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Clifton showhouse

May 8, 2017 | Beautiful Spaces, Featured

A concealed garden and ocean views come together in  this classic Clifton property, a granite boulder forming  a unique part of the design

There are not many three-storey properties where each level has direct access to the garden. Adding to the magic, the 500m2 oasis is secreted behind a dominating granite rock and hugs the Clifton home, creeping up into the slopes of Lion’s Head. The homeowner confides that it was the private garden that stole her heart when she bought the property 20 years ago. That and the sea views from the two balconies fronting the home. Interior designer Dylan Thomaz of Studio Dylan Thomaz, who worked with the owner to refresh the look of the property, says it is truly unique. ‘The design is timeless and classic. It has so much soul and depth,’ he says.

With its white walls, terracotta roof, shutters and sea views from every room, the property has  a sense of a Mediterranean villa.

The view from the kitchen and scullery is one of a lush garden, which complements the dark wood used in the cabinetry. ‘The garden includes a koi pond and it feels as though you are part of the forest. It has an off-the-beaten track feel to it,’ says Thomaz; in the dining room, you can get a real sense of how all the textures work together. Sisal wallpaper, concrete and wood co-exist beautifully. While the home has a contemporary lived-in feel, the kitchen is all about celebrating the past: rich, dark wood, a vintage-style stove and copper pots with a dramatic view of granite through the window

Earthy, concrete screed floors give the house a richness that mirrors the dark wood throughout, balconies included, but are equally practical for beach-to-pool living. Subtle touches, such as different shades of the same palette used to tint the floors and textured wallpaper in the dining  room and bedrooms, give it a richness that feels both classic and contemporary. There’s also a nod to the heritage feel of the property – the floors, for instance, remind you  of a highly polished stoep where families would gather at the end of the day. This is in keeping  with its past: the original house was the worker’s cottage for the manor house of Clifton.

Thanks to the consistent design, the flow from each floor is seamless. The ground level features  a welcoming entrance hall with two spare bedrooms, which have the privacy of a dedicated floor. The second floor is the heart of the home, with an open-plan dining area and kitchen that  leads onto the balcony and a TV room. The kitchen, too, has an old-world feel thanks to a feature brass extractor fan and the use of dark wood. There are also some charming surprises, such  as the floating wooden stairs leading you from the second floor to the main bedroom above.

The top floor is dedicated to the main bedroom – a comfortable retreat with a balcony that  again serves up panoramic views of the ocean – and a casual lounge with exposed wooden ceilings. The textured sisal wallpaper is one of the homeowner’s favourite additions to the house, which previously had stark, white walls throughout. ‘It really gives it warmth and adds a different dimension and feel to the place,’ she says. The lounge opens onto the pool, a decked area  with seating and a koi pond, surrounded by established trees and plants. The outside areas have been curated to create multiple spaces to relax and take in the views – be they the sea from the kitchen and main bedroom, or the mountain from the garden. ‘Stacked doors mean you can open the house up,’ says Thomaz. ‘Wherever you sit, you feel like you are lost in time. You can just completely enjoy the moment.’

Because the home is set back from the sea, it offers expansive views over Table Bay. ‘You have amazing views of the Twelve Apostles and on some days you can see right to Llandudno,’ says Thomaz. The kitchen and dining area leads onto one of two balconies.



The main bedroom has been designed to maximise views of the ocean, thanks to stacked doors that open onto a balcony. The bathroom and closet are housed behind shuttered doors; wood, as with the rest of the house, is a dominating feature, which the homeowner has complemented with pieces sourced from Bali



The casual lounge, which flanks the main bedroom on the top floor, provides a cosy indoor area to relax



The balcony leading  off the main bedroom is one of the many cool, quiet places to relax. ‘There’s a space for every mood in this house,’ says Thomaz; the granite boulder is the dominating feature of the property, which has mountain and sea views in equal measure

‘The design is timeless and classic. It has so much soul and depth’ Dylan Thomaz, Interior Designer, Studio Dylan Thomaz

This three-bedroom Clifton property  is on the market through Tyson Properties for R49.5 million. For more information, visit (web reference RL27542).

Credit: Photos: Karl Rogers, Styling: Dylan Thomaz, Text: Lori Cohen

* This article originally appeared in REAL ESTATE Magazine

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