Array
Houses

A 140sqm Tropical Family Home Filled With Art

This beautiful house effectively maximizes space, making it look bigger than it actually is

Shares
Original Article: Graham Wood/Bureaux.co.za Photography: Greg Cox/Bureaux.co.za Pictorial Direction: Sven Alberding/Bureaux.co.za

Homeowner Piet Boer relates experiences with the “wildlife” surrounding his Forest Town home, which is right across Johannesburg Zoo. “On a Saturday morning early, when there is no traffic noise and you open up the sliding doors, the sound just flows in,” he says. “We hear lions and birds, and there are monkeys that make strange whistling sounds.”

Piet is an architect and is, in his own words, “obsessed with the memory of place,” and what connects a person to a place. It’s a strange coincidence that he’s ended up living in a home where an unlikely memory like that wafts across the garden as dawn breaks. But it was perhaps less of a coincidence that the fact that both Piet and Lucia grew up on farms initially attracted them to the house. “We wanted something small, and we definitely wanted a house that allowed us to live inside and outside at the same time,” says Piet. “The last thing I wanted was to be encased in a house. It needed to open up and allow us to live outside.”

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The house is just 140-sqm, but seems much larger. Despite the apparent simplicity of its design—a simple L-shape—it cleverly integrates interior and exterior areas to appear much larger. Lucia and Piet did very little to alter the house; they simply cleaned up the original floors, replaced the ceilings and repainted. The most significant changes were the kitchen and the new sliding doors that let in more light. “The intimacy of this house is just amazing for us,” says Piet. “We use every single square meter, and you never feel claustrophobic because it is so open.”

Lucia and Piet have managed to infuse the space with their collection of contemporary South African art. “With art comes identity and what you relate to,” says Piet. The walls are filled with art, mostly concentrating on local artists ranging from the 1960s and 70s to the present. Lucia is also always on the lookout for fresh talent, and buys works from up-and-coming artists. “The other thing I really love about art, because you collect it over such a long period of time, is that you have the memory of certain periods of your life in certain works,” says Piet.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Changing and transforming pieces at home, he says, keeps memory fresh and infuses the present with a sense of the past. “It keeps it relevant,” says Piet. “It’s not a museum. They have to work for the way you live.” 

More on Realliving.com.ph

Shares
Recommended Videos

Latest Stories

Where to Find Wall Stickers for Your Child's Bedroom (No Need for a New Paint Job!)

You can get wall stickers in lots of unique colors and designs.

The 5-Basket System: How to Declutter Your Home Once and for All

Get rid of all the unnecessary junk that may have accumulated in your home finally.

Not All Electric Fans Are Created Equal! 7 Things to Consider When Buying One

Fans are a necessity in all Pinoy homes, so make sure yours is a reliable model!

7 Ways to Brighten Dark Rooms if Your House Doesn't Get Natural Light

First tip: Update your old light bulbs!

How You Can Achieve a More Efficient Kitchen Without Remodeling!

All you need to do is organize your kitchen items and establish specific zones.

8 Ways to Store and Organize Your Pots and Pans So They Don't Get Damaged

Ever thought about using a pegboard to organize your cookware?

10 Ways to Make Your Small Living Room Look Bigger and Better

Don't let the small space limit your creativity when it comes to decorating!

Never Have a Smelly Sink Again With This One Simple Ingredient (Just Sprinkle)

Learn what you can do to make sure those nasty smells don't happen again.

Feeling Sad and Anxious? Maybe You Need a Potted Plant or a Vase of Flowers at Home!

A study found that green wonders and fresh blooms have a positive impact on one's well-being

10 Pretty Decor Pieces for an Insta-Worthy Wall

Make the most of your bare walls!

How to Pack a Suitcase Efficiently, Prevent Wrinkled Clothing

Especially if you're just bringing a carry-on!

7 Ways to Make Your Ceiling Look Higher Than It Actually Is

Take note of these decorating tricks to help you create the impression of a taller room.
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!