Exquisite country living at its very finest

Helen Crooks

IT'S the ultimate lifestyle. Secure country living – yet only a few minutes drive from town. Unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean, Sardinia Bay and Schoenmakerskop, and a large, sheltered pool area for those windy PE days. A free-flowing, architect- designed 1000m² family home that is elegant yet not pretentious.

It's the kind of home that once finished, you cannot imagine ever wanting to give up: yet this family home on two hectares of ground in the Providence gated estate on the Old Seaview Road is an exciting and decidely up-market addition to the PE property market.

The complex, which will eventually swell from the current seven dwellings to 15, is housed within the Rath Keltair farm owned by ME Love and rubble from the original homestead stood on the ground where building work started on this very special house around seven years ago.

A scant nine months later, with lots of collaboration between the owner and an architect, and the family was ready to move into their dream home.

From the moment you step into the, spacious, art-adorned entrance hall the understated elegance simply permeates: yes, this house is a showpiece, but it's also the kind of place where you feel instantly at home. Leading off the entrance hall to one side is a large, formal lounge with a gas jetmaster, while to the other side, facing over the India Ocean, there's a lounge/dining room with a central wood-burning jetmaster.

There's also tons of space to eat in the huge kitchen which features a central island with gas hob. Built into the wooden cupboards are two microwaves, one an energy-saving solardom convection oven.

In a house where you could easily get lost there's a stunning, north-facing master bedroom with stylish built-in cupboards forming a wall between the bedroom area and the bathroom with massive walk-in shower and freestanding bath.

An additional two bedrooms, which share a bathroom, are placed as far away from the master bedroom as possible – not for privacy but to avoid the inevitable empty nest syndrome when the children fly the roost.

The house also has an upstairs maid's quarters and office area (there's an office downstairs too, again with that incredible view of the Indian Ocean) which could easily be transformed into a playroom or another en-suite bathroom.

Not that it would really be needed, even for the largest of extended families, for there's also a separate, totally self-contained suite with lounge area, kitchen and two en-suite bedrooms.

But again, that's not all. A short walk away from the main house there's a completely separate two- bedroom, two-bathroom cottage which was rescued from ruin and lovingly restored. The cottage also has three garages in addition to the main house's four garages.

From the outset the aim was to create a lived-in, much loved contemporary farmhouse with a South African feel which is both warm in winter and cool in summer.

So why, when you have created your own little piece of heaven, do you opt to put it on the market? Not, as you would probably think, because the house has become too big for the family's needs but rather that they feel there is a need for another project: Another dream house on a smallholding somewhere in Port Elizabeth.

The property is being marketed by Linda de Lange of Pam Golding Estates.

The asking price: R15.995-million.