Sum­mer­time bliss A home that pro­vides an ‘away from it all’ es­cape

WITH ITS SPEC­TAC­U­LAR OCEAN OUT­LOOK, THIS CLIFFTOP HOL­I­DAY HOME PRO­VIDES THE UL­TI­MATE ‘AWAY FROM IT ALL’ ES­CAPE FOR ITS OWNER

Home Beautiful - - CONTENTS - STORY KERRYN FIS­CHER & AMY RICHARD­SON PRO­DUC­TION LUANNE TOMS PHOTOGRAPHY ELSA YOUNG

Ev­ery time Kearnon ar­rives at his hol­i­day home, he jumps into the pool and, within mo­ments, feels a mil­lion miles away from his busy life. It could be the salty ocean air, the cool stone floors un­der bare feet – or the fact that he is lit­er­ally 12,000km away from New York, a city he has called home for the last 20 years. For South African-born Kearnon, this gor­geous abode over­look­ing the At­lantic Ocean in Cape Town is both a va­ca­tion re­treat and a phys­i­cal an­chor to the coun­try of his birth. “I split my time be­tween New York and Cape Town,” he says. Set on a 1500 square me­tre plot amidst huge gran­ite boul­ders, the home hugs the con­tour of a cliff with a 45-de­gree gra­di­ent, 35 me­tres up from street level. “When I first saw this prop­erty I was drawn to the nat­u­ral land­scape and to­pog­ra­phy of the site,” says Kearnon. “It re­minded me of a res­i­den­tial sub­urb a lit­tle fur­ther along this stretch of coast­line, where I grew up.” While the clifftop set­ting is im­pres­sive, when Kearnon bought the prop­erty 10 years ago it wasn’t without its chal­lenges – guests were re­quired to use a fu­nic­u­lar to get to the home from the street, and ac­cess to the swim­ming pool from the liv­ing ar­eas was tricky, with an eight-me­tre drop off from the lounge. “We had to work out how to get peo­ple down there without the need for a lad­der,” says Kearnon. The 1960s house was also far from re­sort-style. “It was old, kooky and ori­ented to the north, with not a win­dow or door to the west and south where all the views and to­tal pri­vacy lay,” he says. “The in­ter­nal flow was also off, with lots of small rooms, poor light and awk­ward spa­ces.” Kearnon’s plans to de­mol­ish and re­build anew were thwarted by the eco­nomic re­al­i­ties of the site, to­gether with a gnaw­ing dis­com­fort at the soul­less new builds that had come to de­fine the neigh­bour­hood. “I started to be­come a lot more com­fort­able with the quirky charm and soul of the orig­i­nal ’60s house,” he says. With the help of his close friend and in­te­rior de­signer Tara Bean, and the as­sis­tance of ar­chi­tect An­to­nio Zani­novic, he de­cided to work with what he had and make it bet­ter. “The gi­gan­tic boul­ders on the site were a huge part of the ini­tial at­trac­tion for me,” says Kearnon. So much so that when he fi­nally ren­o­vated two years ago, they be­came cen­tral to the home’s re­design, which in­cluded a re-con­fig­u­ra­tion of the spa­ces and large win­dows to make them a fea­ture. To­day, the prop­erty com­prises a cen­tral liv­ing space and a guest bed­room down­stairs, while up­stairs there are more bed­rooms, two with their own en­suites and pri­vate bal­conies. An out­door din­ing and bar­be­cue area, along with an­other guest suite, sits just be­low the main house while a fourth level is home to the pool and an­other guest zone. The fi­nal chal­lenge for the team was street ac­cess. “We spent an in­or­di­nate amount of time try­ing to fig­ure out how to get peo­ple up to the house, if not by fu­nic­u­lar,” says Tara. In the end, Kearnon com­mis­sioned a lo­cal crafts­man to build a pas­sage­way and stairs that lead straight through two massive, rough-hewn rocks – a beau­ti­ful match to a home that sits ele­gantly in its stun­ning land­scape.

“THERE WAS A GREAT deal of trust AS I WAS IN NEW YORK AND TARA WAS BASED IN CAPE TOWN” ~ KEARNON

KITCHEN Be­fore the home’s ren­o­va­tion, the kitchen was a cramped and closed-in room with out­dated cab­i­netry. To­day, it’s a stylish open-plan space with a win­dow that treats the site’s gran­ite boul­ders as art­work. “We chose teal as we wanted a colour...

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