This is your second project at de Hoop Nature Reserve – as you also assited in the décor of Morukuru Ocean House together. Did you have a different approach when working on an exclusive use house versus Morukuru Beach Lodge which is individual luxury suites?
I got involved with Ocean House quite near the end of the project when most of the decisions had already been made, but this time around I was involved right from the beginning which means I have been intricately involved in all aspects of the interior’s including areas such as flooring and bathroom design. Also the experience of working on Ocean House meant that I was more familiar with local suppliers and where to source materials from.
You are particularly known for your use of fabrics and bold colours. How did you bring this into the design for the rooms and spaces using soft furnishings?
I like colour. Colour makes people happy! So yes colour is part of my signature. But it is important to create harmony between inside and outside. If you look at the bedrooms, I have used combinations of yellow, green and blue, which reflects the natural environment. These are the colours of nature – the indigenous flora and fauna. In the dining area I concentrated on marine hues – which emphasise the colour of the sea.
The panoramic ocean views are breathtaking – tell us how the colours selected like chartreuse, greys and blues reflect the the natural environment?
The reflection of the sea intensifies the colour scheme of the dining area. It is quite intense. Those colours I selected enhance the unique surroundings but never dominate or overpower. It is a balancing act.
Outdoor areas will be popular with guests who want to enjoy the gorgeous South African weather – talk us through your process of creating “privacy” spaces with in common areas?
It is important to create little nooks where people can relax. To achieve this we used plenty of single chairs which can be moved around to create separate areas. Luckily this property has many spaces, the lounge, veranda, pool deck, bar and rooftop bar – so it is easy to select a quiet space. Plus all rooms have private balconies and cosy sitting areas with fireplaces.
How important is lighting in both interior and exterior spaces ?
Firstly the atmosphere is the most important thing to consider but you need to balance ambiance with practicality and I feel we got that alignment right. Each room at Beach Lodge features an amazing artwork chandelier by Riaan Chambers which give beautiful light and the dining room will have a huge whale chandelier which is a real eye catcher. In the bar I used beautiful airy spider lights to create an intimate and moody space.
The dining room features a bright statement wall – did you use a paint technique or a wall covering?
The architect and I decided that this two storey circular wall needed to be a focus in the house so we went for a bold look using an amazing wallpaper which resembles mosaic.
I also used special wallpapers in the bedrooms which create an impression of little beads. I must confess I have a reputation for using wallpaper in my schemes and back home in Holland I have the nickname Mrs. Wallpaper!
You have included a leather couch in the bar area. This is reminiscent of a South African shongololo! Is this a happy coincidence – or did you choose it specifically as a homage to this popular creepy crawly? Who is the designer/manufacturer of this piece?
I always loved this sofa, and yes this is the original Shongololo sofa of Haldane Martin. I know it is not new, but some designs are timeless and I thought the bar needed to be totally different and look how everybody can sit on the sofa with the best views at the sea.
We love the look of those cushions – tell us about your use of patterns and textures in the textiles in the lodge.
I like to mix different patterns, materials and textiles as this is what makes every design unique. The most important thing is the quality of the fabrics. I always use top quality linens , velvets, silks and embroidered fabrics. I have a real passion for textiles and back in Holland I have nearly 1000 different fabrics in my showroom.
You have used yellow as an accent colour throughout the entertainment areas – is this your go-to happy colour?Definitely. I personally love all shades of yellows and green.
The flooring is softened with rugs – tell us about the circular rug in the bar. How important are contrasting shapes and textures when building a scheme?
Because the shape of the shongololo dominates that space I chose round rugs to balance things out and the rugs also create sympathy with the wooden floor and black frames. The whole look comes together very nicely.
We love those yellow pineapples – list your three favourite objet and explain why?
My favorite object is the round Doortje IJpelaar vase. Each vase is individually, hand painted by the artist which means every single vase is completely unique. I would also list the chandeliers of Riaan Chambers. His designs are made from recycled materials including some found at the beach. I love his work so much I have one at home in Holland! The swivel chairs in the bedrooms by Leon 219 in Cape Town with fabrics by Designers Guild are also favourites as this model allows you to rotate and take in the full landscape views.
Anything else you would like to add on your design principal and creating the look and feel for Beach Lodge.
I am very privileged and proud to have been part of this beautiful lodge in such unique surroundings. Challenging projects like this don’t happen every day. This work opportunity in South African has also allowed me to get to know your beautiful country and people, so much so that South Africa feels like my second home.