August 10, 2017

Inside Out

Nestled in a forest-like landscape in the small village of Grabouw, South Africa, an architect’s home has a seamless flow between interior and exterior.


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In the almost utilitarian master bedroom, a small shuttered window opening provides ventilation, while the large north-facing window inspired by Mexican architect Luis Barragán frames the garden view. The Zulu pots on the windowsill are from the Winterton area of the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal, and Marcus collects them “whenever he can find them”. Accessories are limited to oversized scatter cushions from Nap Living, a Skinny laMinx scatter cushion and an ochre throw from LIM.

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In the guest bedroom on the mezzanine level, the window follows the slope of the roof. “I had a straight line in my design, but an architect friend suggested I make the line perpendicular to the roof slope. It worked beautifully and made the shape much more dynamic,” Marcus explains. Throw from Weylandts and cushions from Skinny laMinx.

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The white leather sofa on the verandah is Marcus’s favourite spot for Sunday afternoon naps with his dogs, especially after a long cycle in the mountains. The three ceramic cow heads were made by a dear friend, the late ceramicist Nicolene Swanepoel.


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In the kitchen, a large Woodsware crockery collection creates a striking focal point. “About 15 years ago, I stumbled upon a small set of 14 pieces at an antique shop, and then my collection grew,” Marcus explains. He designed the large dining table with an African mahogany top as a centrepiece to match the steel structure of the house. The pendants above the table are 1970s track lights salvaged from a renovation project. The painting above the prep bowl by Eric Duplan is a favourite piece, and the splashback tiles were chosen to match it.

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A wooden sliding door separates the lounge from the verandah, where a pair of Wassily chairs and a mid-century coffee table create a sophisticated look.

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In winter, the built-in bench in front of the fireplace is where you will find Marcus. The sculpture is by Nicolene Swanepoel.

Words: Marian van Wyk / Photographs: Greg Cox

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