‘The Best Place Under The Sun'

Home South Africa|July 2020

‘The Best Place Under The Sun'
Shades of green and blue, exotic treasures, paintings and heirlooms set against a black and grey backdrop create the ultimate refuge.
Marie Opperman
On the banks of the Onrus River and a stone’s throw from the ocean lies a slate-grey house filled with the wondrous beauty that only a bold creative could put together. Here you are taken on a trip with the homeowners, artist Mariëtte Bouwer and her husband Peter, not just to distant lands and all corners of South Africa where they have collected colourful mementoes, but also to a bygone era with antiques and heirlooms, many of which have been given a fresh new look. It is a true spectacle that delights the heart and soul.

Little wonder then that Mariëtte calls herself a dreamer. “I would love to have been a traveller by profession...” she says wistfully.

But then she hastens to add: “To me, my house is the best place under the sun. It’s where I feel completely at home; it’s my refuge. I love the ocean and spend many a happy hour exploring the coastal byways of Onrus with my dogs Pablo and Frida.”

More rooms, steps and levels

Mariëtte and Peter, who owns a glass and aluminium business in Hermanus, had this two-storey house built in 2001 and then redesigned it eight years later. They drew up the plans for the extension themselves in 2009, deciding at the same time to change the interior layout of the house. “We didn’t use an architect but because we live on a slope, an engineer had to plan the driveway,” explains Mariëtte. “Our daughter Saskia Bekker is an architectural designer in Onrus, so she helped with the planning.” (Saskia’s house was featured in Home Renovations in 2019.)

The Bouwers moved out during the alterations. “We packed everything up and rented a house for six months. We even relocated our collection of cactuses.”

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July 2020