In­side this se­ri­ously so­phis­ti­cated Green Point apart­ment, a dar­ing opaque back­drop lets the rich emer­ald-and-gold pal­ette sparkle


Sit­ting in the liv­ing zone of the Green Point apart­ment she shares with her hus­band Andy, Alex van der Velde says: ‘It all started with the idea for an emer­ald vel­vet couch.’

That couch is now the star piece of the room and Alex runs her fin­ger­tips ab­sent-mind­edly over its silky sur­face as she re­counts her in­spi­ra­tion for the abode. It’s the kind of room-defin­ing, sink-in sofa into which you’d nes­tle in the heart of win­ter, and is char­ac­ter­is­tic of the style of home the cou­ple wanted to cre­ate: tex­tu­ral, com­fort­able and ut­terly chic.

The de­sire to buy prop­erty in Cape Town grew out of Alex and Andy’s re­spec­tive ca­reers in lo­gis­tics, which saw them spend­ing more and more time be­tween the city and their house in Zim­bali, KwaZulu-Natal. ‘We’re also in a sit­u­a­tion where all our kids have grown up and left the nest,’ says Alex, ‘so find­ing a smaller place made sense.’ While much more com­pact than their Zim­bali home, this three-bed­roomed bolt-hole spread over three storeys is splen­didly spa­cious, with gen­er­ous pro­por­tions and a solid ar­chi­tec­tural frame for the in­te­rior work that the Van der Veldes set out to do with Dur­ban-based in­te­rior de­signer Amy Mitchell.

Hav­ing worked with the cou­ple on a pre­vi­ous project, Mitchell im­me­di­ately took to her clients’ vi­sion for this in­te­rior gut job, which blended prac­ti­cal liv­ing with a glam­orous, Kelly Wearstler-like sen­si­bil­ity. ‘She’s my style icon,’ notes Alex, and whis­pers of the ref­er­ences to the Amer­i­can in­te­rior de­signer – known for her dar­ing use of pat­terns, vi­brant colours and eye-catch­ing fea­ture pieces – that can be found through­out the space, from the geo­met­ric gold wall­pa­per in the mas­ter bed­room to the an­i­mal prints and scat­ter cush­ions in the liv­ing area, suit­ably cov­ered in Wearstler’s fab­ric.

Along with the emer­ald sofa, Alex sought a dark, moody look for the in­te­rior walls. ‘This was the be­gin­ning for the colour scheme,’ ex­plains Mitchell. ‘I mixed the green with black and gold for a dra­matic ef­fect, and the darker colours re­ally ac­cen­tu­ate those hues. Both the liv­ing ar­eas have re­ally high ceil­ings, so they were able to carry the darker colours well.’ Against the moody walls, key de­sign pieces by local ta­lent are given an op­por­tu­nity to shine, like the out­sized din­ing-room ta­ble by Kevin Franken­tal of stu­dio Lemon and an An­drew Early tim­ber cof­fee ta­ble. For Mitchell, good light was key to suc­cess: ‘An in­te­gral part of the de­sign was the use of light­ing and mir­rors. The house re­ally comes to life in the evenings when all the lev­els of light­ing come into play and it’s re­flected in the mir­rors, mak­ing it re­ally strik­ing.’

While the home’s tex­tu­ral and colour pal­ette is con­sis­tent through­out the space, each of its three lev­els has a unique am­bi­ence. On the topfloor kitchen-din­ing-liv­ing zone, it’s all about open en­ter­tain­ing, whether the Van der Veldes are en­joy­ing din­ner at the din­ing-room ta­ble with cus­tom-made ban­quette seat­ing, play­ing cards with their kids in front of the fire­place or tak­ing in the spec­tac­u­lar sun­set from the bal­cony.

