WORDS Amelia Brown IMAGES Karl Rogers (after); Hanno de Swardt (before)
Using a palette inspired by its ocean views, architect and interior designer Hanno de Swardt of Onnah Design transformed this flat into a cool, calm, contemporary space.
The brief from the client for the three-bedroom apartment on Dolphin Beach in Cape Town was to open up the enclosed kitchen, create flow and an open-plan living space, and reorientate the bathrooms, particularly the guest bathroom that had to be accessed through a bedroom.
The renovation now allows for guests to access the bathroom off the main living space. A large fixed window offers plenty of light into the bathroom, which was previously dark, and still connects it to the bedroom. Guests can enjoy the ocean view from the bathtab, but a remote-controlled black-out roller blind allows privacy when required.
“I drew my inspiration from the context of the apartment’s location,” explains Hanno. “Subtle references to the ocean, the beach and sea life resulted in the use of various tones of blue (water and sky), charcoal (rocks and kelp), and cream and off-white (waves, sand and dunes), as well as textures.”
Hanno achieved the look with engineered-timber floors and some custom pieces, including a custom-made sofa by The Sofaworx Company; the dining table, which is a combination of a top Hanno sourced and matt-black legs manufactured by Grandi Manufacturing; the custom-polished concrete top by Stoneweave for the kitchen island; and the slatted timber screen in dark duco by MNM Interior Renovations, which cunningly delineates the open-plan space.
Keeping out noise and light from the public corridor was also a priority, as well as modernising the lighting. The former was achieved by introducing a soundproof front door and blocking off the fanlight with insulation.
“Originally, the apartment had outdated wall- and ceiling-mounted light fittings,” says Hanno. He introduced perimeter bulkheads with deep shadow lines in the living area and bedroom, which allowed for more subtle lighting, such as down lighters and concealed LED strip lights. It also allows for curtain recesses that can accommodate the curtains and block out curtains without exposing the tracks.
This light-filled, stylish seaside apartment now feels larger and boasts a modern, easy flow. Don’t miss Hanno’s Rondebosch renovation here.