A Johannesburg Crown Jewel of Luxury: Glass House by Nico van der Meulen

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For a client desiring a “contemporary mansion” that provided an “informal lifestyle on a grand scale,” Nico van der Meulen’s design presents soaring volumes and high style. The home includes a small formal lounge with intimate conversational space, an open-plan family room, dining space for 20, and smaller breakfast room. Also part of this space are a kitchen with pantry; walk-in coolers; a lanai, bar, and indoor/outdoor pool; and a gym, billiards room, and home cinema. Smaller kids are taken care of with a splash pool, plus a playroom next to the kitchen, and finishing off this “grand scale” is parking space for 14 cars plus a staff cottage. From a water feature at its core, the house spreads out in a horseshoe, with frameless glass folding doors from dining room to atrium, family room, lanai, and gym.

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Amazingly enough, with six suites, staff cottage, and indoor/outdoor living as a constant, climate control is no problem. The staircase sits over a solar-heated pond that, together with the indoor pool and heat storage tanks, helps keep the interior of the home at a constant temperature all winter. Clever use of exterior beams keeps the interiors of the master suite open, without the need for corner supports…but that’s just a technical way to explain an interior that’s airy, flowing, and lavish. Suites have privacy and seclusion without feeling “cut off” from the remainder of the home, and access between spaces is effortless. It’s safe to say that in this gleaming Glass House, the clients ticked off every item on their wish list for a home to dream of, thanks to Nico 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).