WORDS Gina Dionisio PHOTOS Mathew Van Niekerk
For the renovation of a ‘lock up and go’ seaside apartment in Cape Town, architect and designer Hanno de Swardt of Onnah Design was tasked with transforming an outdated apartment into a modern, light and bright space.
For this project, Onnah Design was tasked with gutting the entire apartment, opening up the previously enclosed kitchen and creating a new open plan kitchen, living and dining space. “The apartment belongs to a retired couple from abroad, so the entire project had to happen remotely due to Covid-19 and the related travel restrictions,” says architect and designer Hanno de Swardt.
The old kitchen was transformed into a new contemporary space with fully integrated appliances and an induction hob, which was manufactured and installed by BTM Joinery.
The living space is kept clean and uncluttered, contemporary yet very comfortable. “We lowered the ceilings over specific areas, like the open-plan living space, to allow for the introduction of concealed led strip lighting and anti-glare downlights. We also added a long floating mirror to the wall and louvred stackable shutters to help control and bounce light,” explains Hanno.
The laid back lounge effortlessly flows out onto an inviting patio via three wide sliding doors. An intimate dining setting on the patio, from Patio Warehouse, maximises the phenomenal view over the ocean and of Table Mountain.
The look and feel of the interior was inspired by the African coastline. “The ‘passage’ wall linking the two bedrooms is the main feature in the living space, clad in GOTHA INDIGO wallpaper by Hertex,” explains Hanno. The blue colour together with abstract gold fish wall art from Weylandts pays homage to the ocean outside, as the apartment is literally a stone’s throw from the beach.
The yellow theme in the main bedroom celebrates the African sunshine through the use of a two tone geometric Dash and Dart wallpaper by Hertex, and Swe Swe fabric for the accent scatter. The traditional bedside lamp was swapped out for fun glass pendants from Weylandts. “The second bedroom is more toned down and masculine with charcoal accents, this time representing rocks, pebbles and Table Mountain, as viewed from the patio,” says Hanno. The African influence is pulled through into this space with the wall mounted woven basketry and the ethnic printed throw. A contemporary mirror from Arkivio and slim black desk and floor lights complete the picture.
Old tiles were lifted throughout the apartment and made space for new vinyl floors by Limegreen Sourcing Solutions. The general bathroom was converted into an en suite for the guest bedroom in order to have two bedrooms with their own bathrooms.
“The clients were kept updated on progress during the entire project but I did not send them many photographs once completed. I had to keep an element of surprise. They were fortunately blown away upon arrival early September 2020 with me and the wife almost in tears, from joy and relief. They put all their faith and trust in me which could not have been easy, being so far away from the site.”