Before and After: Beachfront Holiday Home

WORDS Gina Dionisio PHOTOS Mat Van Niekerk

For the revamp of this holiday apartment, architect and designer Hanno de Swardt of Onnah Design made use of neutral earthy tones to give this outdated abode a new lease on life.

“Contemporary and comfortable with just a hint of colour’ – that was the brief from my clients who wanted to overhaul their holiday home,” says architect Hanno de Swardt. “We wanted to created an open-plan living space which maximised the floor to ceiling height throughout to give the apartment a sense of space.”

Hanno had to make a few structural and cosmetic changes to the apartment in order to create the sense of space his clients wanted. “There were some protruding structural columns in both the lounge and main bedroom which we hid with drywall,” explains Hanno. In the lounge, the drywall took on the shape of a feature display wall unit with plenty recesses for obje. In the main bedroom the drywall forms the backdrop to the bed’s headboard which is lit by concealed led, creating a recess clad in textured wallpaper to showcase art. 

Before & After: holiday home renovation

In order to create an open plan living space he had to knock down all the walls that defined the previously enclosed kitchen. “The team and I encountered a challenge in the form of plumbing pipes concealed within a duct which we could not reroute, unfortunately. We went back to the ‘drawing board’ and decided to leave a column in the kitchen island. We dressed it up with floating shelves and it turned out great eventually,” says Hanno.

Before & After: holiday home renovation
Before & After: holiday home renovation

The setting of the apartment, right on the beach in Tableview, gave Hanno all the clues he needed when it came to the interior design of the apartment. “The furniture, art, and even the colours of the walls were all carefully considered and had to be in harmony with the beach setting. Being a holiday, easy living with an emphasis on comfort was also top priority and guided me throughout the project,” explains Hanno. “The apartment is fairly rectilinear so a few circular elements were introduced to soften the look and create a more informal feel.”

Before & After: holiday home renovation

Warm, earthy and muted aqua hues run through most of the apartment with the corridor wall being a focal point. “The corridor wall links the two bedrooms and guest bathroom, and tells a little tone-on-tone story in muted aqua blue. For balance, I added a feature mirror in gold which mirrors the gold in the main artwork (seen in the mirror’s reflection),” says Hanno. “The main bedroom colours are inspired by the artwork above the bed, an abstract yet dramatic sunset over the ocean. As the clients share a love for Africa, I gave the guest bedroom a slight contemporary African feel with a mixture of cool African art, colour and textures. Bathrooms were kept clean, neutral and timeless in off white-tones”.

The result? A relaxed, understated yet stylish holiday home.

Looking for more architectural or before and after inspiration? Take a look at the revamp of this seaside apartment.