As arguably one of the biggest names on the Durban interior design scene, it has taken Lisa Walters Hunter eight years of searching before finally finding her dream home. Now she and her husband Dean and their two children Charlotte (5) and Benjamin (2) are getting ready to move into their forever home in Mount Edgecombe Country Estate.
“We are big believers in fate and the way things lined up for us with this home felt like we were led to it. We ultimately wanted our children to have the freedom we had growing up without the security constraints we currently have living in our freestanding home in Durban North. We are so looking forward to them being able to ride their bikes around and socialise with the friends we have on the estate. We feel this is a new exciting season for our family,” says 40-year-old Lisa.
With her family having been involved in the Durban fabric industry and having owned some of the most well-known fabric houses in Durban for many years, Lisa says her career as an interior designer was a natural progression from having been exposed to the industry while growing up. With her main focus on residential projects, Lisa says being entrusted to work in her clients’ homes is a massive honour.
“I have come into contact with the most incredible clients and their families and to be able to have a career that I am so passionate about is something I do not take for granted. I have been lucky enough to work in Cape Town, Johannesburg, London and Malta, and although travelling for projects has taken a bit of a back seat this past year with Benjamin still being so young, I am looking forward to a new project in Mauritius in the new year. I feel so utterly fortunate that most of my clients have become my friends.”
The Hunters are currently in the midst of doing extensive renovations on the home they bought which hadn’t been occupied for over two years. “We have kept the original footprint, but added on a new wing, which will be our entertainment area and will allow us to take advantage of the beautiful views over Pani Dam. We have also gone double story, so it has been a big undertaking, but very exciting!”
With over 15 years of decorating in the interior design industry, Lisa says creating her dream home has been one of her favourite projects to date. “I am keeping the interior and finishes very simple and timeless. Panelling, herringbone marble flooring . . . unfussy. I am only too aware of how quickly trends change, so Dean and I want the bones of our home to be classic. I do feel if you have stunning fittings and cabinetry and a cleverly thought out design and space, then the canvas is right and the décor doesn’t need to be overdone or over styled. Simple is my mantra for our new home.”
The room she is most excited about is her kitchen. Lisa has made sure it will be a central feature of their home with interesting elements, such as their SMEG cooker which has been specially brought in from the UK.
“I can’t wait for all the items to come together and to see the things I have been collecting placed where I have envisioned them to be. But to be honest, the whole house excites me! We are beyond blessed to be able to build our dream home, and I must salute my husband for this incredibly amazing home and project that we have been able to do together…such a beautiful new season for our little family!”
Christmas with the Walters Hunter family:
What does Christmas mean to you and your family? For a long time, Christmas was a hard day for me as it’s the day my father passed away after being ill for a long time. It was also a day where I felt sad as everyone was celebrating with their children, and Dean and I battled to start a family. But now we are so blessed to have our miracle children and to be able to celebrate Christmas as a family in our Christian home with the true essence of Christmas being hope, new beginnings, family and celebrating the Lord’s birth and the true significance of this.
What are some of your Christmas traditions? I give my children a Christmas Eve box which they open before they go to bed the night before Christmas. Inside is a pair of Christmas pj’s, a decoration for the tree, a key for the front door so that Father Christmas can get into our home and a Christmas story, which we read before bed. We leave out cookies and milk for Father Christmas and carrots for the reindeer. On Christmas morning we open presents whilst listening to carols. If we are in Durban, we will go to church in the morning followed by a Christmas lunch with family.
How will you be spending Christmas this year?We will be in our home in the Midlands with family.
What are you hoping for this year?Can I be honest and very clichéd? All I am hoping for this year is health and happiness for our family. I am very aware of the heartache and struggles that many are going through, and I am also aware of how blessed we are as a family. It’s something I don’t take for granted on a daily basis. So that is what I am hoping and praying for – good health for our family. That is the greatest gift of all. It’s priceless.
Text:Monique De Villiers-Delport | Photographs:Chris Allan Photography | Make up:Wadene Ngubane of Nixon Make Up | Hair:Tasmin Minetti of Fringe Benefits | Tree and decorations:Vegmeflora Accessories