Urban Jungle: Camps Bay Penthouse Transformation

WORDS Michaela Stehr PHOTOS Vinylrae Photography 

A penthouse in Camps Bay underwent a transformation by interior designer Susanne Brodnik, founder of My Place in Cape Town, to create a Cape Town holiday experience for visitors and owners alike.

Based on the surrounding contrast of city and nature, Susanne decided to embrace the theme of ‘Urban Jungle’ for the colour palette and the decor. “While seeking inspiration for this project, I explored The Glen forest below the property. Capturing the maritime spirit and the breathtaking views from this penthouse I had the idea of creating an urban jungle, wanting to emphasise the heart and soul of this beautiful coastal neighbourhood, she explains. “This decision determined the colour palette and I went on a colour-hunting expedition in the immediate environment. I aimed to create a sense of warmth despite the cool hues. I was given the exciting challenge of creating an intimate and residential feel that’s authentic to the beautiful mother city.”

Camps Bay Penthouse Transformation
Interior designer Susanne Brodnik.

Susanne wanted to create synergy between the forest, the sea, the mountain and the home itself. She went for some bold shades to anchor the rooms which seemed lost among the plethora of angles. As every bedroom has a balcony and large windows, Sue focused on shades of blue and green, allowing the views to form a critical part of her design. 

Wanting to highlight African design, she took a contemporary approach of mixing culture and craft, nature and design; to create a style that appeals to international travellers. She combined colours and finishes to form a harmonious blend and found inventive uses for traditional craft. Each room was curated towards its distinctive usage, light infiltration and view. The arrangement of objects and careful consideration of light sources create a beautiful natural glow throughout the penthouse. 

Opening up the kitchen and putting up floating shelves changed the tone of the space. The carefully curated objects, from wooden to ceramic vessels, are on display to add warmth and add a local narrative to the home.

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When asked about sourcing decor items, Sue doesn’t hold back. “I sourced from over 35 stores and suppliers to create the perfect blend of contemporary and timeless South African design. The client fell in love with a pineapple wallpaper by Robin Sprong in our first mood board and it instantly became a focal point. The dining area was planned around the pineapple motif and it’s the only area which allows for shades of yellow and orange as a juxtaposition to our cool template,” she elaborates. “All living room shelves, as well as the sideboard, were custom-made to accommodate the grand scale and to calm the angular design of the room. The scatter cushions and throws were sourced at Mungo. As I used about 50 seagrass items throughout the penthouse, I went to a couple of local suppliers and looked through hundreds of plates, baskets and lampshades to find the perfect mix for our African urban jungle. I loaded up on furs from Woodsheads, my absolute favourite store to get inspired, and sheep skins to create a sensory experience. I chose designer rugs from Superbalist and wall stickers from Etsy which add flare to the bedrooms.”

The concept of excess flourishes in this apartment. Mixed collections of decor, rather than individual pieces, helped to create the feeling of abundance that encapsulates the visitor. Using layers of throws and scatters, an array of vases and bottles and clusters of baskets, Sue filled out the space to create a welcoming nest. More is more in this luscious apartment, every detail is included to make entertaining a dream and the tenants’ experience effortless. 

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