Décor & Gardening

Outside in

Outside in

Standing in the kitchen of Thomas and Nadia Funke’s Palm Lakes home feels almost as though you are standing outdoors. The same can be said when you’re sitting in the lounge… and even when you’re in their main bedroom.

The term ‘bringing the outdoors in’ certainly applies to the Funke family’s beautiful four-bedroomed home. Which you realise is perfect, really, after spending a bit of time with the couple and their two young sons.

Originally from Pretoria, Thomas and Nadia met while they were at university. Thomas has a strong German background and attended a German school in Pretoria before going to Tuks to study Agricultural Economics, which he now has a PHD in. Nadia, of Dutch descent, spent a few years in Holland while she was growing up, and went on to study Landscape Architecture.

After completing their studies, the couple were married and moved to Ballito a year later when Thomas was offered a job with the Canegrower’s Association. Nadia took up a job as a landscape architect for the Ethekwini Municipality and they bought their first home in Simbithi. When she fell pregnant with their first son, Gust, Nadia resigned and started her own practice, called City Green. The couple decided it was time to find a bigger home, more suited to their lifestyle, when they had their second son, Kai.  “We looked at a few places, but as soon as Nadia saw this house she was sold. It was this or nothing! It took us a long time to sell our house in a very difficult market, but we held out to get this house,” says Thomas.

It was the incredible value for money, beautiful views and excellent quality finishes that Thomas says ultimately led to them choosing Palm Lakes Family Estate. That, and the unique design of the home they had set their heart on.

“We just love the design and openness of this home. We have lovely views, big rooms and a huge floor area, so the kids can literally ride their bikes from one side of the house to the other,” laughs Nadia.

The uniquely house, designed by Williams Associate Architects, is built around a grassed ‘courtyard-type’ area, offering complete privacy on all sides. It has four bedrooms, two of which are en-suite, as well as a full bathroom and guest toilet. The living area is completely open plan and has glass stacking doors all around, which when opened up, give the feeling of bringing the outside in.

The house has three garages (perfect for the Funkes who are avid sailors and need the space to house their yacht) and there is also a separate, fully contained flat upstairs for extra guests.

Another big draw card for the Funkes to Palm Lakes is the estates ‘green’ policies and ethos. “We are very enthusiastic about the idea of sustainable living. The pre-paid water and electricity systems at Palm Lakes makes you conscious of your usage and we love the fact that there is dam water on tap for all residents to use to water their gardens. We are planning a roof garden, have installed a solar geyser and are investigating solar panels. We also keep our own veggie garden and I love buying second hand furniture and décor,” says Nadia.

Despite having only moved in less than four months ago, Nadia says they are already completely settled and ‘at home’ in the estate. “Our experience of living in the estate so far has been lovely. It’s much quieter than we expected, because there are quite a few holiday homes around us. The clubhouse, kids play area and pool and restaurant are all great too.”

Text: Leah Shone / Photographs: Chris Allan, Peppermint Pix


Get It Magazine Ballito/Umhlanga – October 2018

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