TIME TRAVEL Heather Moore and Paul Ed­munds share their care­fully cu­rated Cape Town abode with us

A col­lec­tion of Mid-Cen­tury fur­ni­ture, vin­tage ob­jects and care­fully se­lected art­works char­ac­terise a cre­ative cou­ple’s ren­o­vated Cape Town apart­ment


Seven­teen years ago, Heather Moore and Paul Ed­munds bought their first home to­gether – a mod­est twobed­room, top-floor flat in Gar­dens, Cape Town. Si­t­u­ated a few blocks from Kloof Street (then by no means the bustling so­cial hub it has now be­come) and in one of a group of low-rise 1930s build­ings tucked be­hind the Mount Nelson ho­tel, it was the ideal ‘starter prop­erty’ for a young cou­ple both ven­tur­ing into cre­ative fields. Fast for­ward to 2018: Heather is now the founder and co-owner of beloved de­sign brand Skinny laMinx, hav­ing found her niche as the cre­ator of bril­liantly beau­ti­ful tex­tiles. And Paul is an in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed fine artist whose works form part of mu­seum col­lec­tions and adorn the walls of art lovers across the globe. So you might ex­pect them to have moved to a grander and more spa­cious abode.

In Heather and Paul’s own unique way, they have. ‘ We’ve ren­o­vated twice,’ says Heather, re­call­ing an ini­tial change to the very small kitchen, fol­lowed by a more ex­ten­sive up­grade three years ago. The lat­ter in­volved a com­plete re­ori­en­ta­tion of the apart­ment be­cause, af­ter many years of wait­ing for the op­por­tu­nity, it hap­pened when the cou­ple were fi­nally able to pur­chase the bach­e­lor flat next door and in­cor­po­rate the ad­di­tional space into their apart­ment.

It now has only one bed­room, how­ever. Heather and Paul have no chil­dren, and their beloved Si­amese cat Mon­key is the sole other oc­cu­pant. ‘Our ar­chi­tect Daniel Maggs asked us if we re­ally wanted a guest room,’ says Heather. ‘And we thought that apart from not hav­ing lots of visi­tors, “spare” rooms so of­ten be­come just that – awk­ward, un­used spa­ces. So we stuck with one bed­room.’

Hav­ing mounted the three flights of stairs on what must be some of Cape Town’s quirki­est floors – they are a com­bi­na­tion of ter­razzo (for the treads) and bro­ken tiles laid in what can re­ally only be called a crazy-paving pat­tern – you en­ter the flat through the orig­i­nal front door, di­rectly into a spa­cious, sun-drenched new liv­ing area. This space in­cor­po­rates both the old liv­ing room and orig­i­nal bed­room, and now in­cludes the sep­a­rate but open-plan din­ing and loung­ing ar­eas.

To the left of the en­try­way is the open-plan kitchen, which fea­tures sim­ple built-in cup­boards and plenty of open shelv­ing. Ad­ja­cent to the kitchen is a study, with an invit­ing, built-in sin­gle daybed (‘Ideal for sneaky af­ter­noon naps,’ says Paul con­fi­den­tially) and sim­ple desk and chair. Turn right af­ter en­ter­ing the front door, and you walk down a short pas­sage­way to the main bed­room, which has an en suite bath­room and walk-in cup­board. Plus there’s a small bal­cony off the bed­room, too – reg­u­larly oc­cu­pied by Mon­key, but also fea­tur­ing a vin­tage chair with plump cush­ions clad in Skinny laMinx fabrics as well as a ver­i­ta­ble for­est of pot plants, most of which are thriv­ing suc­cu­lents (although there’s also a lush fern and an en­vi­able fid­dle-leaf fig).

A larger bal­cony off the liv­ing room also has plenty of suc­cu­lent res­i­dents, as well as a pair of round cane chairs with more Skinny cush­ions, and a small café ta­ble. Com­plete with its curved, orig­i­nal metal balustrade, this is a tran­quil spot for quiet post-work chats or re­lax­ing af­ter din­ner on warm sum­mer evenings, with a ver­dant out­look that draws the eye up to a view of Ta­ble Mountain.

The in­te­ri­ors of Heather and Paul’s home have come to­gether over many years. They have al­ways been drawn to Mid-Cen­tury Mod­ern style, and hunted down their all-vin­tage fur­ni­ture at mar­kets and an­tique stores. Spe­cial ac­ces­sories such as the Mex­i­can ser­ape used as a throw on the bed were picked up while trav­el­ling, and ar­ranged on a shelf is a col­lec­tion of gor­geous glazed tiles. Each one has a story: ‘These are from Heath Ceram­ics; they send me a tile ev­ery year at Christ­mas,’ says Heather, point­ing them out (she has col­lab­o­rated with the sto­ried San Francisco tile com­pany for many years). ‘And this one we found in a mar­ket in Lis­bon. This is a sam­ple tile of French bas­ket­ware seat­ing…’

The walls play host to art­works also ac­cu­mu­lated over the years – some by Paul him­self, and oth­ers by artists such as Me­d­ina Mor­phet and Gabrielle Raaff, who are also friends. The art does have to com­pete with quite a bit of open dis­play shelv­ing, though: a clas­sic Mid-Cen­tury built-in unit lines the wall of the din­ing area, and there are cus­tom-de­signed open book­cases in the study and a clever, nar­row shelf at the head of the bed in the bed­room. The shelves dis­play a mix of books, ob­jects and quirky fig­urines – Heather, in par­tic­u­lar, has an eye for the loveli­est an­i­mal fig­ures, and has col­lected very spe­cial groups of these. She used to be a Mil­ner­ton Mar­ket reg­u­lar, some­how spot­ting real trea­sures among all the flot­sam and jet­sam.

This is a home that could only be­long to the two peo­ple who live in it: it’s the per­fect ex­pres­sion of the deeply thought­ful cre­ative spirit that an­i­mates them both, as well as their very ev­i­dent in­sis­tence on liv­ing sim­ply with beau­ti­ful things that they gen­uinely love. And it’s a space in which to re­alise that all the best up­grades take place slowly, over time. skin­ny­lam­inx.com; pauled­munds.co.za

It’s the per­fect ex­pres­sion of the deeply thought­ful cre­ative spirit that an­i­mates them both, as well as their very ev­i­dent in­sis­tence on liv­ing sim­ply with beau­ti­ful things that they gen­uinely love.

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