High Style in South Africa: Ronan by Nico van der Meulen

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A sprawling white mansion sits in dignified glory behind a sliding wrought-iron gate, its multiple-peaked roof a great complement to the open sky, as you see Ronan by Nico van der Meulen for the first time. Listed under van der Meulen’s “traditional” homes, nonetheless this house is far from stodgy or uppity in its approach. There’s undeniable luxury here: from the curved stone drive to the elegant portico over the garage (for the few instances of inclement weather in this lovely climate!) and from the infinity-edged pool to the terrace set with al fresco table, chairs, and floral trimmings. And yes, you have an almost Grecian effect of columns at one end of that pool. But you also have open-air living spaces that are the best of “barefoot casual” and contemporary.

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The kitchen is a chef’s dream: top-of-the-line appliances, “acres” of counter space, and a snack nook make this an ideal spot for party guests to gather for food and chat. High ceilings and arched doorways give a soaring feel to even the corridors, while marble floors reflect subtle up-lighting for splendid ambience any time. Even long windows and doors are arched, a delightful detail that raises a humble doorway a “cut above.” A wood-floored bedroom could come from a country house anywhere, with its blue gingham, ruffles, and substantial four-poster; by contrast, a bath of brown marble and glass doors, with an oversized vanity sink, would be right at home in a chic high-rise. So yes, it’s traditional, but it’s also fresh, modern, and inviting — the Ronan house from van der Meulen.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).