It took eight years to begin the long-awaited and masterful restoration of this 1930s heritage home in Westcliff to bring in the warmth and the light… literally, the ‘liquid gold’ of Johannesburg. Today Valley Home is an elegant landmark, surrounded by a lush 2500m2 garden that stretches all the way up onto Westcliff’s rocky koppie, and overlooks the largest manmade forest in the world – originally the plantation of the ‘Sachsenwald’, now known as Saxonwold and Forest Town.
Its sought-after location in Westcliff was originally named Prospect Terrace in 1904, almost 20 years after gold was first discovered in Johannesburg, then renamed The Valley Road in 1917. It is now part of the Parktown Ridge Heritage Area. Fast forward to today: Valley Home is none other than the cover story of the August 2023 issue of glossy interiors magazine Conde Nast House & Garden. As Mila Crewe-Brown writes: ‘With the right orientation, fenestration and savvy planting choices, you can actually outsmart winter in Johannesburg altogether. And, when you’ve bought in one of the city’s most sought-after garden suburbs, where trees soar like monuments, vast gardens unfurl and historic hilltop homes abound, hacking the seasons makes for near perfect living conditions.’
By adding a contemporary extension that is almost entirely glazed along the western and northern elevation, the kitchen, living and dining room collectively act as a glorious sun trap year-round. The new U-shaped layout embraces a gravelled courtyard shaded by an established pin oak, potted shrubs and a dining table. A two-bedroomed Executive Cottage can be linked to the first floor of the main house with its four additional bedrooms. A ‘his’ and ‘hers’ study makes remote working seamless and security is excellent. The house has ample water tanks, a full filtration system, inverter, solar geysers, gas geyser, a Morso fireplace and four wood fireplaces. Town gas and a Rinnai heating point, plus underfloor heating makes the home cosy in winter. But as the seasons change and spring arrives, the conservatory comes into its own and the northern garden – with its large pool and summer house – makes entertaining a pleasure.
*Images courtesy of vignette.sa
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