The Water’s Edge
Appearing like a continuation of the horizon, this South African home is a luxurious example of how to elevate coastal style.
Words and styling MARTIN JACOBS PHOTOGRAPHY KARL ROGERS
Listen to owners Karin König and Fred de Beer recount the story of what it took to plant the olive tree that gives Olive Tree Villa its name and you have to marvel at the unlikeliness of its survival. From the site’s sandy soil and salty seasonal winds, to the fact that it needed to be airlifted into its heroic courtyard position, everything was against it. For the couple, though, the tree was essential to their home’s design, representing peace, harmony and their own union.
Situated metres from a nature reserve in the sleepy seaside village of Yzerfontein, little more than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, Karin and Fred’s villa, with its luxurious wing that they rent out to visitors, appears almost camouflaged against the rugged coastline. To achieve this effect, and inspired by the indoor/outdoor style of the residences in their favourite holiday spot Ko Samui in Thailand, the couple enlisted the help of architect Gavin Maddock. He adopted what he refers to as a ‘holistic approach’ to the design of this building, linking it seamlessly to its views.
In the main living area, floor-to-ceiling glass walls slide open to turn the interior into an extension of the terrace. The adjacent cement-clad plunge pool, meanwhile, is elevated to offer uninterrupted vistas, its slatted timber screen producing dappled light that mimics the effect of the sun filtered through the wild camphor trees that line the courtyard below.
Just as Olive Tree Villa’s architecture marks it out amongst its white-washed Cape Cod-style neighbours, so does its interior. Karin and Fred worked with decorater Sumari Krige of La Grange Interiors. Together they avoided a traditional palette of breezy blues, whites and sandy tones, and instead opted for richness and complexity. Burnt mineral and deep marine hues, dark linens and mottled velvets encourage a more indulgent way of life. As do the oversized armchairs and sofas, hand-picked by Sumari.
‘I want to experience comfort and luxury, as if in a hotel suite; to take a bubble bath overlooking the ocean or walk the few steps down to the unspoilt beach,’ says Karin. ‘It was my desire to create an environment in which one can recharge, take a moment and just be.’ theolivetreevilla.co.za; gavinmaddock.com; lagrangeinteriors.co.za