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Lifestyle August 2, 2016

Big Living, Small Space

Truly inspired design hacks have turned this small urban apartment in Cape Town into an expansive work-eat-sleep-play zone that belies its 58-sqm footprint.

 

Text: Laura Twiggs | Styling: Sven Alberding | Photos: Warren Heath

 

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The most genius aspect of this space has to be the mezzanine level extension. As the gradient would have been too steep, architect Michael Lumby of L&L Architects devised a double staircase, with left and right steps at alternate heights. This meant it was possible to add the extra 20m bedroom to the space and create an airy double-volume sitting area with maximised light.

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A wooden room divider works hard: it separates the working kitchen space, and keeps the appliances out of sight.

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Wooden fixtures on the mezzanine link the upstairs space to the living area below and provide storage and display opportunities. Rob has been collecting cameras for the past 10 years — and all of these actually work, as does the radio (an original from the sixties which was his mother’s). The magazine rack continues the mid-century modern theme and the nesting dolls are a memento from a shoot for Smirnoff: they represent Russian presidents.

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Keeping with the parallel design grid, a long and lean table continues the elongating line. Aided by minimalist black, chrome-legged Eames chairs, its lean legs and floating top underscore the sense of airiness even as together, chairs and table create a bold black visual and spatial anchor. Using the balcony table as an extension, eight to 10 people are comfortably accommodated for dinner.

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With the adjoining balcony, the sitting area feels expansive — especially since it enjoys uninterrupted views of the beachfront. The multipurpose unit houses a pull-out work station under the TV (perfect for after-hours video editing), and an original Bang & Olufsen sound system underlines the hipster cred. The mid-century modern occasional chair is, according to Rob, “the most comfortable chair ever”.

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