Durban – “Once again...welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring.”
This well-known quote from Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel could very well become the catch-phrase of the buyer who snaps up this Gothic-style home situated in Pretoria East.
The saying could even be carved from black iron and hung above the door, just to add some extra uniqueness to this property that is already an architectural gem for those enamoured with Dracula folklore or Gothic culture.
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This classic, but modern, Gothic-style dwelling was found among the listings on IOL Property, and is impossible to scroll past without a closer look. The four-storey, five-bedroom home is described by Osie Van Niekerk of Apple Property Connection as an exceptional, architectural masterpiece. It has 3.5 bathrooms and four garages.
It is situated on nine hectares of prime land, with a conservancy on one side, the Pienaars River on the other, and small game roaming the land.
“Enjoy the most beautiful view of the Rietfontein gorge and rolling lawns, while forest-like trees offer a fairy-tale ambiance.
“No effort or costs were spared to build this house and its unique features.”
Gothic architecture is a pan-European style that emerged between the mid-12th century and the 16th century, and is, according to www.archute.com, characterised mainly by a “masonry building style that uses cavernous spaces and walls broken by overlaid tracery”.
“The Gothic style and architecture are rooted in French architecture, but you can also find it in Europe and other continents. Initially, the style of architecture from Europe was referred to as Opus Francigenum (French Work) and was primarily used by religious bodies like the Roman Catholic Church.
The site explains that the key characteristics of Gothic architecture include:
- Large, stained-glass windows
- Pointed arches
- Vaulted ceilings
- Flying buttresses
- Ornate decorations and gargoyles
Van Niekerk lists the features of this unique and mesmerising property as including:
- A basement wine cellar with tasting/movie room
- Hand cut Swedish crystal chandeliers
- An Italian Marble and antique imported cast iron spiral staircase
- Stunning stoves and fireplaces such as Queen Anne, Dover and Godin, with a lifetime wood supply on the farm
- Cinema balconies
- Dressing portals
- An art studio
- Solid oak cupboards
- Wooden and stone floors
He says the sub-division of the land into two 4.5 hectares has already been registered with the surveyor-general’ s office.
Other features include boreholes with drinking-quality water; electric fencing around both houses; and a game fence around the entire farm. The property, which also has a second, rustic three-bedroom stone house, is on the market for R6.95m.
If you like the idea of a Gothic-styled home but for whatever reason cannot purchase this one, here are some ways that you can create this feel and style within your current home:
- Add black decorative accents
- Create pointed arches
- Invest in a few dark furnishings
- Furnishings should have intricately ornate designs
- Use Gothic Victorian-style wallpaper
- Use other dark colours such as emerald green and burgundy
- Use dramatic curtains – preferably silk or velvet
- Recreate lancet windows
- Look for antique decorative pieces such as wrought-iron candle holders and pottery bowls
- Consider kitchen ceiling tiles
- Use moulded wall panelling
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