House Thatcher | A dream come true

Nestled amongst the lush rolling hills of the Midlands, stands a Hilton home that is a showstopper. Blending the perfect balance of dramatic interiors, local flair and a very welcoming, homely atmosphere we could not resist meeting with the design visionary Cecile Thatcher, who brought her dream family home to life! Take the tour with Caesarstone

From the day the broke ground, the build and renovations took exactly a year to complete, and the final outcome was everything they hoped for and more. A pool, courtyard, braai area and open-plan kitchen one immediately gets the feeling this house was designed for entertaining. With three daughters aged 27, 23 and 16, the Thatcher’s love socialising together and entertaining friends. “Our previous home had a more classical design with living rooms being separate. This time we wanted an open feel conducive to easy living and no one having to feel cut off from the rest of the family whilst cooking or braaing.

The final outcome was undoubtedly achieved by the carefully selected team of local designers and suppliers that worked in synergy with the Thatcher’s brief. Architect Lisa Rorich was approached to achieve an edgier look to what they’d had in their previous home. “Having seen her work, we felt that she would understand the contemporary accents that we wanted to include in the design. Lisa was fantastic, she loved our ideas, ran with them and introduced other complementary design elements which took our ideas to a new level.”

Some may say we’re biased as the flawless Caesarstone installations obviously caught our eyes first; but from bespoke wallpaper, to refurbished furniture, every detail has been carefully considered and curated to create an interior that is warm and welcoming but has a touch a glamour and drama. Cecile loves so many different styles of décor, which one can identify in the home – how they’ve all come together is remarkable.

White Attica Caesarstone adorns the main kitchen island and surrounding counters and splash backs. The clean white base with dense, dark grey interwoven veins complements the rich finishings. The installation was expertly done by Afrigran and the cabinetry by The Kitchen Studio.

Raising your eye line, one can’t help but notice exquisite exposed poplar beam ceilings! “A true labour of love.” She comments. “We wanted to introduce a more ‘modern’ take on the poplar ceilings used in Cape farmhouses. My husband found a farmer in the Midlands who had poplar trees ready for felling and oversaw the entire six month process – from being felled to being sawn into planks in the field, to our friend drying them out in his sawmill kiln, to then being cut and planed into the final product.” The ceilings stand as a firm reminder about life being about a journey and not just the destination.

In the bar area, a built up Vanilla Noir Caesarstone surface brings a touch of glamour and drama into the main entertainment area.

The local involvement and inclusion in the home is what really stands out and the family actively sought out local artists to incorporate in the interiors. “We are very fortunate to have some very talented artists in our community and I believe in supporting local. I absolutely adore Lieze Meyer’s commissioned work that compliments the bar area. In our daughters room Sarah Kelly’s work adds a lovely accent, which has a feature wall covered in a wallpaper which I designed.”


House Thatcher is literally adorned with beautiful décor items and inspiring trends. Here are a few of our favourite finds and how you can get the look for yourself:


The kitchen and bar countertops – expertly installed by Afrigran.
Kitchen cabinets – Hand crafted by The Kitchen Studio.
The gold kitchen faucet – readily available from suppliers in SA, this one was actually sourced more affordably in the UK and brought over by a family member.
Gold pendant lights – inspired by the light fitting designs of Kelly Wearstler, these were made to spec by Morgan Day.
Black wire pendant lights in the bar area – a firm favourite from Weylandts.
Bar stools – Made by local steel craftsmen at Cherylin Creations, the bar stools were painted a dirty gold colour and the kitchen stools a matt black, with all of the seats upholstered in velvet.
The monkey bowl – Living in KZN we are inundated with monkeys, so it made sense to bring home this cheeky little chap found in a local décor store called Cherylin Creations.
The wall covering in the bar area – The initial intention was to clad the back of the bar in sheets of Verde Guatemala marble but to come out within budget they sourced the same marble in tiles.
The wooden finish on the bar – Not letting anything go to waste, offcuts from the poplar ceiling beams were used.
Thin black window frames – To adhere to estate regulations aluminum frames were produced to mimic the look of steel frames by a local firm.
The Lacanche stove – as an avid cook, only the real-deal oven was going to be approved!  Cecile’s husband generously sold his motorcycle to accommodate it and it is well used every day!
Brass extractor fan cover – Made by a local engineering firm who ordered in the brass sheets and bent them according to spec, it brings in some elements of drama to the space.

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