Franschhoek Manor House

WORDS Amelia Brown

This stately family home in the Cape Winelands was designed with the intention of capturing the sweep of a spacious country estate.

Built from scratch in collaboration with Chris de Hart Architects, its aesthetic touches were inspired by the film Casablanca. The house features large custom-made French doors that open outwards onto courtyards and verandas and make the most of the setting. Inside, the house is made up of spacious rooms with high ceilings that feature ornate moulding and coffer details, key elements chosen to soften the vastness of the space by design studio Inhouse, who completed the interiors.

The brief was to incorporate the client’s large collection of antique furniture. The manor’s main living room features key antique pieces set before an austere floor-to-ceiling black fireplace. The ceiling boasts moulded designs around which concealed cove lighting has been fitted. Additional lighting is supplied by two elaborate chandeliers.

The living area leads, via an archway, into the first of two kitchens where the large marble island, the timber of the wine barrel ceiling, the exposed brickwork, and a cast-iron Aga oven imported from the UK all combine to create an inviting and homely kitchen environment. The manor house was established with the intention of holding large functions, so the scullery, pantry and “prep” section, complete with floor-to-ceiling pantry cupboards accessed via stepladder, were included to accommodate any catering requirements. The ceiling is made up of a collection of original pressed panels framed with a contemporary bulkhead that has been lined with concealed cove lighting.

The home’s sleeping quarters are comprised of the main en-suite bedroom, guest suite and children’s room, which is whimsically decorated with several umbrella lamps suspended from the ceiling. In addition to the bedrooms, the manor also includes a light, bright family study room.

Inhouse made use of a neutral palette and quality natural finishes, such as marble and timber, to produce a stylish canvas for the pre-existing collection of antiques to be composed against. The result is simultaneously comfortable and luxurious.

Missed the feature we did on a Sea Point penthouse apartment designed by Inhouse? Find it here.