Durban - Sometimes rustic, sometimes formal, but always elegant. Many agree that the French got it right when it came to decor. So enamoured were Barbara and Craig Robertson, that they collected numerous antiques and art for their dream “French” home before it was even bought.

The home in question turned out to be the house next door.

Marcia Prytz had lived in her Durban North home from the day she married to the day she died, at 91. She had done little to alter the house, which was built in the 1940s, and when she discussed it with her family, none took interest in the old house.

However, her neighbours were keen to renovate.

Barbara says the three-bedroom, three-bathroom home is like “a railway station. We love to entertain and so people often come and go. We have even hosted a few family weddings and parties.”

The rooms are large and flow into each other and on to a large wrap-around verandah. It’s indoor-outdoor living with a French panache.

While the furniture is a mix of old and new, the colours are mostly muted and the feel is timeless.

“After eight years, it’s safe to say we never get tired of it,” says Babara.

l The property, which also has a beautiful garden, is the setting for a Pop Up Tea Garden by Masterchef contestant Joani Mitchell on week days in April. To find out more,e-mail [email protected] - Omeshnie Naidoo, The Mercury