johannesburg. Participation is voluntary and residents are encouraged to get involved. There is a project to plant trees and birdlife is thriving. Swings and gym equipment are available for residents to use.
2 Atholl Parkrun.
Atholl Parkrun I am event director of Atholl Parkrun, which I started in March 2018 to bring the community into the park and create awareness of the need to conserve our precious open spaces and to enjoy the health benefits of running/walk-
BluBird Shopping Centre This is my local shopping destination, providing retail and medical facilities as well as
plenty of parking. Motherland Coffee, Cafe Simo and Mafiosi are excellent meeting places. Atholl Oaklands Road and Fort Street, Birnam. 011 887 8576
Thrupps Impressive range of products. Oxford Rd, Illovo, Sandton. 011 268 0243.
4 5 6
Chateau Gateaux Decadent cakes. Shop 20A, Thrupps Illovo Centre, 204 Oxford Road, Illovo. 011 268 2211
Bellagio Restaurant Excellent seafood. Unit 1, Oxford Manor, 196 Oxford Road, Illovo. 011 268 0869
I am so fortunate to live and work in the exclusive suburb of Atholl, which is centrally located, close to the Sandton central business district, and with easy access to highways and the Sandton Gautrain station. Atholl is also conveniently located close to excellent schools and a superb selection of retail and entertainment destinations. We have a strong residents’ association and community spirit.
RESIDENT JEAN BAILLIE
18-35: 3% 36-49: 35% 50-64: 36% 65+: 29% Average house prices
Freehold: R6 450 000 Sectional Title: R2 400 000
7 December | 2019
The art of being
a good house guest Make an effort to be your best self when invited to stay in others’ homes this summer
BY J U R A KO N C I U S
HETHER you have a private bedroom and bath or you’re sharing a wobbly futon with a cat, being a gracious guest is the key to a good experience for all. Some of my best summer memories are of sitting on a friend’s stoep, eating dip and watching the sunset with other weekend guests. As someone lucky enough to be part owner of a family beach cottage, I’ve been on both sides of the host-guest equation. Good hosts make good guests. Take Nick Voulgaris III, author of The Seaside House, Living on the Water, which chronicles vacation homes in the US. Voulgaris is a frequent house guest and often hosts friends overnight in his places in New York’s West Village, Huntington and Shelter Island, where home is a yacht. “To me, the perfect house guest is someone who just pitches in and helps without asking,” Voulgaris says. “This is because most hosts will decline the offer when asked if anything can be done.” Make an effort to be your best self. Don’t make comments about the thinness of your mattress or the weird smell in the wardrobe. If you spill nail polish remover on the rug, confess. Try to be cheerful and accommodating. HERE ARE MORE IDEAS ON THE ART OF BEING A GOOD GUEST. Bring a nice gift The best things to buy are food, entertaining supplies, flowers or wine. Voulgaris suggests freshly baked goods such as a pie. A luxurious scented candle is also one of his go-to gift choices. I try to spot something the house could need, whether steak knives or a new toaster, so next year when I come back, I can bring that for a present. One friend who visited our beach house in August noticed we needed a nice tray and sent a woven rattan tray for Christmas. Keep the bathroom clean and cleared Many weekend houses have shared bathrooms. Voulgaris says it’s appreciated if you hang the bath mat over the shower or bath after using it, wipe off any water you’ve splashed on the floor and clean out the sink so the next guest can have a pleasant experience. Remove any soap scum or hair from the shower drain. Ask where you should hang your wet towels. Keep
your grooming products in your bedroom, not scattered around the bathroom. Help with chores Don’t sit there and expect to be served as if you’re at a restaurant. Hosts appreciate you clearing plates from the table, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the rubbish and stripping the bed when you leave. Set up the coffee for the next day. Or go a bit further. My husband meticulously cleaned a large outdoor grill for friends who had invited us to visit. I used my decluttering skills, working with my hostess to help reorganise the kitchen counters. Last year, I cleaned out my friends’ spice cabinet, tossing expired jars, wiping the shelves clean and alphabetising the rest. Don’t sneer at microwaved food When you’re a guest, you get to know your hosts on a different level. They may not buy the same kinds of foods as you do. So if they stock only skimmed milk for coffee and you want semi-skimmed, just go with it or bring your own. If they use bottled salad dressing and you make yours from scratch, don’t comment. So what if they zap their food instead of frying it? Just be grateful you’re getting a home-cooked breakfast. Leave nothing behind No host wants to run a lost-and-found. Guests should do a final inspection of their bedroom and bathroom for stray items. Check plugs for phone chargers, the back of the bathroom door for dressing gowns and the shower for shampoos and conditioners. Take your bathing suit off the clothes line. Peek under the bed in case a stray piece of clothing has ended up there. Give thanks. Often Say thank you after every meal and drink. When you leave, be enthusiastic about all the effort your host went to in order to create a wonderful time. Voulgaris says a group text is often formed before a weekend away to share information between hosts and guests. On the evening you depart, send out another text of thanks to the group, mentioning how much you appreciated the hospitality. and maybe include a photo you’ve taken of the weekend. Within the next few days, a handwritten note is a beautiful gesture that just might put you on the A-list for the next gathering. – Washington Post
7 December | 2019
home of the week
PRICE: Upper R2 000 000s A spacious front porch creates a great first impression of this traditional double-storey, four-bedroomed home.
BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL Enjoy classic features and bedrooms with views
A well-established garden is a green haven and dream for entertainers.
The immaculate property is spacious and secured with an electric fence and an alarm.
