WORDS: JULIA FREEMANTLE :: PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Property investment in Cape Town has not only borne the brunt of SA’s economic downturn, it has also been influenced concurrently by the rise of the Airbnb phenomenon. The resultant buyers’ market and the trend towards investing to let as an entry into the property market have led to an influx of rentable properties. This has had a significant knock-on effect for landlords, who need to find ways to set themselves apart on the rental scene. With more choice than ever before, would-be renters can afford to be discerning and set the bar high. The design of a rental property is more crucial as a result – with so many options to compete with, it now comes down to the finer details to stand out in the market.
Bone Studio’s recent overhaul of a Green Point apartment is a brilliant case study of a space with a considered identity as a fluid concept rather than a permanent home. In conceptualising the project, lead designer Gill Deneys thought of the revolving clientele (global and local) and ranging in terms of their demographic, to ensure the interior has wide appeal and does not alienate anyone. “The owners wanted to set it apart from other apartments in the building but it also had to be neutral enough to have broad appeal,” she says.
The apartment needed an upgrade first and foremost – from finishes to furniture – to raise it to a level that would satisfy a discerning guest. With practicality in mind (a non-negotiable in high-traffic spaces with requirements as numerous as its guests), Deneys also factored in the various types of visitors when conceiving the aesthetic treatment and envisioning how the spaces would be configured. Cued by the existing architectural features of the apartment, which leaned towards the classical (skirting and cornices, for example), she put together an elegant and up-to-date scheme that would please a range of tastes. The outcome is a layered but understated interpretation of European style, with a traditional foundation and contemporary finishing touches. To create cohesion, Deneys kept the palette simple yet strong and introduced a sense of balance through equal emphasis on new and old. A case in point is the traditionally inspired herringbone floor offset by clean-lined furniture with textural fabrics and tactile surfaces. The look is smart, with a foot in both classic and minimalist territory.
This multifaceted aesthetic reflects the multitasking nature of the home too: easy flow and use of space were essential to keep an array of renters happy. Accordingly, the layout is cleverly versatile and caters just as well for a work-oriented trip as it does for leisure activities –a generous dining table, for instance, can host a family meal and serve as a practical workstation ideal for meeting prep. The beauty of the space is that details have been thought through without the end result ever seeming fussy or overcomplicated – the product of considered and careful design. bonestudio.co.za