​The Hyde Park House Of Secrets

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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On our latest edition of homify 360°, we keep it local by setting foot in Hyde Park, Johannesburg. The professional team whose work we’re discovering is the award-winning firm Daffonchio & Associates Architects, whose creations focuses on environmental impact and the effect of architectural constructions on its inhabitants. 

Since this is South Africa, temperature control and outdoor living space are two important components of home design – two factors which our professionals neatly and efficiently take care of, as we’ll shortly witness. However, don’t think that modern style and aesthetic beauty have taken a backseat for eco-efficiency.

Horizontal harmony

With a gorgeous backyard such as this, we had no choice but to kick off our tour at the back of the house. Placed on a green, spacious lawn, the house portrays a vibe of openness and expansiveness. Its long, straight linear design, of which the horizontal side clearly takes centre stage, makes for a very harmonious setting. 

Materials of timber and stone perfectly carry the neutral colour palette, making that lush green lawn and cool blue sky even more striking.

Housing secrets

Getting closer to the house reveals the impressive coating of the materials used. But there are also secrets that need to be shared. According to the architects, their clients requested a structure that was easy to change and adapt to their requirements. These walls were the perfect solution, as each part has two layers. 

The inner layer is a glass wall that allows the wall to be slid aside like a window, opening up the house to the exterior landscape. Timber shutters, the outer layer, can be closed over the inner wall to provide adequate protection from the sun, and to ensure some stylish privacy. 

And with those gracious floor-to-ceiling windows, the inhabitants have no need to grumble about a lack of natural lighting. 

Aside from providing ultra stylish living spaces, this house has another reason to stand so proudly: its eco-friendly character. It possesses a passive solar design, insulation and natural ventilation temperature control system. In addition, its hot water is supplied through the use of solar geysers, and the swimming pool generates its heat from energy solar mats.

Peculiar living spaces

Thanks to the house’s customisable walls, its interior is a uniquely flexible living space. It has an open floor plan, allowing each area to blend seamlessly into the next, including the spacious yard. It was up to exceptional interior design touches to distinguish the different spaces. 

Take, for example, those striking lights dangling from the ceiling. With their vintage, rococo-like vibe, they inject an unexpected element into the clean and modern look of the covered patio. Combined with the rustic dining table and the transparent chairs, the overall effect is quite eccentric, yet stylishly memorable. This definitely prevents the house from being just another modern mansion which we have seen so many times before.

Two styles in one kitchen

We locate the kitchen and it is here where the decor and space starts to blend into each other. Yet another combination of the minimal and eclectic styles, the kitchen’s main design element is undoubtedly that solid timber. Its grainy patterns and striking colour mixes makes for quite the visual stimulation. 

To break that brown wooden vibe, white coats the walls and the counter top, keeping up the modern, minimalist side of this dual-styled kitchen. Yet, closer inspection reveals four ornate candlestick holders placed on a marble surface, adding yet another unique colour- and texture combination into the room.

Spoiled for dining choices

There is most certainly a contest going on between the interiors and the exterior spaces – a contest to see which side holds up the most style. 

As we have already seen, wide patios were placed outside to lure the homeowners (and their guests) on regular outings to the exterior spaces. To sweeten the deal, a second dining area was placed outside, making for one glamorous al fresco dining experience. This one makes use of the same clear chairs seen earlier, although the table flaunts a darker shade of timber than the previous one. 

Before dinner can be served, we need to check out the: Homify guide to choosing a great dining table.

Bringing beauty into the bathroom

Since the patios and kitchen showed us how fantastic a mixing of materials can be, the same winning recipe was brought into the main bathroom. Here is where we get a fantastic combination of raw red bricks, wavy-patterned timber, cool marble, crisp concrete, and a dark pebble-texture look for the floor. 

Modern mirrors in fantastic sizes contrast exceptionally well with the grainy brick wall, and reflect the natural light streaming in through the window superbly. 

Overall, the entire house makes for a memorable living space, made even more striking by that exceptional touch of decor.

What did you think of that unique mixing of decor styles? Do you have a favourite room in this house? Share your comments with us.
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