Meet Bone Interior Design, Creators Of The Sophisticated Interiors At Tryn

Recently given a complete revamp, Tryn restaurant at Steenberg's interiors celebrate the farm's remarkable founder, Catharina Ras.

Supplied, Bone Interior Design Studio

Tryn | House and Leisure

At the launch of Tryn restaurant at Steenberg last month, the House and Leisure team was instantly struck by the sophisticated yet thoughtful interior design of the new space. Tryn was completely revamped by Cape Town's Bone Interior Design, which was founded by Nicola Orpen and Hayley Turner in 2011.

Steenberg is one of the Cape's first farms, having been established in the 17th century, and its rich history is more than nodded to via the revamped restaurant: Tryn is an ode to Steenberg founder Catharina Ras, who was the first female landowner in the Cape.

Tasked with the exciting challenge of bringing Ras's feisty spirit to life in Tryn – which was the nickname given to Catharina by her close family and friends – Bone Interior Design Studio has created a series of captivating spaces that are representative of the persona of this remarkable woman. 

Nicola Orpen, the cofounder of Bone Interior Design, says that the main inspiration behind the design of Tryn was most definitely Catharina Ras.

'The heritage of Catharina was so tangible within the walls of the restaurant that we could not wash away the story with a new unrelated aesthetic and a few disconnected furniture pieces,' says Orpen.

'To modernise the interiors meant we needed to modernise Catharina and bring her into the 21st century. She became Tryn, the nickname her friends and family used for her – and a name more connected to her free and feisty spirit.'

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Tryn | House and Leisure

Bone Interior Design was tasked with reinvigorating the space as well as encouraging new guests to visit the restaurant.

A wide range of elements and issues were taken into consideration when approaching the design of Tryn – which is situated in a heritage building that was carefully respected throughout the renovation process – and the designers opted to keep the original flooring, for example, in order to pay homage to the past.

Tryn | House and Leisure

Orpen elaborates on the steps that Bone Interior Design took when designing Tryn: 'Working within the budget constraints, we make cost-conscious, effective decisions without compromising on the "wow" of the concept,' she says. 'We then begin the technician work: construction, flooring, reflected ceiling with lighting and electrics, data and networking, HVAC, plumbing, joinery and glazing details.'

The final step, she adds, can be described as 'dressing up': the addition of furniture, scatters, rugs and curtains is part of the process that acts as the 'shiny make up' that highlights the foundation of the space. 

These elements include, for example, the ruby and jade walls in the private dining areas that reflect the energy and boldness of Ras's personality. 

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Tryn | House and Leisure

Orpen says that her favourite space in Tryn is the bar, with its patterned marble and stone facing that brings together all the eclectic colour found in the space. 

'By moving the bar into the double-volume space, ... it becomes the integral focus, drawing people through to the heart of the [restaurant],' she says.

'The bar offers a dynamic meeting point, a space that suggests a quick drink and a chat – or a comfortable base for a long night ahead of friendly conversation.'

Tryn | House and Leisure

Perhaps the most unique item found in Tryn is the imported Meshmatics chandelier by Moooi, which takes on the starring role of talking point in the entrance area.

Says Orpen, 'This iconic piece elevates the [feeling of] sophistication and fits neatly within the New Age concept of Tryn.'

A range of other pieces by local designers and artists are featured throughout the restaurant. 

Tryn | House and Leisure

Bone Interior Design

Asked about the overall ethos of Bone Interior Design, Orpen says, 'Our vision was to have a small studio team where each person had their special niche in which they excelled but [was] still able to work as one team and to hustle together on handovers. The intention of a small studio is to be able to give our clients huge focus. We value that personal relationship with each client where we can manage expectations and rather exceed them, than to disappoint.'

And the reason behind the studio's name? 'The material of bone,' Orpen explains, 'is a raw, honest one, and those words resonate with our design style. Also... the word "bone" is a dynamic one. We are a strong team with design conviction, we're design with a spine.' 

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Tryn Restaurant 

As Steenberg's signature restaurant, Tryn is headed up by chef Kerry Kilpin, who is known for adding a touch of Asian and Middle Eastern flair to classic dishes. The menu is carefully tailored to provide a special experience for guests at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

All the dishes are prepared with a twist, and dynamic flavour combinations that result in something to please all palates – from sriracha, cumin and harissa adding spice to dishes, to South African heritage ingredients such as rooibos and spekbom, it is a gastronomical adventure. 

The restaurant caters to a range of dietary requirements including vegetarian options, and seafood lovers will be delighted as Kilpin's approach to sourcing fish ethically (via the Abalobi programme) is on show throughout the menu.  

Tryn is open seven days a week: for more information or to make a reservation (and see these gorgeous new spaces for yourself!) visit their website

Tryn | House and Leisure