Décor & Gardening

Forest Fantasy

Forest Fantasy

Deriving inspiration from both African and Asian influences, this Zimbali masterpiece perfectly combines contemporary and earthy elements while incorporating the surrounding coastal forest perfectly.

The house is called Ikhaya (which means ‘’house’’ in Zulu) Mizu (which means ‘’water’’ in Japanese). And this is exactly what was achieved when this forestencapsulated dream home was built – a house on the water.

Passionate about Japanese design and influence, the owners wanted to subtly bring both African and Eastern
influences into the home. The water comes in by way of the massive Koi pond that surrounds and flows
underneath the home. Even when you’re standing in the kitchen, every now and then you will spot a beautiful Koi fish floating beneath your feet. Despite its natural, earthy feel and deep connection with nature, this four bedroom home lacks nothing in terms of modern, contemporary finishes and technological must-haves. Although each bedroom boats its own distinctive style and features (like unique life-like wallpaper in two of the bedrooms and a stone-cladded shower with marble tops in one of the en-suites), they all have the glorious modern-day luxuries that make this home incredibly desirable. Think under floor heating, heated towel rails, dehumidifiers and even pre-programmed night lights in all the bathrooms . . . and the rooms also all come with individual temperature controls for the ducted air conditioning.

The main bedroom en-suite is an Asian/ African design dream, with exquisite panel windows that open out and allow the forest to literally climb into bed with you. Other unusual touches, such as a rice paper Shoji screen leading to the bathroom (which has bamboo paneling and a rain shower), and the concealed bedside lamps and switches next to the bed which allow you to control the lighting, temperature and blinds, make this a bedroom you just never want to leave. An impressive palm hand carved wooden column stands at the foot of the staircase and leads you downstairs into the cinema or ‘rumpus’ room. Complete with bar, pool and table tennis table, darts board and wallto- wall sound proofing, the cinema room houses the home’s entire ‘home automation’ panel, and allows you to download movies (Box Office and Apple) to your heart’s desire.

Behind the scenes, the garage is home to a full battery pack inverter, which ensures all LED lights, the TV in the cinema room and one plug next to each bed will come on automatically, should there be a power failure. There is also ample extra storage space in the garage, as well as a wireless prepaid electricity meter, for those who are keen on saving on electricity. The kitchen is fully-integrated and finished with Miele appliances. It has a unique induction wok and even a Hydro tap that allows you to have filtered boiling hot or freezing cold water on demand. There is no shortage of entertainment and living areas in this home, which boasts a very private, beautiful lounge area with exquisite sand-like paint techniques and wooden flooring that costs no less than R1000 per sqm. Every room in the home has its own remote from which you can control the lighting, temperature, blinds, television and music – perfect for entertaining people of different ages.

The house seems to flow easily and although the adults, teenagers and little kids might all be entertaining in separate rooms, it still feels like you are all somehow together. The outside entertainment area has a Chad-o-chef gas braai and ice maker as well as a swimming pool that can be heated up in one area, and you can choose to relax on the patio or in the boma or gazebo areas. The 15-metre green belt between the home and its neighbours means there is abundance of animal and bird life and, because the house is west-facing, it is completely protected from the wind, allowing you to truly indulge in the outdoor/indoor lifestyle almost all of the time. The stylish combination of glass, wood, stone and water used in the design of this home gives it a natural, contemporary feel, while not taking away from its enchanting forest fantasy appeal.


Get It Magazine (Ballito/Umhlanga) – July 2018

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