city, houses

An Orderly Escape

Graeme Wylie


Lane Reeves is not a fad person; as the founder of Joburg-based interior design company Metaphor, she's practiced in crafting beautiful spaces around their functions, not fleeting fashions. So when it came to renovating the Blairgowrie home that she and her husband fell in love with and bought in late 2011, the key objective was to make more of the rooms they found themselves lingering in most often.

The floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the kitchen and dining room help to create an easy flow between the indoor and outdoor areas.

'We entertain a lot and my husband was frustrated about the fact that we couldn't sit up to 20 people around the dining table,' she explains. The solution was to extend the kitchen and dining room and open them up to the delicious greens of the back garden with floor-to-ceiling steel and glass windows. Reminiscent of old cottage panes, the metal frames lend an industrial aesthetic to the house's belly and create an airy, sunlight-splashed sense of space and height.

Lane's utilitarian approach also makes her staunchly anti-clutter, so her home today is a picture of simplicity: a well-structured, open-plan portrait of clean vertical lines and carefully placed custom-designed furnishings featuring a measured palette of greys, light woods and whites with the odd cheeky stroke of yellow. At its heart, it is a space of calm and quiet, an orderly escape from the confusing chaos of the outside world.

lounge2 Lane believes it was the Margeuritte van der Bergh artwork above the fireplace in the lounge that started the trail of yellow in the house.

It goes without saying that the few treasures that have found their way onto shelves and into corners really warrant their place there: artworks and photographs from the couple's many travels to Asia and beyond, crystal glassware received as a wedding gift, an antique trumpet picked up while on honeymoon and nostalgic old cricket balls from Lane's husband's primary school days. 'We don't search for stuff just to fill a space; we buy items that mean something to us as we come across them,' she says. This is a carefully curated home, after all, not a tangle of transient fancies.

books Books are the only thing that Lane collects. The couple lugged the holy cow sculpture back from Fort Cochin in India a few years ago.

Visit metaphordesign.co.za to learn more about Lane’s work.