luxury in a Paarl family home
Laidback living meets luxury finishes in this home on a rural estate in Paarl
hen Bernd and Karen Schwendtke decided to relocate to the Cape, Bernd gave Karen carte blanche in the choice of location, design and decor of their new home. “I chose this site at Val de Vie because it has wonderful views of the Paarl mountains,” says Karen. Another factor was the perfect position at the end
Wof the large recreational lake, which provides water views from most of the rooms and makes the property feel much larger.
As the Schwendtkes were still living in Pretoria, Karen, a businesswoman and breeder of Arab horses, knew she would have to find someone in the area who could assist with project management during construction, especially as Bernd would be working in Dubai over this period. “I wanted someone who could interpret my style and taste and be my eyes and ears when I couldn’t be on the building site,” says Karen.
She interviewed several local decorators, and fortunately had an instant rapport with Nicolette Jonas, who runs a
successful decor business, Interior Concepts, in Paarl.
Karen’s brief to Nicolette was to create a home that would be easy to maintain and truly lock up and go, but at the same time embrace what the beautiful country setting had to offer. Although the house is compact, it has several sitting and eating areas including a glamorous formal dining room and a more relaxed braai room with stacking glass doors that open directly onto the garden and the lake.
“The idea was to give Karen’s home a modern, classical look with good flow between the inside and the outside,” says Nicolette. “We also wanted to add a bit of bling and to ref lect Karen’s interest in Arabian horses.” This is particularly noticeable at the entrance where a stallion sculpture by Arend Eloff greets visitors.
Subtle bling permeates the dining room, which features wallpapered walls, a whimsical chandelier and Venetian mirrors. Glamour is carried through to the adjoining kitchen, which has marble worktops and metallic pendant lights. “As it’s visible from the living room, we tucked a scullery behind it to keep it looking neat,” says Karen.
The more relaxed braai room has a slatted timber ceiling, which gives it warmth and intimacy. “We divided it into two sitting areas so there’s easy access through the centre to the pool and terrace outside,” explains Nicolette. With easy living in mind, all the curtains and the ceiling fans are remote controlled.
Karen’s daughters chose the decor for their bedrooms. One has a large black four-poster bed while the other features soft
pink hues. The main bedroom is subtly luxurious but the star of the show is the dressing room where antiqued mirrors clad the walls and ref lect lacquered fittings and a crystal chandelier.
The guest suite on the ground floor is self-contained with a kitchenette screened by folding shutters. “This way our guests can make themselves at home without having to come through to the main house,” explains Karen.
Practicality also reigns in the garden where Karen opted for hassle-free imitation grass around the house. “I also included sweet-smelling plants so that when the wind blows or on summer evenings, fragrance permeates the house.”
To add more living space, Karen built a gazebo on the other side of the pool, which is a popular spot for tea and sundowners and a small island beyond that for wildlife. She also included a deck for launching canoes. “Bernd and the girls have a lot of fun canoeing on the lake,” she adds.
“When Bernd returned and saw the completed project, he was thrilled with it,” recalls Karen. “It’s modern, warm and a great place to come home to.”
THIS PAGE, FROM TOP: Saskia’s bedroom has French doors that open onto a balcony. The soft throw is from Woolworths.
Nicolette loves to add interest with paint techniques. Here she gave the vanity in Saskia’s bathroom a harlequin pattern and combined it with sassy dog print wallpaper from Hertex.
Get the look Turn your patio into a relaxed
haven with these accessories Java lounge chair,
R6 995, Block & Chisel. Opal votives from R129, JVB Furniture. Dove Grey Leather Dhurrie rug, 1,6 X 2,3m, R1 599, Airloom. Oceana small metal antique brass pendant, R2 690, K. Light Import. Chevron scatter pillow case, R250, Hello Pretty. Set of three round nesting tables, R9 375, Mavromac & Gatehouse. Bronze pill stool,
R1 499, JVB Furniture.
SOURCES Airloom airloom.co.za Arend Eloff arendeloff.com Block & Chisel blockandchisel.co.za Brian Rolfe saatchiart.com Hello Pretty hellopretty.co.za Hertex hertexhaus.co.za Interior Concepts 082 565 4500 JVB Furniture j-v-b.co.za K. Light Import klight.co.za Mavromac & Gatehouse mavromacandthegatehouse.co.za Stellenbosch Blinds & Shutters stellenboschblinds.co.za Supreme Upholstery supremeupholstery.co.za Woolworths woolworths.co.za
WHO LIVES HEREBernd and Karen Schwendtke and their two daughters, Saskia (11) and Arabella (6).THE HOUSEA modern, double-storey house with a large living and dining area, an open-plan kitchen and glass-enclosed braai room on the ground floor. Upstairs, there are four bedrooms and three bathrooms.
THIS SPREAD, CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The braai room is furnished with relaxed wicker chairs and metal side tables all from Interior Concepts in Paarl. The pendant lights are from K. Light Import. Karen created extra living space outdoors by adding a gazebo, which they often use for dining alfresco, and a deck from which to launch canoes. The gazebo forms part of the swimming pool and is a lovely place to enjoy the view.
THIS SPREAD, CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: On the far side of the braai room, an L-shaped sofa from Interior Concepts and easy chairs offer a comfortable place to relax. The scatter cushions are in a leaf design fabric from Mavromac and the buttercup yellow ones are in a Hertex fabric. In the TV room, a blue velvet sofa picks up the colours in the painting of one of Karen’s horses by Brian Rolfe. Visible from the TV room, the kitchen has marble countertops and comfortable bar stools from Supreme Upholstery. The dining area is furnished with a modern chandelier from K. Light Import and Venetian mirrors. The table and chairs are from Supreme Upholstery.
THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Nicolette gave the dressing room a glamorous effect with a wall of specially made antiqued mirrors offset by white lacquered cupboards. In the centre is a marble-topped chest highlighted by a chandelier from K. Light Import. The main bathroom has mirrored cupboards and the shower is enclosed by a French-looking black metalframed screen. Soft grey tones, a velvet headboard and mirrored side tables all by Interior Concepts create a very glamorous look in the main bedroom.
ABOVE: Decorated with rich olive green touches, the guest suite features wallpaper from Hertex and blinds by StellenboschBlinds & Shutters. The kitchenette is screened off with shutters.