Shatavari, ashwagandha, tulsi and triphala. Chances are, these aren’t words you’ll find in everyone’s lexicon. They’re Ayurvedic herbs, used for the promotion of health and longevity, and ingredients that are commonplace in the Rhodes household. Added to daily smoothies and juices along with other life-giving superfoods and supplements, they’re the cornerstone of the family’s vitality. Laid back as it appears, the Rhodes’ home in Little Chelsea,
Wynberg, is a hardworking base for their busy lifestyle. Jonty, of cricket fame, coaches and travels regularly for the game, while his wife Melanie is an architect, long-time yoga disciple and devotee of wellness. Their four children, Ethan (12), Timothy (9), India (4) and Nathan (2) are school-going and sport-loving by default.
‘Chelsea Village has always attracted us with its charm, well preserved historic architecture and tree-lined park,’ Melanie explains. On the hunt for a new home, they came across a national monument – a thatched barn whose earliest structure is guessed to have been built some 250 years ago, with many additions and an annexe added later. For the most part, the existing buildings were dark and disjointed. ‘My brief to myself was to turn it into something the kids would love, while preserving the integrity of the building’s history,’ recalls Melanie, who handled the plans. She adapted the building to suit their lifestyle, bringing in much needed light and revealing the historical character of the building. It’s a careful balance between respect and renewal, echoing Melanie’s ethos of ‘enhancing and working with what is available’.
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