Fresnaye Man Cave

PHOTOS Riann West WORDS Lindi Brownell Meiring


An unused living room in a Fresnaye home in Cape Town has been converted into a hip hangout.

Excess space can turn even the most organised people into hoarders. The owners of a house in the Cape Town suburb of Fresnaye weren’t about to let that happen when questioning what to do with their unused lounge. Instead of turning it into an area packed with things they didn’t need, they decided to transform it into an urban entertainment pad for their 17-year-old son Robbie.

They enlisted the help of Inhouse Brand Architects’ creative director Aidan Hart and senior designer Jenine Bruce to make their idea become a reality.

“They asked us to re-imagine the area based on Robbie’s interests,” says Aidan. “After learning a bit more about him, we knew we wanted the space to revolve around his love of sport, focusing on skateboarding and surfing. We envisioned a ‘man cave’ design, which we knew we could achieve through the integration of these outdoor activities and an urban aesthetic.”

The inspiration behind the design is clear at first glance. A floor-to-ceiling wooden half-arch forms a barrel over the lounge area – “any surfer or body-boarder’s dream,” says Jenine. And on the opposite side of the room is a real skate bowl, the design inspired by a skate park on the banks of the Thames that Jenine saw on a trip to London.

The skate bowl is surrounded by a large, detailed mural, created over an eight-hour period by free-style street artist Jack Fox. “It was great to work with a local young artist,” says Jenine. His signature illustrations, together with polished concrete flooring, exposed pipes and industrial lighting, augment the room’s urban feel.

To complete this dream teen pad, there is also a 4,5 m-long bar counter, a lounge-cum-movie-theatre area with comfortable seating, a pool table, a punch bag, pull-up bars, a surfboard rack and a vintage Spider-Man pinball machine.

Through this project, Jenine and Aidan were able to make use of unconventional ideas and processes, something they feel designers don’t often get the chance to do. “Our design philosophy is essentially to bring inspiration and innovation to every project we touch,” says Aidan.

We don’t doubt it, and, we’re sure, neither does Robbie. It’s not every day you get to ride the bowl in your very own skate park. That’s rad.