Array
Homes

A Rustic-Inspired Apartment Filled With Travel Finds

A chef finds peace and a special place for her treasured finds in this cozy home in the midst of a bustling street

Shares
Photography: Greg Cox/bureaux.co.za

Nothing beats the feeling of coming home—whether you've been away for a long time or you simply got back from work—there's a feeling of peace and calmness the moment you step into your space. For personal chef Paula Nel, home is in the midst of Cape Town's busy shopping and business district. Though very different from her demanding schedule of going from one country to another, going back to South Africa, in a place that she worked so hard to make her own, is something she is committed to.

“It was nice, but it really wasn’t me.” Paula made the space her own by whitewashing the brick walls, exposing the original epoxy floors, and adding vintage-looking lighting fixtures. She also added an outdoor terrace with wooden plantation-style shutters, a detail that really adds to the feeling that one is cocooned and far from the madding crowd.

The decorative details followed in time—giving her the opportunity to showcase artwork and the numerous treasures she has collected over the years. “Treasure hunting can be hard work but it’s worth it to surround yourself with these amazing items that each tell a story—theirs and your own,” she says.

Images from www.bureaux.co.za.

Foyer

Paula’s eye for artwork has resulted in a fascinating and arresting collection for this gallery wall installation. The carved wooden figurines were found in Kenya.

Storage Detail

Paula’s aesthetic marries industrial and global style beautifully. The date palm figurines on top of vintage school-type lockers were handcarried from Benguera Island, Mozambique.

Get similar lockers from HMR, Pioneer St., Mandaluyong City.

Kitchen and Dining Areas

The cement floors are the perfect foil for the likes of a magnificent handwoven rug from Fez in Morocco. Paula’s glass-topped cabinet of curiosities makes a beguiling element in the space. The antique wooden plinth leaning against the pillar was found in India.

You can get similar industrial-style factory lamps like these locally at Wilcon Depot.

Kitchen

Paula replaced the glossy fitted kitchen island with her own customized wooden island. It is the site of many a festive, food-fueled get-togethers with friends. For this area, the raw bricks were left unpainted for a rustic look.

Storage Detail

Paula is also an accomplished photographer and the images taken on her many travels, like this one of elephant tusks, can be found throughout her home. The crosses are original Coptic crosses found in the marketplace in Addis Ababa, while Jorge the armadillo was discovered at Evolution in New York.

Get a similar chest of drawers from Atelier Aguila, LRI Design Plaza.

Living Area

Paula’s living area is a cozy, comfortable space. The original etching, 4 Horses Baited, is by South African artist Diane Victor. A projector screen on the adjacent wall descends from the ceiling for movie nights.

You can get similar leather armchairs locally from Pottery Barn, Estancia Mall.

Dining Area

The wooden plantation shutters help create the sense of the apartment being a quiet oasis. One of the walls opens up to reveal a terrace overlooking the city.

Bedroom

Paula’s bedroom is a cosy space which she has filled with worn, textured fabrics. Even the bed itself is upholstered in linen. A highly detailed pierced screen is used as the headboard.

You can get a similar screen locally from All About Home Furniture, and a similar indigo runner from L’indochine at SM Aura.

Bedroom

In one corner of the bedroom is the dressing area. The two paintings are by Paula’s mother, artist Wendy Malan and are of children’s dresses from the concentration camps during the Boer War.

Bathroom

The bathroom is kept simple and neat with an all-white palette. Wooden accessories and decor add warmth to the space.

Get similar window shutters from Wilcon Depot.

Decor Detail

Paula’s artist mother Wendy Malan painted this vegetable still life, and this tablescape perfectly reveals Paula’s penchant for organic form.

You can get a similar rustic wooden fruit bowl like this at Kultura, SM Makati.

Decor Detail

Paula’s knack for finding things and displaying them are equally fascinating. The stone vessels were found in a market in Egypt while the old ceramic cold drink bottles were dug up from an old dump in Cape Town.

More on Realliving.com.ph

LOOK: This 17sqm Home Is The Smallest We’ve Seen!

An All-White 41sqm Condo With Gold Accents

A 63sqm Modern Classic Condo Unit

Shares

Latest Stories

How To Vacuum Your Home Properly

Here’s how to avoid all the usual vacuuming mistakes. Plus, learn about a revolutionary new material that will help you bust all that dirt at home.

A Cozy and Modern Family Home in Quezon City

Works of art, beautiful fabrics, and a mix of old and new pieces bring this townhouse to life

5 Things To Never Clean With Baking Soda

This finely milled powder has its downsides, too

There's An Affordable Way To Keep Your Home Smelling Good 24/7

Say no to artificial fragrances with this three-step hack

A KonMari Reality Show Is Coming To Netflix

Will de-cluttering diva Marie Kondo's new show spark joy?

You Only Need P5,000 To Work On These Home Improvement Projects

The best part? These can increase the value of your space, too.

What's Inside The Vatican Walls?

Aside from having one of the largest collections of art in the world, the Vatican holds many other treasures

Meet The Architect Behind This Industrial-Pinoy Home

Inspired by the Bahay Kubo, this architect worked with industrial details and affordable building materials to create an inviting space

Is It Possible to Paint Over Tiles?

No one likes the sight of lackluster tiles. Know what to do with these tips from an interior designer.

A Sneak Peek at the New Clark City

A Singaporean consulting firm has been tapped for the development project

You Can Use Wallpaper On The Ceiling, Too

Talk about having a one-of-a-kind accent in your space

Rockwell's Glasshouse Is The Chicest Restaurant Out There

Fashion retailer Harlan + Holden's response to the global trend of lifestyle dining is this airy and beautiful restaurant
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!