Antoni Associates is the Interior Design and Décor division of the iconic architectural firm of SAOTA- Stefen Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects- based in Cape Town. Over the past decade, Antoni Associates has become known for creating some of the most exclusive interiors in South Africa, as well as international locations including Paris, Moscow, London, New York, Dubai and Geneva. This dynamic and innovative practice conceptualizes and creates contemporary interior spaces and bespoke décor for the full spectrum of interior design briefs which includes domestic, hospitality, retail, corporate and leisure sectors. Their interiors meet the international standard of being modern, luxurious and seductive while at the same time remaining understated and timeless and in tune with the delights of quality living demanded by their discerning clients.

The Brief

A young family relocating to the Western Cape was looking to change from city living to a more relaxed country life style in which to bring up their young family and settled for the exclusive Pearl Valley Golf Estate located near Paarl, just 30 minutes away from the Mother City of Cape Town. The Pearl Valley Golf Course is South Africa’s premier sporting residential development situated among the orchards and vineyards on the outskirts of two of the Cape’s most famous wine land towns, Franschhoek and Paarl.

The owners approached Antoni Associates to focus on the interior design of all the internal spaces. Led by architect, Mark Rielly, some architectural changes were proposed to elevate the projects as well as to capture the brief of the clients to create an interior that was modern but with an emphasis of ‘barefoot luxury’ and the use of natural materials. The design approach by Mark Rielly and Jon Case was to focus on the use of natural organic materials such as timber and stone. These tactile materials add a sense of homeliness and warmth to the contemporary architecture. A number of elemental forces are captured in use of the water features and fireplaces that were added to the project. The house has been designed around a central landscaped courtyard with areflective pond. Sliding and stacking doors open from all the surrounding living and entertainment spaces, and add to the transparency of the house and its natural surroundings.

Interior Design Details

On entering the house, one crosses a foyer bridge, which is flanked by wet-walls cascading down ribbon-stone clad feature walls. The formal lounge is a large double-volume cathedral-like space with a trussed ceiling, which is overlooked by the mezzanine study situated above the formal dining room. Balance is created with the symmetry of fireplaces at either end. In the formal sitting area, the wood fireplace extends into double-volume and has been dressed with stacked timber logs. The dining area features a horizontal-strip fireplace, which has been placed level with the dining table. The gas flame is reflected against the beaten stainless steel inset which adds to the sensory mood of the space. A feature hooped-glass chandelier cascades over the waney edge French oak table made from solid wood planks.

Linking the formal areas to the entertainment rooms that are located a few steps down; the kitchen also looks out onto the central courtyard. The kitchen is modern and has been neatly fitted with integrated appliances and seamless finishes. Here raw concrete ceilings contrast with the more natural finishes selected elsewhere. Custom designed soft leather and steel barstools from OKHA Interiors provide seating around the central island. A floating stair finished in Caeserstone slabs leads up to the sleeping level with four en-suite bathrooms.

Entertainment Areas

The family entertainment level flows out onto the front terrace and infinity pool that overlooks the 7th fairway. This part of the house incorporates a number of entertainment areas such as a family TV lounge, an indoor grill and casual dining, which is linked to the bar adjacent to the courtyard. To emphasize the casual mood of these areas a feature slatted timber ceiling was designed and gives the feel the one is sitting on a veranda or under a garden pergola. Both the fireplace in the family room and the grill on the opposite side has been clad in oak planks. Timber “weaver nests” Obeche Lites from Animal Farm have been clustered over the casual table and benches.

Floating steps over the reflective pond lead to the bar area, which has a decked spa overlooking the pool. Here the surrounding decking has been wrapped up a side wall which incorporates a TV for watching sporting events. The bar area is also linked to an outdoor “boma”, which is a casual enclosure with seating area around a fire-pit. The home owners often enjoy African safaris and wanted to re-create the “boma” experience of luxury safari camps. The same sensory pleasure and use of textured finishes has been used in the upstairs bedrooms. Timber wall cladding has been introduced to the en-suite bathrooms which add layered warmth and understated luxury to the wash rooms. Lighting design is an important feature in any project. Bold and discreet lighting was specified in conjunction to create a “wow” factor and layering of lighting was used to set various moods throughout. Subtle lighting has been incorporated in all recesses and feature bulkheads to give a warm glow to peripheral edges.

Ashleigh Gilmour and Sarika Jacobs of Antoni Associates designed the interior furniture and décor. The modern furniture adds to the experience of the home. Tactile finishes including timber, textured leathers and raw linens add a sophisticated sense of understated luxury.