city, houses

fashion statement: a video tour of KLûK CGDT designers' eclectic apartment

Toby Murphy

Two renowned designers, one internationally acclaimed fashion label and a location on one of the most ‘happening’ streets in Cape Town make for an experience as much as a home, with all the elegant eclecticism that you might expect from a powerhouse creative duo.  Malcolm Kluk and Christiaan Gabriel Du Toit of KLûK CGDT favour an aesthetic that once might have been called ‘swish’. Although their fashion designs are contemporary and forward-looking, their craftsmanship is of the time-honoured kind, evident in the opulent styling and attention to detail that the pair relish. Naturally, their city apartment also features elements of that style.

No ordinary ‘above the shop’ space, Malcolm and Christiaan’s is a fully fledged residence – a vibrant continuation of the downstairs KLûK CGDT showroom and work studio, which originally occupied this floor. Spanning 120m2, it’s an apartment that includes a bedroom, living area, shower and kitchen alcove. ‘It’s a place for us to live in temporarily while our Fresnaye home on the Atlantic Seaboard is being renovated,’ says Malcolm. ‘The fact that we already had the space in Bree Street made it an obvious choice – and it has turned out to be surprisingly comfortable and easy to live in.’

Of their differing approaches to decor, Malcolm says, ‘Christiaan and I have very different styles. Mine is sleek, minimal and contemporary; his is warmer, with plants and colour and comfort. When we moved in together, we had to work it out. Everywhere we’ve lived is about the space and about us at that time. Our philosophy is that we should never have a “scheme”. It should be about the pieces – if they are beautiful, they will work – and how we live in that space.’

Video made in collaboration with BrightRock - the first ever needs-matched life insurance.

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Malcolm Kluk (left) and Christiaan Gabriel Du Toit

Pockets of interest have been created in the living area by combining furniture and objects that range in style and origin: here, a standing lamp from Recreate in Parkhurst contrasts beautifully with an antique Japanese sideboard from Onsite Gallery and a retro chair from Billy Moon Antiques and Collectables.   

The kitchen is cheerfully uncomplicated, with serveware including bowls by Anthony Shapiro of Art in the Forest and an ink chair artwork, which was a gift from Kurt Pio, displayed on plain wooden shelving. 

The couple has made the space their own by customising pieces to suit their taste. For example, the navy armchairs from Antiques on Kloof were reupholstered in velvet by Wunders, and the coffee table from Boardmans had its original top replaced with Marron Emperador marble from Natural Stone Warehouse.

Curtains made with fabric from Joburg's Oriental Plaza provide a geometric counterpoint to the more muted elements in the bedroom.