Renovated Clifton Apartment

WORDS Amelia Brown IMAGES Juané Venter

For the renovation of a two-bedroom Art Deco apartment overlooking Clifton 1st beach, Cape Town-based design company Studio Ontwerp‘s goal was to modernise and simplify the interior, while paying respect to the building’s heritage. 

Built in the 1930s, The Bloemfontein was renovated in 2000 by architect/novelist André Carl Van Der Merwe. The 250 m2 apartment features two en-suite bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen, dining and living room, study and storage room, as well as a small balcony that overlooks Cape Town’s picturesque Clifton 1st beach – a source of inspiration for the colours and textures the studio chose. Every room has natural light filtering in through large art deco windows, and the sound of the ocean is ever-present.

A fresh open-plan canvas stripped of all its layers, Studio Ontwerp selected “hero” pieces as focal points in each room. Highlights of the living room, for example, are its plush yellow sofa, drinks cabinet and copper floating fireplace. Getting items into the apartment came with its own set of challenges: most of furniture had to be hoisted through the balcony window as it didn’t fit through the front door.

A natural wooden floor from Oggie Hardwood Flooring and wall cladding add warmth and texture. The timber works well with the apartment’s accent colours: sea greens, sunny yellows, turquoise blues and pale pink sunsets all inspired by the natural surroundings. The kitchen is all white with copper fittings.

Stay up to date with Studio Ontwerp on Instagram (@studio_ontwerp).