It’s hard to imagine that a house with such an elegant flow and balance, was once rundown and made so awkward from haphazard additions and ‘renovations’ over the decades that only a glimmer of De Hoek’s original sturdy framework still existed. And yet there was something in its proportion and potential that piqued the interest of the owners five years ago. In its favour was its position on tract of farmland in Barrydale in that skirted the edge of the Overberg and the beginning of the Karoo. That meant a sweeping sky and folded hillsides but with air so clear it was a tonic. And then there was the golden light found nowhere else but in the Karoo. ‘It changes like the sea here,’ says the owner. It’s worth sitting quietly simply to watch the change come over purple-veined hills at dusk, a washed out blue sky in mid-summer fading to a dramatic sunset.
Once the house had regained its historic shape, the interior gutted and re-designed to suit their lifestyle, the owners began to fill the rooms with pieces collected over the years or with their own heirlooms. It’s resulted in an effortless, soothing to the eye mix of classics but with a restraint in the placing of collections. There are carefully considered arrangements, a feeling of order with no sense of formality. The walls are white parchment with soft, desaturated Karoo colours introduced in fabrics and rugs. Visit De Hoek more than once and you may find subtle additions – a new chair, a turn-of-the-century washstand or a Persian with just the right degree of fadedness. The house is like that – accommodating and rather tempting, the owner ruefully admits, when it comes to housing one more ‘irresistible’ find.
De Hoek has become a haven to sleep, cook, read and relax with the long veranda one of the best ‘cinema seats’ from which to look out over the veld. In summer, guests can swim in the lap pool and then retreat again to the shade. Braai Karoo lamb fragrant with herbs picked from the garden and dine under bamboo latte. The night will be still punctuated only by your quiet conversation and laughter.
De Hoek is close to Bobbejaansberg – see the map here
What we love!
- This is a thoughtfully designed and beautifully layered home, with everything to hand just where you need it
- That garden and those views!
- Calitzdorp, although tiny, has a few quirky but great dining options – be sure to check opening times and to book ahead
- The shaded bar area has a TV so sports enthusiasts can combine rugby and beer drinking without taking over the main house!
What you need to know…
- The two bedrooms in the main house are quite a distance from each other – so not ideal for parents with young kids who need to be close by
- The cottage has two bedrooms and is about 50m from the main house