A Bird’s Eye View: Chab Northcliff from Nico van der Muelen Architects

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A soaring presence in the South African landscape upon which it sits, with a sand-colored façade and native stone that complement the interior color scheme — that’s Chab Northcliff, a spacious contemporary dwelling by Nico van der Muelen Architects. From the curving stone driveway, you see cozy windowed alcoves; once you’ve entered the open interior, a city skyline spreads before you in the distance, framed by wide-open glass on several sides. You rise from level to level up a spiral staircase that seems suspended in mid-air; the staggered, gentle angles of windows and walls give you a “circular” flow through the glass surrounding you. Entertaining is a breeze here: from your central living room, easy steps take you up to the dining area, over to the kitchen, or even outside to an infinity-edge pool!

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Décor is the ultimate neutral palette — brown, sand, cream, and white — enhanced by all-encompassing natural light; by daytime, your spaces are bathed in soft sunshine that warms the rooms and reflects off glass-topped tables. Adding to the careful neutrals are just the right touches of other hues — splashes of red from contemporary art and a cleverly placed floral centerpiece, the lush green of palms and plantings outdoors, and the cool blue gem of an up-lighted pool. Assisting the home to blend with its rugged landscape, parts of the outdoors blend neatly with indoor décor: a rock-edged soaking tub in the bathroom, low-lying purple native grasses around the windowed alcoves. The overall feel is relaxing, chic, and organic — a “cliff” perch from Nico van der Muelen.

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