This classic farm-style home in Constantia, Cape Town had just the curtains in place before interior designer and architect Hanno de Swardt turned it into the stylish space it is today
WORDS: SARAH MARJORIBANKS – PHOTOS: MATHEW VAN NIEKERK
Presented with an empty six-bedroom house to fill with furnishings, fixtures and art, Hanno had a big job on his hands. Not only that, but the entire process took over five months, with continuous power cuts causing delays and placing a lot of pressure on his team. However, the result was worth the wait, with a relaxed yet sophisticated look that fits in perfectly with the client’s own laid-back style.
“Even though the experience was stressful at times, it was rewarding because the clients knew exactly what they wanted and I was privileged to work with a team of professionals who made it happen,” says Hanno.
Taking inspiration from the client’s reference photographs as well as the house itself – a spacious and warm family home with beautiful natural light and a relaxed country feel – Hanno’s design runs cohesively through the space. The house is now comfortable and functional, with a distinct and timeless look that echoes its classic architecture in a contemporary way.
In a house with such a large footprint, Hanno naturally has quite a few favourite spaces. “The formal lounge in black and white with its gold accents is a feast for the eye and was pure joy to create,” he says. “The main bedroom and study are close seconds as they ooze style and sophistication, both inspiring spaces for me. The ‘red room’ – as we dubbed one of the bedrooms – is a brave combination of red, purple and copper.”
Furniture throughout the house was carefully chosen and commissioned to echo the chic yet easy-going style of the owners. “I’m extremely happy with the armchairs in the formal lounge,” says Hanno. “They provide flexibility to the general layout by either standing alone or joining to become a two seater sofa.”
In the dining room, Hanno points out the Bloukrans dining table designed by Pierre Cronje that stretches down the length of the room. “It’s such a statement piece and a beautiful example of high quality and excellent local design.” In the kitchen, a cosy breakfast nook is decked out with a unique dining table from SHF and chairs from The Private House Company, featuring distinct woven white seats.
As for art, two pieces by Cape Town-based artist Brian Rolfe feature – one of which hangs on the wall at the staircase, an installation which caused Hanno just a bit of anxiety. “I held my breath when the two extra-large artworks had to be hung,” says Hanno, “the crew from Hangitnow had it in hand though!”