A serene heritage home in Greyton that ticks all the right boxes
This serene haven in the Overberg ticks all the right boxes for Demyan and Heiné’s next chapter in life.
Long before Demyan Rossouw and Heiné de Waal bought their home in Greyton, it was attached to a school dormitory and belonged to the school matron.
Over the years, this heritage building, believed to have been constructed in the late 1800s, housed three different restaurants before it was bought by Eugene Buchner, a ceramics restorer who renovated it and rented it out as self-catering holiday accommodation.
In 2016, Demyan and Heiné took ownership of the property after falling in love with its rich history – it was just the right out-of-town home they’d been looking for. “It’s been a long-standing dream to live in a small village in ‘the platteland’,” says Demyan. “Somewhere close enough to the city but without the urban vibe – or the usual small-town busybodies! Greyton ticked all the boxes.”
They viewed about 15 homes before they were shown this one. “We spent a few hours in the house without the estate agent. We liked the feel and loved what we saw, so we moved in two months later.” >>
Leaving the city behind
For many years, the couple rented two small one-bedroom apartments in an apartment block in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town: one in which to live and another that functioned as an office and study. Demyan is a cognitive behaviour coach and Heiné, once a medical technologist and later an alternative healing therapist, now focuses on painting, sculpture and bonsai.
“At this stage of our lives, this home is the perfect fit,” Demyan says. “It’s spacious, but not too big, with a manageable garden, plenty of fresh air and enough room in which we can both express ourselves.”
The dining room and lounge, galley kitchen, study, studio, guest room and guest bathroom are all located downstairs. The main bedroom with its en-suite bathroom is situated upstairs.
“From the outside, the house looks rather small and one wouldn’t expect a second storey,” Demyan says. “Despite being more than 100 years old, the house still has modern elements such as the loft bedroom – and we fell in love with these surprise factors!”
We like a lot of negative space in the house; the palette is quite neutral and the furnishings sparse. Some people think we’re still in the process of unpacking!
Their unique style
While the pair didn’t have to make any major structural changes to their home, thanks to a recent renovation, the interior was too impersonal for their liking. These days, the décor – an eclectic mix of minimalist, platteland, retro and Asian styles – reflects both Demyan and Heiné’s personalities.
“We styled the house in a way that suits our lifestyle, not to impress other people,” Demyan says. “Our intention with the layout and décor is to create space so the energy can move and to showcase the artwork and other things we love dearly.” Heiné has a keen eye for colour and detail, which is expressed in the artworks and decorative pieces throughout their home.
“The house now acts as his canvas and he thoroughly enjoys expressing his creativity in practicing his art, decorating the house and in designing and maintaining the garden,” Demyan adds. The couple also maximised the gorgeous view of the Riviersonderend mountains from several rooms in their home by installing roll-up blinds instead of curtains; these allow plenty of light into the space during the day.
“People often remark on how warm and welcoming the house is now. That’s exactly what we hoped to achieve in this space: to feel at home, to feel safe and to be real… No pretentiousness required,” Demyan says with a smile. >>
Almost all the pendants in the home are the same to create uniformity.
Who lives here? Demyan Rossouw, Heiné de Waal and their cats Timothy, Yuki and Fico
WHERE Greyton SIZE 250m²
The white decorative trim around the windows (opposite) is accentuated by the surrounding blue-grey walls. The old cement floor was transformed with the addition of soft grey and white quarry tiles. Standard Stone and Standard Charcoal stoep tiles from Shawtec; exterior walls painted with Dulux Weatherguard in the colour Quartz Flint 3
The original unstained Oregon pine floors in the living areas, including the dining room, enhance the farm-style theme in this bright, uncluttered space. Flowers from Woolworths
As creatives, it was important for Demyan and Heiné to have their own space in which to retreat. Demyan’s study, previously a bedroom, is all old-world charm with its dark wood, rich accent colours and statement chair covered in fabric by local designer Erna Moolman of Greyton Home Improvements.
Heiné brightened up his studio with Annie Sloan paint; the second-hand Oregon pine cabinet and butler’s tray were painted in English Yellow and the desk in Old White.