A ‘contemporary garden shed’ is how architect Johann Slee describes his designs for rebuilding and renovating the cluster of old farm buildings at the heart of Johannesdal farm… this reflects their pared down simplicity, but doesn’t hint at the elegance, the bursts of colour and the gorgeous fabrics that turn his uncluttered and sympathetic architectural vision into a truly special farm refuge.
Owners Chris Willemse and Dané Erwee are the dynamic design duo behind Stellenbosch floral design business Okasie. They’re inspired gardeners and over the last ten years have created water-lily gardens and terraces, heritage rose gardens, citrus orchards and botanical nurseries, a lush setting against a dramatic mountain backdrop which inspires relaxation from the word go.
Five spacious and luxurious suites bring the outside in with plants and floral installations. Rich fabrics and tapestries add layers of colour, artworks from their personal collection are placed almost haphazardly – propped on shelves at waist height, in a cluster with a decorative objects to form a still life tableau, in a corner beside a chair and jug, another tableau. A stripe of colour at wainscot level, picked up by draped curtains, continues out onto the suite’s deep private verandah. A rich imperial purple carpet contrasts with the farmhouse simplicity of brick and wood flooring. Texture, colour, raw wood and elegant antiques play exuberantly and light-heartedly together to create roomscapes that embrace and uplift.
Three of the suites give onto a shared courtyard with swimming pool, (one of these is a cottage with a second bedroom, lounge and kitchen, ideal if travelling with children), one has a private courtyard and plunge pool, another an upstairs terrace to soak up mountain views.
The welcoming reading room and wide verandah overlooking the pool courtyard have a galley kitchen and make an ideal spot for leisurely breakfasts. If you are travelling as a multigenerational extended family, these five suites can be taken together with Johannesdal Homestead. Add in the adjacent events venue, should you want to host a milestone celebration in this beautifully memorable location.