IN THE HEART OF A CITY CENTER IS A FURNITURE DESIGNER’S APARTMENT FILLED WITH STRIKING ARTWORK AND A CLASSIC COLLECTION OF CHAIRS
This art-filled city apartment is a vision in white walls with accents of black, gold, and textured browns.
As one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, Cape Town, South Africa, is a buzzing playground. In recent years, it has undergone a masterful urban transformation. Once-deserted office buildings have been converted into polished apartment blocks, scruffy old warehouses now play host to world-class eateries, and former dingy dives are now artisanal gin bars, fair-trade coffee shops, and cronut-serving bakeries.
It is no surprise, then, that many of the city’s design talents have eschewed suburban bliss for inner city life, and Liam Mooney is no exception. A successful furniture designer and respected interiors expert, Liam loves to welcome friends into his restful retreat: an open-plan apartment situated in a renovated, mixed-use Art Deco building on Greenmarket Square, one of Cape Town’s busiest tourist hubs. “When I first saw it, I was immediately taken with the original wooden windows, high ceilings, open plan space, and the fact that there are two terraces,” he says.
Liam first lived in the then two-bedroom apartment for a short while before proposing a structural change to his landlord. “I didn’t need a second bedroom, but I felt that a dining area was essential since I love entertaining.” So out went a dry wall, and in its place, space for a table that’s big enough for dinners. “I love to entertain, but my friends know that after I eat, I sleep, so if I have people during the week, it’s usually a dine-and-dash scenario,” he says with a laugh.
Removing the wall opened up the home and let in an abundance of natural light. From the natural textured wallpaper throughout the main living area to many of his original artworks, there’s no doubt Liam has added a fabulously elegant edge to the space. “The open-plan nature of the space makes it so versatile and ideal for me, since I love to shift things around on a regular basis,” says Liam. “I like to put things together that don’t necessarily work ‘on paper,’ but because I love them, they work for the way I want to live—and that’s with things I love and which have a story.”
While the world outside his windows is a cacophony of color and activity, Liam’s home is a monochromatic contrast. “Generally, I like a more neutral palette—it just ages better. Color is important to me, but I like darker, more somber colors than brights,” he says. The home’s modern palette of black and white is offset by natural textures and tones, the occasional metallic finish, and an impressive collection of contemporary artworks by some of South Africa’s best talents, many of whom are Liam's friends.
Homeowner Liam Mooney’s eye for careful curation is faultless in this mini gallery space, complete with velvet Mid-century chairs and a portrait of Picasso.