Décor & Gardening
Flawless family abode
A wooden spoon, an electric fly swatter and Sauvignon Blanc. These are her a few of her secret weapons, Mary-Lou says, to maintaining a beautiful home with small young children in tow. “No, I’m only kidding,” she laughs, “my kids are actually quite neat and tidy…most of the time!”
Mary-Lou and her husband Kevin bought their beautiful, four-bedroom Zimbali home when they moved back to South Africa from the UK in early 2015. Although they are both originally from KZN, the couple met overseas and lived in London together for 16 years.
They are thrilled with their decision to settle on the North Coast. “We love the area and lifestyle on the North Coast. I have travelled for 20 years and I know that you will struggle to find a better place anywhere on the planet to raise your kids.” The couple’s four children are aged between two and 12 years old. They are: Jemima (12), Sebastian (9), Nicholas (6) and Florence (22 months).
1. What does a typical day in the Ullyet household look like? We get the kids up pretty early, at 5.30am, and the breakfast and getting ready for school routine takes about an hour and a half before we leave at 7am for school. In the afternoons the kids finish from 1pm and, on most days, that starts the ‘mom’s taxi service’ of picking up and taking to various sports and activities. We are usually all back home by 6pm for homework and dinner, and then getting the brood into bed.”
2. Tell us about your home and some of the specific features that initially attracted you to it. The house has four bedrooms, all en-suite, a guest loo and a separate TV room and office. The lounge and dining room are open plan and the kitchen has a separate scullery area. Outside we have a private bar overlooking the pool. The features that attracted us to the home were the fact that it is very private and secluded and is a really nicely laid out family home. The outside area is great for young kids (it’s enclosed so they can’t escape!) and really nice for entertaining. We like the size of the bedrooms as well.
3. Did you do the interior decorating yourself? Tell us a bit about the interior design and the look/you wanted to achieve. I did do some of it myself, along with some help from Kari Macdonagh of Kari Macdonagh Interiors. I really like a classic look with a little bit of funky colour here and there. The interior is still a work in progress though…
4. We love the quirky wall paper in the guest loo and the headboards in the kids’ rooms. I have a very talented school friend who is an artist, Victoria Verbaan. She is super talented and I love her art style. The wall paper in the guest WC is one of her prints, as are some of the scatter cushions and artwork around the house. The headboards were an idea I picked up on Pinterest.
Get in touch
The Ullyet home is available for holiday rental through Luxury Coastal Escapes: Louise@luxurycoastalescapes.com / 079 517 7353 | Artwork and wallpaper design: Victoria Verbaan: www.victoriaverbaan.com | Interior decorator: Kari Macdonagh Interiors: Kari@luxurycoastalescapes.com /084 775 7019
Text: Leah Shone| Photographs: Chris Allan / Chris Allan Photo / www.chrisallanphoto.co.za