In picturesque Yzerfontein, an outmoded bolthole gets a sunshine-savvy, ground-up renovation fit for a full house.
With impossibly long stretches of sandy beaches, and being one of the sleepiest towns on the West Coast, Yzerfontein is the preferred retreat of many a city dweller wanting to escape the grind. Having owned this particular property for over 30 years, the homeowners decided to break down the previous house and rebuild a three-storey home for their ever-growing family, which now includes three generations. Sumari Krige, interior designer and owner of La Grange Interiors, was called on to help realise the vision of a modern, luxurious seaside home.
How was the interior conceived?
The property has been in the family for many years, and when they decided to rebuild their home, they didn’t just want a new house. Rather, they wanted a home that looked and felt lived in, that made spacial sense, and of course, had enough room for eating and entertaining. I was called in, along with Stellenbosch-based architect Dirk Bester, to make this vision a reality.
But it was always intended to be more than just a vacation home?
This may be a house on the beach, but it’s more than just a beach house. And the owners didn’t want it only to be used during the holidays. They wanted the house to reflect daily living, and that is what Dirk and I tried to capture in the architectural and interior design. How did you go about making sure it wouldn’t be ‘just another beach house’? I made sure that the interior reflects the family. It’s authentic, functional and there is a sense of luxury throughout. That being said, each piece of furniture works hard and serves a purpose; nothing is there just for the sake of it. After all, when the entire family gathers – sometimes all three generations at once – there is high foot traffic, so every square metre counts.
You speak about luxury. How did you bring this into the home?
Certain spaces exude luxury. Like the kitchen with its floating island that defies the laws of gravity. But there are also small luxurious moments everywhere. They can be found in the upholstery on the couches, the linen on the beds, and the gorgeous attention to the walls. I also played with texture. Because the overall palette was rather muted, I wanted to weigh it down with wood, metal and reflective surfaces such as glass.
Would you say the attention to detail is a defining aspect of the house?
Most definitely. Look at rooms such as the library. The attention to detail, and the level of modern comfort and style, make it stand out among the houses you find in the area.
Although the house is undeniably modern, it seems to be so much more than that?
Trying to make a space modern can often alienate the people inhabiting it. It’s about being subtle in each element you incorporate. Besides giving the house modern appeal, I also wanted the owners to see themselves in the home from the first moment they stepped inside it.
How did you go about achieving that?
Both the owners are creative and have a love of beautiful things. One is a talented artist, and when I saw her work, I knew the pieces had to live on the walls. They also own a protea farm called Edelweiss just outside of Piketberg, and what better way to celebrate their love of fynbos by bringing the plant into the home. It’s these small things that make it
a family home.
TEXT EDWAIN STEENKAMP PHOTOGRAPHS ELSA YOUNG