Natalie’s home truths
What are you best known for?
Never completing any task until now, this house. Also, of course, my sense of humour, which was essential for the above.
What three qualities got you to where you are now?
Optimism, adventurism and a cast-iron constitution. Also a belief that if things don’t go as planned to roll with it. It’s a moment, an experience and it is all transient.
What gets you up in the morning?
My children or dogs, or both. Followed by yoga every day, it’s essential. Also the sun, I’m definitely solar powered, I really struggled in the darkness of the British winters.
Who’s on your fantasy dinner party guest list?
Adrien Brody, Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker, Stephen Fry and Silvio Berlusconi.
What’s your rule of thumb when entertaining?
Keep it simple and informal, never try something new for the first time.
What was your best buy in this house?
A painting by Orlanda Broom, a very talented British artist who paints triptychs and circular landscapes that remind me of Henri Rousseau’s garden paintings. They are transportive.
What are your go-to destinations to source beautiful things?
I shop at auction houses like Provenance in Cape Town and car boot sales and markets. It would be too simple to walk into a shop, you don’t get the same sense of satisfaction and reward of finding something really unique with a story to go with it.
Are you a bargain hunter or a design diva?
Bargain hunter – but with a mix – you can’t have all bargain with no backbone. I’m a Topshop dress with the Lanvin shoes type. You need beautiful, quality pieces to hold things together.
What advice what you give to your 18-yearold self ?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Travel as much as you can and live inside as many different cultures as you can. The differences teach us who we are.
Below: Natalie uses two old brass baggage trolleys as coat stands. She bought them off website Gumtree from a retired porter who had worked on the Blue Train, which traverses South Africa, for 30 years. Racing green silk taffeta curtains add an element of colour to a neutral hallway.