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Helga Dagutat

A microbiologist’s contemporary Pretoria Abode embraces space for a sense of the great outdoors.


Pretoria, South Africa

GAP Interiors/House and Leisure/ Photographer: Elsa Young - Styling: Leana Schoeman - Text: Natalie Boruvka

Feature No:   1930 

Qty of Images:    31 

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Images available for use by license only.

Helga Dagutat lives in one of those houses; the type you might drive by every day and are able to tell, just from surveying the perimeter wall, that something really special lies beyond. Located on one of the quiet, tree-lined streets in the suburb of Colbyn in Pretoria, one of the most notable attributes of this contemporary dwelling, painted a deep shade of charcoal, is the enclosed garden that is the pride and joy of its nature loving owner. For Helga, the house has been a labour of love. Armed with pencils, paper and a ruler, she drew up ‘every millimetre’ of the house over a period of two years, commissioning a draftsman only at the very end to redraw the plans for municipal approval. ‘Every evening I’d come home to the flat I was living in at the time to mull over the plan, pore over magazines and consider the various details I wanted to include,’ she recalls. ‘The release of creativity combined with a glass of good red wine proved a wonderful way to de-stress,’ she adds with a laugh. Working with a relatively modest-sized plot of 530m², Helga, a microbiologist and an avid gardener, realised that if she wanted the home’s footprint to leave a reasonable amount of space for a garden, she would have to take advantage of height wherever possible. So to one side of the ground floor, the living area ascends to the first floor, which houses the main bedroom, guest bedroom and a reading room. To the other, a stairwell leads to an open but covered entertainment area. From this level the deck and the pool(which effectively ‘floats’ above one of the garages) are accessed by an additional small set of stairs. ‘In summer this area brings friends together in a way I have always dreamed about,’ says Helga.



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