A Dream Come True
Home South Africa|September 2020
A Dream Come True
Lots of natural light and clever architectural detail make this house easy on the eye, while careful planning makes it ecofriendly too.
Amanda van Wyngaardt

For many years, Laura Matzner fostered a keen interest in an extremely run-down house in her neighbourhood. She even Googled the property and began dreaming about what she would do if it belonged to her. The home, however, was not for sale.

But then in 2012 the property was unexpectedly put up for auction.

With their kids now out of school, Laura and hubby Dieter suddenly had different needs. Laura, an interior designer who doesn’t shy away from a building project, was keen to take on a new challenge and Dieter, a mechanical engineer, was eager to build an energy-saving house, something he had been interested in for years.

Their bid was successful and at last the Matzners could seize the opportunity to make both their dreams a reality.

The erf was large enough for them to build four houses; they live in one and rent out the other three. As an added bonus, all four are north-facing so plenty of sunlight streams through the windows.

Laura’s design philosophy

“With a new construction project, there are three constraints within which you have to work and plan,” explains Laura, who runs her own business, Muto Interior Design. “Your budget, the erf’s building restrictions and the municipal regulations applicable to your suburb.”

The couple had their plans drawn up, got the necessary permission and once construction was completed, set about decorating their dream home.

Laura’s décor philosophy is simple: “It’s sometimes easier to determine what you don’t like and then through a process of elimination achieve the look and style you want. I’m drawn to authentic materials such as wood, stone and glass.

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September 2020