Editor’s note

Nature's embrace

Volume 9 (Cocoon), Winter 2023

Into the wild Charl with photographer and collaborator Elsa Young on Bergplaas in Mpumalanga. See p180 to see (and read) more of ‘Hill house’ and its spectacular location.

In this edition, Cocoon, we ‘escape the city’ in search of rural retreats, designer cabins and fabled farmsteads, seeking out sanctuaries that offer us warmth, a sense of solace and comfort as the colder months draw near.

And we did just that! We explored our country in search of new spaces that are humbly set, yet fully immersed in nature and the wild, making the most of its beautiful surrounds. We traveled far and wide to compile a round-up of homes, big and small, all unique in its style – venturing (and retreating) into nature and finding places that evoke a true sense of ‘cocooning’ and ‘nesting’ – our LIVE chapter becomes a literal mapping of these adventures and experiences (and these wonderful finds!).

‘Dune House’, our cover star (see p90), is lightly placed on top of a dune along the coastline in Betty’s Bay, a modern seaside ‘pod’ meets bungalow on stilts, and the perfect sanctuary in which to retreat into during a crazy coastal storm, with the sound of crashing waves and howling winds outside.

A dream hideout. ‘Hill House’ (see p180) on Bergplaas, set on Mpumalanga’s highland escarpment area, neighbouring Coromandel, is nature at its most powerful and majestic, featuring the most jawdropping lap pool you’ll ever see or swim in, safely set against the slopes and cliff of a mountain – the best vantage point to look out onto the valley below, with dramatic clouds overhead.

Watching the sunrise A morning in Limietberg with photographer Greg Cox to capture ‘Mountain cabin’ on p136.

And then there’s ‘Mountain cabin’ in Limietberg (see p136), a stone’s throw away from Bainskloof, set between boulders and thick vegetation in a kloof next to a mountain stream, a quintessential cabin, but with a twist… It’s like you’re tucked into a crevice or modern-day cave.

All of these places envelop and hold you, and is a reminder of our intricate yet beautiful relationship with nature. These homes, its homeowners, designers and architects, have all created spaces that embrace, converse and respect nature in the most remarkable way, while still making one feel right at home, and super cozy too.

Have a cozy winter! Hope you find all the sunny spots for those lazy afternoon naps. Until next time, when we see you for Volume 10 (Grow) in spring.


Charl was here A behind the scenes moment with photographer Elsa Young on Bergplaas in Mpumalanga.