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.