A bold but distinctly livable interior

A project undertaken by herself and Greg Scott of SITE Interior Design, took almost a year to complete, but the result – a cool industrial shell tempered by ‘an inviting, family-friendly skin’ of timber and other tactile materials – is nothing short of arresting. This end result was in keeping with the owners brief which was for their interiors to reflect a similar look to the boutique hotel, characterised largely by its use of raw materials, bold lines and minimalist flair.

The couple’s house, says Greg, was indeed just a concrete shell featuring austere and unfinished surfaces. But far from wanting this raw ‘skeleton’ concealed, the brief was that it should be incorporated into the décor. Tasked with outfitting all the rooms, bar the kitchen and bathrooms, Nina and Greg applied the methodology of considering each space and its relationship with the rest of the house prior to installing any items or fittings.

A case in point is the lounge area, which the owners envisaged as a multifunctional space that seamlessly incorporated a TV, a gas fireplace and the outside patio area.

The concrete ceiling was left bare and the floors un-tiled, while black feature walls were introduced. Initially making for ‘a fairly hard, industrial look’, features such as a magnificent wooden wall length cabinet and sheer curtains created an elegant, softening effect, says Nina. A similar look was carried through to the dining room, although here the black walls and concrete ceiling were offset by a smooth white table and ethereal orb-like lights, that look as if they could have been spun by spiders.

The upstairs bedrooms, occupied in keeping with the seasons, were decorated accordingly, with the summer room awash in a calming palette of grey, white and beige, and the winter room characterised by dark charcoals and bolder furnishings. For the ground-floor bedroom, Nina and Greg drew on an element utilized to great effect at the POD hotel, namely a striking wooden ‘up and over’ frame that cocoons the bed. Rich parquet flooring; natural charcoal-hued fabrics and neutral blinds tie the room together.

‘An undeniably contemporary yet welcoming home,’ is how interior architect Nina Sierra Rubia describes this standout property in Cape Town’s Camps Bay.

An exciting part of the project was the conversion of the basement into a private cinema, named ‘The Legend Room’, which the designers transformed into a bold, edgy space that ‘embraces the darkness’ in line with the owners’ mandate. The intimate room is fleshed out with a dark-toned, custom-designed sofa and coffee table, a bar, a plush charcoal carpet and soft backlighting. For the timber features used throughout the house, Greg and Nina looked to poplar, not readily available given its soft qualities. Indeed, the pair believes they used some of the last batches of poplar veneers available in Cape Town at the time of the project, which adds a further unique aspect to the house.

The furniture was either sourced from well-known local or international design names or custom-designed by Nina and Greg themselves. As a rule, they avoided patterned textiles, opting rather for unique, handcrafted fabrics, such as for the bed throws, the seaweed-like couch throws and the rich, woven loose rugs.

The overall effect, says Nina, is ‘a bold but distinctly livable interior that displays a very clear identity