Décor & Gardening
As a business owner, first time mom to her 8-month-old son, and absolute outdoor fanatic, finding comfort and calm in her home is of the utmost importance to Tracy. And the fact that their property borders a coastal forest helps her to feel like she’s escaping civilisation.
It was while she was working on this piece of land for a client that Tracy says she and her husband Rob fell in love with the site. When the then owners decided to sell, the Levinsons were first in line to buy it.
“The site is North-facing and very wide, which is unique for Simbithi. It’s situated on a cul de sac and has bush and forest views. It was perfect for us.”
Tracy completed her seven-year architecture degree at the University of Cape Town, where she met her husband. The couple moved to Ballito in 2004 and Tracy spent two years working for well-known Ballito architect Charley Taylor before going on her own.
Tracy started her business with a focus on designing luxury homes in estates and most of the work she has done is in Simbithi and Brettenwood. Tracy allows her client’s personality to guide the design of each home, but she says she does place a strong emphasis on creating spaces that are ‘passive’ and allow her to work with the existing elements like light, sun and wind. “I believe that every home should be different and should reflect the personality of the homeowner. Everyone has their own style.”
Tracy and Rob got married in 2008 and started building their home two years later. “As an architect, it’s actually really hard to design your own home. All I knew was that the design would have a strong Australian and Scandinavian feel, which is focussed on simplicity, minimalism and functionality.”
“I didn’t want a home that needed a lot of décor and ‘stuff’ to fill it. I think the architecture should fill the home. The architecture is the décor.”
Reflecting her love for the environment and nature, Tracy says she tried to keep the home as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible. “I’ve used a lot of natural wood, so the skirting, doors and window frames are all South African pine and I used the slope of the land to bring about angles in the house and help it to blend in with the site, rather than compete with it.”
The uniquely wide site allowed Tracy to almost divide the four-bedroom house into two sides. The general living areas, like the lounge, dining room and all the bedrooms are positioned on the one side of the house. This, she says is the ‘warm’, sunny side where she has used lots of timber and a high roof. “The other side has what I call the utility ‘pods’, the kitchen, scullery and bathrooms. This is the more functional side of the house.”
The interior of the home has a somewhat retro yet contemporary 70’s feel to it. The décor is simple and clean, allowing the timber, concrete and forest views to speak for themselves.
As outdoor and sporting enthusiasts (they are both avid trail runners), who often go hiking and camping, Tracy said they liked the idea of being able to lock up and go whenever they want.
“We love living in Simbithi. It really is a little piece of heaven, especially for kids.”
Get In Touch
LevEco Architects: www.leveco.co.za / 083 635 4466