When a construction specialist and bathroom-emporium owner build a home together you can expect plenty of cunning design details and serious sanitaryware cool. Leon De Klerk, the co-owner of Base Projects, and Kate Cameron of Lavo Bathroom Concepts met 13 years ago in London, where Kate was working in a bioscience robotics laboratory and Leon in quantity surveying. Back home in Cape Town Kate found that the local bioscience industry offered few career options.
‘Well, what about bathrooms?’ suggested Leon. ‘I didn’t even know what a close coupled toilet was,’ says Kate, ‘and I was clueless about design.’ Nine years later, the shop Leon helped her establish is a showcase for Italian and local taps, sinks and sanitaryware.
It took them seven years to secure a suitable plot for their home – it’s an elevated site bordering indigenous forest and overlooking the Hout Bay Valley, where Kate grew up. ‘We wanted a light, airy space that’s simple and functional, free of clutter, and reflects our love of nature,’ explains Leon. Their brief to Mark Zuckerman of Zuckerman Sachs Architects was to create an unobtrusive structure on the sloping site, linked to the forest and mountains
Indigenous plants, natural stone and wood harmonise with the mountain and valley views; ‘I love the way the open-plan kitchen and living area blends into the outside entertainment area. It’s spacious and soothing,’ says Leon. The outdoor sofas and coffee table are from Bloc Outdoor.
Leon and Kate in their kitchen. The palette throughout the house is based on natural-wood tones, complemented by accents of grey and black. The kettle is from Le Creuset and the stools are from Pedersen + Lennard; the kiaat front door opens into the lobby with its herringbone oak flooring. The staircase and feature wall are made from smoked oak.
The living area of the Hout Bay home of Leon De Klerk and Kate Cameron is furnished with leather sofas from Weylandts and Klooftique. Copper light shades from Weylandts hang above a table from Saks Corner and refurbished chairs, which they bought at Space for Life. In winter the Franco Belge fireplace from MacD set within the steel feature wall heats the space.
‘I absolutely love the Lissoni mixer from Fantini Rubinetti in our bathroom,’ says Kate.
Styling Jeanne Botes
Read the full story on page 75 HL November 2015