Simple Pleasures
Saxonwold, Johannesburg

The renowned suburb of Saxonwold, Johannesburg, has some of the country’s most stately and historical homes. The properties here are big with rolling lawns, many of which have a sense of old-school charm to them, some of which have remained untouched for decades. This home was one such ‘grand old dame’ whose owners wanted an elegant and contemporary revamp while staying true the stately character of the property and it’s surrounds.

The only structural change that Michele and her team did was to remove a wall separating the dining room and kitchen to create more flow and bring in some of the rich Highveld light. From there, the walls got washed in white over the previous drab beige colour and the original Oregon wood floors were stained a dark charcoal-brown. The monochrome palette was the base from where the team began the steady transformation into a mid-century modern home with an eclectic arsenal of features that are at once interesting and trendy as they are timeless.

The mustard-coloured drapes and furnishings added a pop of colour to the black and white theme resulting in a modernist aesthetic that hipster dreams are made of. Extending on this current look de jour was the inclusion of Michele and her team’s love of geometrics, which add a contemporary panache in the form of fabrics, rugs and floor tiles.

The team navigated this by using bold botanical wallpaper throughout. The effect is dramatic and unexpected thanks to the sheer amount used, extending up onto the roof in the case of the guest bedroom. A very innovative solution that retains connection to the biggest manmade forest in the world, Johannesburg.

There was also the need to reflect the beautiful surrounds despite the home’s traditional old-school façade of thick walls, French doors and arched windows – a far cry from today’s contemporary homes that have an ease of indoor /outdoor flow thanks to sliding doors and glass.