‘I am fascinated by light reflecting from an object and what it reveals about the season, the time of day, the setting and the texture of the object. Muted, interior light on a still life, compared to strong exterior light of a landscape,’says Johann Slee.
This sense of light and colour emanates from Johann’s paintings and flows just as strongly in the four Dorpshuis studios and gallery which he and his wife René have created in the heart of historic Stellenbosch. A powerhouse design duo (Johann’s an architect and artist, René a gardener and interior designer), their combined vision breathes life into beautiful, liveable spaces that feel as welcoming and familiar as a dear friend’s home.
Steeped in colour, warmth and texture, each self-contained studio apartment blends contemporary design flair with a sympathetic respect for the history of this late 1700s heritage building. Centrally located on historic Dorp Street (you can easily walk everywhere) this characterful studio cluster has a hidden, tranquil village feel. But the clincher for us is that guests all have access to shared roof decks with 360-degree mountain views, perfect for sundowners or open-air dining and a private green garden with a pizza oven. And, of course, prized above pearls in central Stellenbosch, is their off-street parking.
Some of Johann’s paintings reflect the sun-drenched light of South Africa, others the saturated colours of his home from home in the Auvergne, France, where he retreats to paint every year. In soft sages, warm greens, pale blues, the décor in each characterful studio is almost an extension of the paintings that hang so casually on the walls of the open plan living spaces, which are furnished with a pleasing combination of old and new. Delightful kitchens fit cleverly into the quirky lines of the old building, both practical and a visual feast in themselves.
It’s tough to choose a favourite studio: adjoining Studio 1 and 2 on the ground floor in the heart of the old house, which can be taken separately or together, airy split-level Studio 3, or secluded Rooftop Studio 4: each have their own appeal with an individual palette of inspiring style.
Studio 1 and Studio 2 (rented together)
Minimum three night stay
1 King extra length bed
1 French day bed (generous 3/4)
Studio 1: Opening onto the main house verandah overlooking Stellenbosch’s historic Dorp Street, the warm greens and soft sages of this two-roomed studio reflect the colours of Johann Slee’s glowing still-life paintings, the decor a comfortable combination of old and new, comfortable rustic and sleek contemporary. This space can connect with Studio 2 for a family travelling together.
Studio 2: A splash of Mediterranean citrus beams from Johann Slee’s paintings into the sunny greens and yellows of open plan Studio 2. Its cleverly designed kitchenette is worthy of a still-life painting in itself, and it opens onto the shared courtyard and shady open-air seating beside an ancient vine. Can be connected with adjoining Studio 1.
1 King extra length
Light-filled and decorated in sun-bleached summer colours, this split-level studio is hidden away at the back of the shady courtyard, with tall glass doors opening onto a private balcony. Wood cladding, beautiful carpets, pops of colour from Johann Slee’s still-life’s, come together for an airy beach house feel in the downstairs open plan lounge and kitchen, and upstairs bedroom.
1 King extra length
A private eyrie with its own rooftop terrace, complete with sun loungers and hammock, reflected sunlight bounces between steeply sloping ceilings and old wooden beams. Jewel hues from Johann Slee’s still-life canvases are picked up in the décor, and richly coloured carpets and vintage pieces combine beautifully with contemporary design in the several connecting spaces, which include bedroom opening into lounge, office/dressing room, and galley kitchen/dining area.
All the studios have:
• 1 bedroom
• 1 bathroom (shower)
• Workspace/home office area
• Fully equipped kitchenette
• 4-seater dining
• Espresso machine
• Security system
• Alfresco dining on the roof terrace
• Barbecue facilities and pizza oven in the courtyard garden
• Off-street parking for each of the studios
• Unlimited Wi-Fi
AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
Advance notice required for:
• Housekeeping (available twice a week)
• Activities and excursions
• Babysitting and au pair
• Dry cleaning
• Laundromat nearby
• Stellenbosch, a characterful historic town, is right on your doorstep: literally step out of the front door and you’re in one of the oldest oak-lined, Dutch gabled streets. Filled with art galleries, street cafes and trendy boutiques, it has the unmistakable buzz of a University town.
• We’ll connect you with Stellenbosch insiders who can take you on walking tours covering art, architecture, food and wine – or tailor these to your interests. There are a number of sculpture gardens, landscape artists and fine art studios to discover.
• Stay long enough to discover a plethora of wine farms with some of the best restaurants in the Cape but up the road you’ll find Chef Michael Broughton a tour new favourite, Ember. But don’t miss Hamman & Uys at Blaauklippen or head over to Babylonstoren to Babel.
• The newest gallery to open soon is at Boschendal Wine Farm by Norval Foundation.
• Check in 14h00
• Check out 10h00
• Maximum 8 guests
• No pets allowed
• Security deposit
• Social events on request
• All bookings subject to final approval by owner