In the bed­rooms, Mitchell wanted to cre­ate a cosy sanc­tu­ary, so she turned the tone right down to a calm­ing mix of gold, mid­night blue and white, let­ting the vista shine in its own right. ‘Alex re­ally wanted the bed in the mas­ter bed­room to face the glo­ri­ous view,’ says Mitchell, ‘but the wall that backs onto the bath­room area just wasn’t gen­er­ous enough to ac­com­mo­date a king-sized bed, so I de­signed a head­board on hinged wings to cir­cum­nav­i­gate this ob­sta­cle.’ Guest bed­rooms fol­low suit, while the guest bath­rooms are bursts of vivid trop­i­cal style. ‘Be­cause they’re usu­ally a frac­tion of the size of other rooms, guest loos should be strik­ing and dra­matic,’ says Alex.

Andy and Alex’s love of local art is ev­i­dent through­out the home, from the Kurt Pio ab­stracts in the liv­ing area to the Victoria Ver­baans in the bed­rooms. The bot­tom-level TV-liv­ing space – a thoroughly in­ti­mate zone in deep blue with emer­ald ac­cents – fea­tures a wall of moon prints en­ti­tled Phases of For­tune by local artist Michael Chan­dler, ref­er­enc­ing the cou­ple’s love of all things lunar. ‘We’re both fas­ci­nated by moons,’ says Alex. And when they’re not look­ing at the moon’s phases in the down­stairs TV room, they can catch the live show out on the bal­cony, where they’re treated to the daz­zling panorama – right from Bantry Bay to the Cape Town har­bour – that ini­tially sold the cou­ple on the prop­erty and leaves them slack-jawed ev­ery time they step out­side. ‘I knew when I first walked in the front door and saw that view that I was done,’ says Andy. ‘It’s just mag­nif­i­cent.’


Against the moody walls, key de­sign pieces by local ta­lent are given an op­por­tu­nity to shine

this page For the in­te­ri­ors of their Green Point apart­ment in Cape Town, Alex and Andy van der Velde em­ployed the help of in­te­rior de­signer Amy Mitchell to cre­ate an aes­thetic that was ‘tex­tu­ral, com­fort­able and ut­terly chic’. op­po­site An an­i­mal-print arm­chair by Egg De­signs mim­ics the graphic na­ture of the art­work by Kurt Pio above the fire­place, while a gold side-ta­ble from Cé­cile & Boyd is one of many metal­lic ac­cents in the home.

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this page A din­ing ta­ble by Kevin Franken­tal from Lemon is sur­rounded by a ban­quette and chairs by Leon at CCXIX in the top-floor liv­ing zone. op­po­site (clock­wise, from top left) As per the home-own­ers’ brief, the in­te­ri­ors blend ‘prac­ti­cal liv­ing with a glam­orous, Kelly Wearstler-like sen­si­bil­ity’; in the kitchen, a lux­u­ri­ous mar­ble sur­face con­trasts with black cab­i­nets and gold fin­ishes, such as a faucet by Lavo Bath­room Con­cepts; the bar area fea­tures a dis­play cabinet by The Kitchen Stu­dio that’s home to an ar­ray of col­lected glass­ware and ob­jets.

this page (clock­wise, from top left) Calm and invit­ing, the ex­pan­sive en suite bath­room boasts a dress­ing ta­ble and chair by Leon at CCXIX; all three bed­rooms are serenely op­u­lent and in­clude ubiq­ui­tous gold de­tail­ing; trop­i­cal wall­pa­per from United Wall Cov­er­ings adorns the walls of the guest bath­room; in the guest bed­room is a pouffe by Leon at CCXIX and a mir­ror from Dark Horse.

(clock­wise, from top left) Palm Springs wall­pa­per in PS40114 by United Wall­cov­er­ings from R2 062/roll, Con­stan­tia In­te­ri­ors; White At­tica 5143 quartz slab R2 400/m, Cae­sar­stone; Verde Gu­atemala gran­ite slab R2 300/m², WOMAG; Palm Jun­gle wall­pa­per in 95/1004 by Cole & Son R2 323/roll; Oblique wall­pa­per in 105/11046 from the Geo­met­ric II col­lec­tion by Cole & Son R2 252/roll; and La Travi­ata fab­ric in Gold R482/m, all St Leger & Viney; Verde Bianco mar­ble slab POA, Rudi’s Choice

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