TWO FRIENDS DECORATE A COASTAL HOME THAT'S A REFRESHING GETAWAY FILLED WITH A CRAFT-INSPIRED AESTHETIC AND COLORFUL ARTWORK
A holiday-coastal abode is a haven of fun and calm with colorful accessories and airy living spaces.
A neutral palette gives the house a timeless feel while natural textures keep it laidback. Anthea Newbury, the owner, was adamant about creating a layered, atypical space, and so throughout, you’ll find interesting elements like this white pebble wash floor treatment—a detail that instantly makes the space feel like a cottage in Greece. Get similar wicker furniture at Luzon Rattan Industries, LRI Design Plaza, 210 N. Garcia St., Makati City.
Aholiday home poses a very particular challenge to a designer: it must cater to the needs of different people, on different occasions. It should be an oasis of calm, a haven of fun, a showcase for signature style—and it needs to tick all the boxes, but not at the expense of any single one.
This kind of task needs a cohesive team and a clear vision, and this particular beach house in Plettenberg Bay (one of the most popular and sought-after spots on South Africa’s Garden Route coastal stretch) has both. An added bonus: the design duo in question are longtime friends.
Designer Kim Stephen, who now lives and works in London, and owner Anthea Newbury set out on what would become a two-year adventure, traveling together and sourcing around the country, picking up pieces that fit their vision organically as they found them. Homeowners Anthea and Anton had already narrowed down what they wanted to something that could be considered as “boho-eclectic,” and needed someone to bring it to life when they brought Kim on board. “They had already started building the home and had a clear idea of what they were looking for. We’ve been close friends for many years, so I felt I could do justice to their lifestyle, but I was also excited to leave my own aesthetic behind and go along on the journey of realizing their creative vision,” adds Kim.
This included steering clear of coastal clichés. “We did not want a typical beach house―you know, blue and white with whitewashed wood. Nothing ‘shabby chic’,” Anthea says. “And yet, we also didn’t want ultra modern, balanced or set décor, but rather an almost unplanned, thrown-together feel.” So somewhere in the middle, they set out to find the sweet spot―sophisticated but
A LOT OF THOUGHT WENT INTO CREATING SPACES FOR EVERYONE―A KEY ELEMENT OF SUCCESSFUL HOLIDAY LIVING.
relaxed. “While it is a family home, we could afford to up the glamour factor a bit, and were very aware of comfort without compromising on style,” Anthea adds.
Loosely inspired by destinations like the Mediterranean in general, and Ibiza in particular, the idea was to fill the space with interesting finds and beautiful artwork set against the backdrop of a strong white and natural palette to create a collected feel. Anthea’s vision from the beginning was interesting, layered, and offbeat―not too balanced nor too “decorated.” Color, too, needed a bit of compromise. “I like a lot of it, my husband less so, so we had to find a happy medium,” she explains. Kim is known for her jewel-box use of color, so between the three of them, a clever and democratic approach was needed.
As a result, most of the colors are in the artwork. Where the rest of the décor has a breezy white base with blue and black accents, the pieces pop in kaleidoscopic hues—a smart and sophisticated solution that creates a thread out of the art that runs throughout the house and highlights it as a feature.
“One of our greatest passions is collecting art,” Anthea admits. And though the selection might appear unexpected, the pieces, which range from oils to installations, were carefully selected to enhance each space, either by adding color or by throwing off the balance in a room.
Something they all agreed on, however, was that rustic was a swearword and stereotypes were out. That said, they did want to draw on the location as inspiration— something the property as a whole does (the garden was planned as an extension of the dune using coastal planting to create a continuum). Natural textures were inevitable in order to create a home comfortable in its surroundings, hence, the décor scheme of wood, raffia, and basketry feature prominently. Kim and Anthea were each other’s monitors here, and they put each other back on the right track if either strayed slightly away from the boho theme of the house.
“We were each other’s counterpoints—I sometimes tempered Anthea’s wilder ideas but she also stretched my creativity, as this house is non-conformist in many ways,” comments Kim. Her approach that a cocooning base needs to balance high drama was perfectly in sync with the family’s need for easy elegance: playful but perfectly appointed.
NATURAL TEXTURES IN THE FORM OF WOOD, RAFFIA, AND BASKETRY CREATE A HOME THAT IS COMFORTABLE IN ITS SURROUNDINGS.
The sea-facing verandah needs little by way of adornment, as the views are simply showstopping. Plenty of seating and loungers are all oriented towards the seascape, offering many options in the house to relax in. Get a similar lattice-patterned side table from Global Views at Shangri-La at the Fort, and tropical palm-printed pillowcases at H&M Home, SM Makati.
In this magical living space, all the designer's and owner’s boho visions are manifested in the ethnic textiles, animal print accessories, and inlaid tables. These all come together in an exquisite expression of hippie glamour that begs for caftan-clad leisure lovers to lounge in it. Here, a stunning, large-scale kaleidoscopic artwork is the centerpiece of the space. To achieve a similar boho feel, layer on Jobi and Jomata pillows from Habitat.
above In her projects, Kim always keeps a balance of comfort and sophistication, as a cocooning base has to counteract aesthetics. In this bedroom, soft textures of white give the space a relaxing feel, allowing the view to shine. You can get a similar patterned area rug like this at Decoliving Manila.
left A bathroom that opens to the outdoors is the epitome of beach living. Minimal lines are offset by natural texture in the perfect balance of sleek and organic fixtures and elements. You can find a similar tub like this at Sanitec, 240 E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave., Quezon City.