Historical gem perfect for partying

Helen Crooks

IT'S not often that you get the chance to buy into a piece of PE history. It's also not often that you get the chance to buy into that old cliche – the entertainer's dream.

But that's what you get all rolled into one at the Mill Park home of Carin and Manie Steyn, a home which has been beautifully renovated over the last 13 years with modern updates still managing to capture the elegance of the 1930s, which is when the Woodville Road house was built.

Featured in the book, Dream Homes of Mill Park, by Gavin McLachan, this is the third in a row of English- style homes, with its magnificent, sloping roof setting the mood for a truly elegant home.

But back to the entertainer's dream concept which flows throughout the ground floor level.

Accessed through glass doors that open onto an attractive garden with a large koi pond, there's an informal dining and lounge area leading into a huge designer kitchen with separate scullery.

Want to entertain in style? The kitchen has a gas hob, wok hob, built in deep-fat fryer, gas steak griller and three undercounter ovens including an air over.

To the left of the kitchen there's a formal dining area while a custom built bar with wine fridges fronts a comfortable lounge, where after-dinner coffees are served.

But that, as they say, is not all. What used to be a stoep has been impressively enclosed with great use made of glass both on the walls and in the domed, wood-framed ceiling.

This room also has plenty of space for a dining table, and also features a gas braai.

Take a walk outside towards the carefully designed pool, which has waterfalls trickling down into a rock pool separate from the pool itself, and you'll find an attractively decorated jacuzzi room with its own shower and loo.

And if all that does not overshadow the ultimate entertainer's dream concept, there's also a totally separate "gazebo" – a fully self-contained unit with table, kitchen, scullery, gas braai and Teppanyaki grill.

"You can party on the weekend, lock it up and deal with the mess on a Monday," quips Carin, who has been very hands-on with the renovations since she married Manie in 2000.

"Renovations essentially started two years after we got married, starting with the upstairs bedroom area, and then continuing downstairs," says Carin who feels that she has brought a feminine influence to the previously male-dominated household.

Certainly someone in the house has a lot of taste as carefully selected artworks adorn the walls throughout the property and, in addition to all the aforementioned accommodation, the downstairs area also features a huge, formal lounge: formal yes, but not stuffy. You can sense that if you want to kick your shoes off and relax on the chaise longue in front of the gas fire that it wouldn't be frowned upon.

Completing the art- adorned downstairs area, which features a clever mix of tiles and wood floors, there's a cosy den/ games room, a guest bathroom and an Eastern-themed therapy room with its own entrance.

Echoing the English-style origins of the house, the bedroom area is accessed by wooden staircases edged by traditional bannisters with Persian carpet runners clipped into place with brass stair rods.

The stairway is also lit with a beautiful large David Manning stained glass creation, with another of these works found in the master bathroom.

Bedroom accommodation comprises a guest room with four poster bed, a chandelier and wall-to-ceiling built-in wardrobes lit with down lights.

The huge master suite opens onto its own balcony, and features a gas fire and exquisite en-suite.

There's also a guest bathroom where once again there has been a clever use of glass – a floor to ceiling window in the shower not only lets in a lot of light but also offers amazing views of the garden and Settlers Park.

There are also an additional three bedrooms, one of which has been converted into a lounge/ TV room and one into a study.

Finally, above the spacious garages, there's a flatlet with student rental possibilities: the house is within walking distance of Grey.

Having put so much work and love into the property, the question has to be asked: Why on earth put it onto the market?

The answer is easy: the empty nest syndrome.

"It's simply too big for us. The home needs new owners, a family, people who like to entertain and who need lots of space for their children and their children's friends," says Carin, who will, nevertheless, definitely shed more than a few tears when the time finally arrives to move on.

The house is on the market with Solomons Crafford and the asking price is R9500000.