Perching on the edge of a picturesque lagoon, this beach house on a rare six-hectare property has been renovated to optimise every bit of its magnificent setting
WORDS: SARAH MARJORIBANKS – PHOTOS: PERFECT HIDEAWAYS
out Huisie’s picture‑postcard position is the stuff of dreams. Near the hamlet of Churchhaven in the West Coast National Park, the wooden house is perched right on the edge of the azure Langebaan lagoon.
Surrounded by indigenous fynbos with the sandy white beach right on its doorstep, you couldn’t ask for a holiday home that’s more connected to the elements.
Hout Huisie was built in the 1960s by the current owner’s grandfather, who purchased the Schrywershoek farm before the surrounding area was declared a national park. They spent many wonderful holidays at this “pocket of paradise” and little has changed on the farm itself.
Back then, they didn’t fully comprehend how sought after the location would become, and today the area is renowned for its space and solitude. The off-the-grid house then was a simple beach cabin, and very limited – they had to light a donkey to heat water for the bath, and the house would be enveloped with smoke if the wind blew in a certain direction!
After a renovation late last year, however, the house today is much more comfortable. The ceiling was extended upwards by lifting the trusses, and the kitchen was opened up to the lounge area. Glass doors now lead onto the deck and the smoky donkey was replaced with a gas geyser for hot water. A wood-burning stove for chilly winter nights completes the transformation.
As Hout Huisie is rented out as a holiday home, the refurb needed to appeal to a broad spectrum of guests, something that the renovation team kept in mind throughout the planning process.
Helen and David Untiedt from Perfect Hideaways, a boutique holiday rental company that manages Hout Huisie’s bookings, provided the overall vision, while contractor David Westbrook was responsible for Hout Huisie’s construction.
Interior designer Salome Gunther completely transformed and uplifted the property.
“We painted the home white to provide a blank canvas and to lighten the space,” says Gunther. “Then, inspired by the lagoon’s colours, we added turquoise and blue into the decor.”
Further inspiration comes from the local fauna, with photos of birds from the area featured in circular “portholes” to create a “boaty” feel.
Location, location, location
The property truly makes the most of its location. The beach boma is right at the edge of the lagoon and the stoep is protected against the weather. From here, one can watch the sunset across the entire lagoon, and then later count the stars in the expansive night sky. The beach boma is also a perfect spot from where one can appreciate the magnificent birdlife of the area.
Spring is an extra special time in the national park – it’s when the renowned wild flowers of the West Coast pull colourful blankets across the landcape. The weather is also still cool enough to enjoy evenings around the fire in the boma.
While it’s one thing to rent a beautiful home, it’s quite another to make it your own. Hout Huisie is a remarkable addition to any portfolio for those few who are able to purchase such a property,
“It’s a rare opportunity to buy in an exceptional part of the world, and one of the reasons we decided to launch Perfect Hideaways Invest,” says David Untiedt. “It’s to offer a range of properties in unusual, quaint or highly desirable locations that are difficult to get your hands on without access to that local word-of-mouth network.”