Even when your home is large, you run the risk of cluttering it. Keep the look open and airy. 	Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
Even when your home is large, you run the risk of cluttering it. Keep the look open and airy. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
Try to make the staircase and background art absolute showstoppers.    Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
Try to make the staircase and background art absolute showstoppers. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
Wallpaper makes a grand statement and shelves can be added for practical use.   Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
Wallpaper makes a grand statement and shelves can be added for practical use. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
Beautify your home with those elements that are must-haves. 	Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
Beautify your home with those elements that are must-haves. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
Frame that beautiful view with mock drapes rather than full-on curtaining to avoid detracting from it. Opt for ultra-indulgent fabric in an eye-catching colour.   Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo
Frame that beautiful view with mock drapes rather than full-on curtaining to avoid detracting from it. Opt for ultra-indulgent fabric in an eye-catching colour. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo

When Berea homeowners Vanessa and Willy Govender found a plot with panoramic views of the city and sea, they created their dream contemporary home. Omeshnie Naidoo took notes

Here’s what to do to get your dream home right the first time around:

Landscape

The garden you have doesn’t look the way you want it to? No problem. Bring in expert help and redesign it according to you preference.

A level or terraced garden can do wonders for the way in which your property looks in its entirety and will add to your eventual curb side appeal.

Just ensure you know where all the pipes and plumbing are. If your land is on a slope, be sure to consult with professionals such as engineers and architects before undertaking a dramatic landscape to ensure it is safe for your home.

Facade

If you are going to build a modern home, ensure it has a focal point or outward facade.

In this case the homeowner created water features on either side of the front entrance that look like champagne bottles; the water mimics the cascading bubbly. You could create a façade with the actual architecture of the house, or externally with cladding or even paint.

Scale

What is the point of large windows if you can’t emphasise them?

Frame that beautiful view with mock drapes rather than full-on curtaining to avoid detracting from it. Opt for ultra-indulgent fabric in an eye-catching colour. Depending on how much is visible you may want to use another fabric as opposed to lining on the inside. A plain velvet could for example be contrasted with a contemporary floral.

Stay upmarket

Indoor, outdoor living is a huge trend, and considering our amazing climate, it is a way of life. Homes built to maximise their view often have balconies, patios and outdoor rooms.

If you’re decorating to impress on the inside, ensure you do the same on the outside. Stylish furniture, fabric, rugs and other accessories for the outdoors are all easily available. Buy the most durable up-front and avoid frequent and costly replacements.

Practicals pop

Even when your home is large, you run the risk of cluttering it. Keep the look open and airy.

Beautify your home with those elements that are must haves. Make every appliance work for its space on your kitchen counter and display only the most sentimental pieces you own to show some character.

These homeowners ensured the staircase was a show-stopper. The design is elegant and each stair is made of granite.

Be tech savvy

Everything in this home is run off a home automation system, using tablets and mobile devices.

Alarms, lighting, audio-visual, blinds, pool, sprinklers and the even the geysers are all controlled at the touch of a button.

Efficiency and electronics go hand in hand.

Wallpaper

Wallpaper makes a grand statement and gives a room character.

You don’t have to go wall-to-wall and you certainly don’t have to do entire rooms. Rather use the application as you would paint, creating feature walls behind TV sets or headboards. Frame your wallpaper and don’t be afraid to layer it with shelving or frames.

Art

Art still has the same high-brow appeal, although the nature of the pieces has changed drastically.

Abstract and contemporary pieces in this home talk to each other, making an understated statement about the family that live here.

Make space

Designate areas for hobbies, work or interest.

It is your home after all and you will have to live in it, so forget conventional demarcations of space and design rooms and their functions around your lifestyle.

Update

The custom-made cupboards the homeowner commissioned were all in a very dark wood, which was in at the time. As the Scandinavian look gained popularity, she had all the doors updated in a white hi-gloss, at a relatively low cost.

Remember to consider updates in your plans, so you don’t get stuck with something that dates.