We invite you into our curious coterie of Wes Anderson-style homes – a parade of punchy colors and vibrant patterns, charming decor and characterful spaces – but don’t let their playfulness fool you, there is serious design-savvy behind those whimsical facades. From the Art Nouveau rooms of the Grand Budapest Hotel to the stately Flemish Revival mansion of the Tenenbaums, the auteur director certainly has a look – and these Art Houses would fit right in.
A sense of magical realism pervades at Le Grand Jardin in Stellenbosch’s picture-perfect Devon Valley. From the sprawling gardens filled with wonderful moments (there’s a vintage 1930s fairground carousel and showman’s caravan in the meadow, as well as a pirate outpost overlooking a lily pond, in the middle of which is an eco-swimming pool) to the home itself, a generous take on the Arts and Crafts movement by a student of Sir Herbert Baker.
Inside, the walls sing with a parade of wallpapers – from de Gournay in the double-volume entrance hall and Thibaut in the study to Cara Saven and Christopher Farr in the six bedrooms. Not to be outdone, the home’s art collection features works by Alexander Rose-Innes, Sydney Carter, Gregoire Boonzaier and Adriaan Boshoff.
In true Anderson style, color and symmetry abound and old and new coexist in carefree harmony. There’s the blue bar with a Lionel Smit triptych, Tintin’s red rocket and the vintage ride-in cars by the pool pavilion, to name a few instances. And of course, there’s the fabulous Victorian-style glass house built around an ancient oak tree – the perfect backdrop for impromptu outdoor movie nights.
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A whitewashed beach bungalow on Clifton’s Fourth Beach is as unexpected a place as any to find a treasure trove of bold art, bright color and books galore – yet that’s exactly what awaits beyond Heaven of Fourth’s bright pink front door.
With interiors that could have been dreamed up by Lewis Carrol, it's no surprise to find a kitchen with glass jars chock-full of marshmallows and jelly babies or a drawer stocked with specialty teas and easily 100 collected cups to choose from (we didn't count, but it’s not unlikely). Meanwhile, cocktail hour kicks off at the handcrafted, amethyst-inlaid kitchen counter, which looks out onto the deck (shaded by a candy-striped awning, of course) and the crystal blue Atlantic Ocean.
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One of two immaculately restored and appointed 160-year-old houses in the pastoral enclave of Montagu, Jonkmanshof 20 Bath is filled with carefully and eclectically combined antiques and art that are layered in such a way they feel accumulated over time – curated rather than decorated.
From crisp, exquisite linen and mohair blankets, to beautifully crafted meals with only the freshest produce (some of it from the garden), fireplaces (there are no TVs) and fresh flowers in the hallway, the focus here is on creating an immersive experience removed from the trappings of the ‘modern’ world. Instead the focus is on daily rituals and the personal touches that make a space feel like home.
Book your stay at Jonkmanshof 20 Bath
Tucked between two churches on a hill, and once a parsonage, the late-Victorian home (designed by Sir Herbert Baker) is a sanctuary away from the city buzz, opening onto secluded gardens, complete with a protected courtyard with Table Mountain views (gloriously scented with wisteria each spring) and old-school conservatory, with its huge arched windows, exotic plants and orchids.
From the moment you walk into each of the high-ceilinged rooms it’s a voyage of discovery – where Victorian sensibility is reinterpreted with contemporary quirkiness. There’s the study, with its cozy armchairs and fireplace, stuffed peacock and chock full of gilt-edged paintings; the formal living room wrapped in bamboo wallpaper and filled with ceramic parrots and tigers; and upstairs, stained glass windows flood the rooms with dancing, vibrant light (as well as mountain views).
Book your stay at Heatherfield Manor
A pastel pink exterior, fabulous architectural detailing and a long and storied history, you’d be forgiven for mistaking Hope House for Cape Town’s own Grand Budapest Hotel, albeit on a more intimate scale.
Quietly set at the foot of Table Mountain, tucked away behind greenery, this heritage home offers a stylish escape in the heart of Cape Town. Far enough from the flash and dash of the city that the feeling of seclusion and privacy is absolute, when in reality, it’s only a short walk from neighborhood cafes, chic design stores and must-try restaurants.
Built in the 1920s by a timber merchant and designed by a Dutch architect, the original build was all dark, wood-paneled rooms whereas today, the interiors play out in a Scandinavian-style warmth – informal, soothing, a sanctuary.
The home opens up onto an alfresco space reminiscent of a classic Italian courtyard garden; verdant and cocooning and, with all the doors open, becoming an extension of the home’s living area. With Cape Town’s beautifully warm summers, and the impossible closeness of Table Mountain (it feels like it is quite literally in the garden), this space is transformed into one of the city’s most enchanting outdoor spaces.
Book your stay at Hope House