Over The Hills And Far Away
Home South Africa|August 2020
Over The Hills And Far Away
Gorgeous views of the iconic Melville Koppies in Johannesburg make this renovated home a welcome escape from bustling city life.
Dina Venter

After his first viewing of an old semi-detached house situated on the top of Melville Ridge in Johannesburg, James Diack knew that despite its dilapidated appearance, it could be transformed into something special. The stand has such glorious views of the Melville Koppies that it’s hard to believe the bright lights of a vibrant suburb are just a stone’s throw away.

“I loved the idea that I would be able to walk to the local bakery and our favourite restaurant or pub down the road – Melville has such an international feel,” muses James.

Not keen on an overlarge home requiring a lot of upkeep, James was nonetheless drawn to the size of the property. “I wanted something between a house and a loft; not too big but with room for my dogs and enough space in which to entertain.”

With his sights set on this little gem, James took the leap and made the purchase towards the end of 2009.

Luckily, he knew someone who would be able to turn the rabbit warren of separate rooms into an open and inviting home: his mother Janet has a knack for decorating without breaking the bank. James grew up in the beautiful spaces she created – the family home in Northcliff, their beach house in Annerley on the South Coast and Brightside Farm in Magaliesberg – and had no doubt that she was up to the challenge.

Opening up

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August 2020