Waterfront Apartment

WORDS Palesa Kgasane PHOTOS Paris Brummer PRODUCTION Annemarie Meintjes


When renovating her Waterfront apartment, property developer Karin de Klerk fused her love of minimalist architecture and design with he need to create a home that’s warm and welcoming.

Relocating from Pietermaritzberg to Cape Town in 2018 was something homeowner Karin de Klerk had always dreamed of doing. But it also provided the perfect opportunity for her as a developer, working with her daughter Elzanne le Roux-Preis – who is an interior designer – to mastermind a light-filled sanctuary in which to live. From the start, Karin says, it was all about striking a balance – between light and dark; sophistication and ease; minimalism and richness – and this is something this top-floor, three-bedroom apartment in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront has definitely managed to do.

Undertaking the total revamp of her newly acquired apartment was exciting yet a trifle daunting, says Karin. “I knew I just wanted a place I could feel relaxed in, something modern that shows off my love of minimalism,” she says. She and her daughter had to start from scratch on the interiors, but collaborating with Elzanne was something that “made sense”, Karin says – and doing so has certainly produced spectacular results.

Entering the foyer of the apartment, you’re immediately enveloped in the subtle, moody atmosphere created by a marble-clad wall and floor-to-ceiling mirrors, contrasted by a light, slatted-wood ceiling as you move to the stairwell … to heaven. At the top of these stairs is the main attraction: drenched in light, you are immediately surrounded by panoramic views of Cape Town. Here, everything feels illuminated.

Clean lines, Asian-inspired architecture and minimalist elements are central to the apartment’s look and feel. It’s modern, yet it still feels welcoming.

This is the centre of the home, a spacious living room with a fireplace embedded into slatted-wood wall cladding. The adjacent kitchen is where you get a feel for Karin’s taste for the finer things; it includes a dining table and chairs paired with a contemporary pendant light, as well as stunning marble countertops with matte-black accents for balance. “I love the colour black, and I wear grey and black often. Much of the interior is inspired by these colours,” says Karin. White-painted walls play a role in enhancing the feeling of spaciousness and creating an uninterrupted, easy flow from the lounge to the main bedroom and bathroom. In minimalist style, most of the walls are kept free of art, but the slatted-wood cladding used on accent walls and ceilings adds a feeling of warmth, and gives the home a bit of an Eastern feel architecturally. Throughout, sliding glass doors and expansive windows provide unobstructed views. Combine all this with the careful detailing in every space, and the apartment exudes a seemingly effortless charm.

Karin’s personal haven is the master suite, which is understated yet stylish. The glass façade means that spending time here feels almost as though you’re bathing in light. Even the shower offers a view of the sky and ocean.

The interiors of the apartment project an overall sense of calm, the rationale being that there is so much to look at outside that the indoor spaces should remain as tranquil as possible. In keeping with this theme of simplicity, the main feature on the large balcony is a long wooden table with a bench and chairs – designed by Elzanne – that speaks both to simple design and the convivial meals shared here with family and friends.

Combining modernity and minimalism with light, warmth and sheer good taste – the soundtrack on the day we visited was provided by the smooth, soulful sounds of Sam Cooke – Karin’s sanctuary is a tranquil haven from the constant buzz and bustle of the V&A Waterfront and the city beyond.