A Mansion with Heart: MCC by Nico van der Meulen Architects

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This stately rambling home, with its combination of sleek modern design and traditional/classic detail, comes to us from the drawing board of South Africa’s Nico van der Meulen. A unique two-story portico opens onto a living room area with wide expanses of glass; the open plan segues dining areas (there are more than one!), seating areas, and a streamlined kitchen together for an ingenious layout that enables entertaining for a few or a crowd with equal ease. In contrast to this modern interior plan, however, notice the character of some of the furnishings: before a very traditional fireplace and white mantel, you’ll see patterned rugs, a plush blue couch and extra cushions, and a loveseat that all would be at home in an ordinary family room. So what’s going on?

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It’s a mix — a deliberate downplay of the “luxury” aspects of the home that’s instantly relaxing, warm, and welcoming — not often an initial impression of a mansion (which this definitely is!). If you’ve any doubt that you’ve walked into an exclusive estate, the view of the grounds — from concrete paver paths to the sumptuous pool, beautifully landscaped gardens and stone deck, and expansive lawn will tell the tale. At the same time, however, this is unmistakably a family home: toys and books are not only in the children’s rooms but in the living room, a clear message that everyone in the family “lives” in all the rooms. This estate’s space is one of its true luxuries: bedrooms are lavish, baths are roomy and well-equipped, and there are cozy courtyards and terraces for quiet private moments. It’s an ideal combination: a relaxed mansion with contemporary class…and open arms.

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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).