HIS traditional, double-storey home is in the heart of Parkhurst and set on a 496m² plot. It offers an immaculate home and a well-established garden without a pool. A stained-glass door opens to the entrance hall and a north-facing lounge and dining room with beautiful wooden floors. For entertainers, a fitted bar flows to the back garden. Downstairs there is a large bedroom with en suite bathroom. Upstairs – by way of a wooden staircase – are another three spacious bedrooms with views and a bathroom. Outside there is a staff room.
Are you interested in this property? Call Michael Capela 082 451 4597
The Parkhurst property offers covered parking for two cars and an additional visitor’s parking.
To have your home featured as the Home of the Week, please contact Amar Belmedani on 011 633 2305 or 082 348 0776 or Liezel Williams on 011 633 2307 or 083 603 7620
7 December | 2019
GARDENING Hydrangeas in full bloom are a delight of the shady, summer garden. PICTURE: CONSTANTIA OPEN GARDENS 2019
TIS THE SEASON Become more efficient this busy festive season by adopting shortcuts and timesaving techniques so you can enjoy your garden with guests
BY K AY M O N TG O M E RY
HE festive season is here. Now is the time for outdoor activities with friends and family. These handy gardening techniques will ensure your garden is ready for guests throughout the festivities. Begin by creating a favourable first impression with a mown lawn and neatened edges. Remove faded flowers and obvious weeds. Lay mulch around plants, which means less need to water.
HOLIDAY COLOUR Where time is limited, focus on the entrance to your home and welcome guests with a front door wreath. Reinforce that welcome with symmetrical oversize pots on either side of the front door, planted with evergreen shrubs or colourful flowers. If the entrance is sunny, fill pots with waterwise marigold, salvia, petunia and vinca. Tubs of flowering hydrangeas with a compact growth habit and smaller pots of fuchsias or bedding begonia will give instant colour. Try Beacon impatiens for a pretty welcome at shady entrances and on patios. Visit your garden centre and buy colour bags and pots in flower and plant them in gaps in the border. Water them regularly in dry weather. ENTERTAINMENT AREAS December is the time of year when we entertain outdoors. Create a holiday mood on
the patio in traditional red and green with gerberas, poinsettias, begonias, amaryllis, anthuriums and potted greenery. Or consider breaking with tradition and plant local fynbos. Light the evening patio with solar products, low-energy bulbs and candles. Pots of scented dwarf gardenia, liliums and nicotiana will add to the enjoyment. Hydrangea blooms, called Christmas roses, can be cut and placed in a vase for soft colour on the patio table. Place pots of herbs, such as basil, sage, thyme and mint near the braai. Swimming pools are in the spotlight during the holiday season. Plant the burn jelly plant (Bulbine frutescens) with yellow and orange flowers and succulent leaves around the pool surround. They give long-lasting colour and the juice of the leaves gives relief from insect bites and stings.
HOLIDAY TRADITIONS There are certain plants we associate with this season, by name or by legend. In medieval times, holly was hung around doors and windows to keep away witches, evil spirits, goblins and lightning, and provide a hiding place for good elves and fairies. Today, holly and ivy are popular for decorating mantelpieces, holiday table settings and gifts. Meanwhile, the tradition of the Christmas tree can be traced back to the 16th century in Germany. NEW FESTIVE TRENDS Instead of
T I M E S A V I N G ◆ Consider a New Year’s resolution to reduce large areas of labour-intensive thirsty lawns by planting ground covers, or replace lawn with permeable gravel or a water-harvesting wetland. ◆ Reduce time spent on fertilising the garden by using slow-release fertilisers that release nutrients throughout the season. ◆ Instead of spending valuable time looking for a missing spade or trowel, paint tool handles in bright colours so they are easily seen when left lying in the garden. Invest in a storage tool shed so that all your tools are instantly available. ◆ Group potted plants with similar water and shade requirements. Choose large containers rather than small ones. They hold more soil than small pots and dry out more slowly, with less watering required.
T I P S
F O R
choosing a conventional fir tree, consider an indigenous tree such as a yellowwood (Podocarpus henkelii) with glossy drooping foliage, a forest shrub (Gardenia thunbergia) with rigid branches and glossy green leaves, or a wild olive (Olea europaea subsp. africana) with silvergrey foliage. Decorate with sprayed seed pods, small pine cones and African beadwork. Sprayed silver or gold, dried agapanthus make pretty mobiles. The dry stem of an aloe, left natural or sprayed, would suit a contemporary Christmas theme.
MULCH, MULCH, MULCH Conserve moisture, prevent wind blowing away sand and topsoil and suppress weeds by spreading a thick (8-10cm) layer of mulch around plants. Before applying, make sure soil is damp. Organic mulches in the form of coarse compost, shredded bark, peach pips or pine needles will break down and return nutrients to the soil. Bark chips or nuggets are decorative and long lasting.
GIFT IDEAS FOR GARDENS Shop for gifts at your garden centre. Pot plants make great gifts for your hosts; succulents with low water needs for the flat dweller; a moth orchid (Phalaenopsis), anthurium or peace lily (Spathiphyllum) would be perfect for a shady patio. Herbs will please a cook. For the bird enthusiast, grinding stones make attractive birdbaths. A birdbath on a pedestal is the answer where there are cats.
Bright red Beacon impatiens, highly resistance to impatiens downy mildew, add instant colour in shady spots and on patios. PICTURE: BALL STRAATHOF
Mulch around plants to retain water in the heat and prevent weeds. PICTURE: LUKAS OTTO
M I D S U M M E R
A potted anthurium is a great gift for a Christmas party host. PICTURE: LUKAS OTTO Make life easier – group containers with similar water requirements. PICTURE: LUKAS OTTO
7 December | 2019
Independent Home 7 December 2019