LOVE STORY
Home Beautiful|September 2020
LOVE STORY
BLENDING TIMELESS ARCHITECTURE WITH INSPIRED INTERIORS, THIS STUNNING FAMILY HOME MAKES A STATEMENT WITHOUT SACRIFICING EVERYDAY EASE
ROBYN ALEXANDER & LAURA BARRY
WE LOVE...a custom fit

Reupholstering existing furniture ensures perfect colour matching to get the look you want. Here, in the main lounge area, Simone opted to reupholster her existing sofa in Belgian linen from Warwick Fabrics to complement the darker-coloured grey couch. Cushion covers were custom-made in fabrics from Mavromac. Visit warwick.com.au.

LIVING ROOM Luxe combines with relaxation in the lounge that sits in the newly added wing of the home. A sublime sofa – designed by Simone and upholstered in pale grey Belgian linen from Warwick Fabric, topped with patterned scatter cushions covered in a selection of linen fabrics from Mavromac – is a chic contrast to the darker grey couch and chaise from Molteni & C. The glass-topped coffee table from Cecile & Boyd (see the ‘Anikka’ coffee table at My Furniture for similar) contributes lustre to the room. And that sweetly silhouetted cat sculpture? It’s by Dylan Lewis from Ralph Lauren Home.

My projects tell a story,” explains homeowner and interior designer Simone, as she drinks in the view from the spacious verandah of the home she recently renovated for her family, which includes husband Richard and their boys, Cole, 10, and Connor, seven. The story of this unique home has unfolded gently over time, following the young family’s move to a verdant suburb of Cape Town and a home they lived in for two years before work started. Named ‘Summer Planes’ in homage to the plane trees that grace the property’s spacious garden, this classical-style home was propelled into the 21st century thanks to the owners’ collaboration with Johannesburg-based architect Peter Cohen.

With simple geometric lines and pared-back forms, the home now melds timeless architectural elegance with interiors that reflect the chic homeowner’s eye for restrained colour, layers of natural textures and just the right amount of unique detail. Peter, says Simone, has a “genuinely special sense of space and proportion”. An interior designer for five years, she was keen to work with the architect to create a home for her family to love. And the resulting transformation has been dramatic: gone is the incongruous circular entrance hall, an abundance of ’90s-style lime green and some era-defining terracotta tiled floors. The 14-month renovation yielded a square entrance hall and an extra wing at one end of the house, with the latter containing both outdoor and indoor living spaces on the ground floor, as well as a new main bedroom on the first floor nestled among the trees, evoking the feeling of a contemporary tree house.

During the extensive project, the family set up temporary home in an adjacent garden cottage in the grounds (now the perfect spot to accommodate visiting grandparents), to ensure Simone was on hand for daily decision-making as project manager, enabling her to capture the perfect marriage between design elements and furnishings. “The space around things is key,” she explains. “I love beautiful things, but there must never be too many of them in a room.” A former fashion buyer who worked in the fashion department at Tatler magazine in London during the early 2000s, Simone returned to South Africa to launch her own fashion business, which taught her “how to deal with colour, feel and texture”, she says. And it is this combination that is the secret to making this grand home feel welcoming and relaxed. It’s a sophisticated (note the silk curtains) yet fun (hello, Astroturf putting green on the balcony for the couple’s sons) sanctuary for a creative family of four. Here, every design element was chosen to suit the needs and wants of every family member. No wonder, then, that Simone describes this beautifully renovated abode as “our happy space”.

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September 2020