houses, small spaces, Spaces

time travel: tour the mid-century modern-style home of paul edmunds and heather moore

Artist Paul Edmunds and Skinny laMinx founder Heather Moore call this lovingly refurbished Mid-Century Modern-style apartment in Gardens, Cape Town, home. Heather perches on a chair from Casamento, and to the left on the sideboard are a painting and cluster of ceramics that she created. To the right, a graphic artwork by Medina Morphet adds visual impact to a corner vignette of Riihimäki glass vases from Vamp.

The following is an excerpt from our #HLCraftIssue – find it on shelves this month. 

Seventeen years ago, Heather Moore and Paul Edmunds bought their first home together – a modest two-bedroom, top-floor flat in Gardens, Cape Town. Situated a few blocks from Kloof Street (then by no means the bustling social hub it has now become) and in one of a group of low-rise 1930s buildings tucked behind the Mount Nelson hotel, it was the ideal ‘starter property’ for a young couple both venturing into creative fields.

Fast forward to 2018: Heather is now the founder and co-owner of beloved design brand Skinny laMinx, having found her niche as the creator of brilliantly beautiful textiles. And Paul is an internationally acclaimed fine artist whose works form part of museum collections and adorn the walls of art lovers across the globe. So you might expect them to have moved to a grander and more spacious abode.

The interiors of Heather and Paul’s home have come together over many years. They have always been drawn to Mid-Century Modern style, and hunted down their all-vintage furniture at markets and antique stores.

‘Tent’, a pencil drawing by Paul, provides a calm counterpoint to the vibrant motifs on the (ersatz) Ercol daybed, bought from a friend who was downsizing. It was updated with material from Lula Fabrics and is decked in scatters covered (from left) in vintage Dutch textiles, fabric from Lindell & Co, appliqued linen by Heather, and fabric from Jaipur Modern in India. The accompanying Ercol sidetable from Vamp presents an ideal spot for a relaxing read and a hot drink in an Orla Kiely-designed mug.

A classic wall unit, also from Vamp, forms the perfect showcase for their collections of West German studio ceramics and animal figures. On the bottom shelf in the centre is a red maquette for Paul’s ‘Peaks and Troughs’ sculpture at the Westin Hotel on the Foreshore, and the hanging lampshade above the dining table from Space for Life and 1950s chairs by Swedish company EdsbyVerken was sourced at LIM.

In Heather and Paul’s own unique way, they have. ‘We’ve renovated twice,’ says Heather, recalling an initial change to the very small kitchen, followed by a more extensive upgrade three years ago. The latter involved a complete reorientation of the apartment because, after many years of waiting for the opportunity, it happened when the couple were finally able to purchase the bachelor flat next door and, along with the help of architect Daniel Maggs, incorporate the additional space into their apartment.

Having mounted the three flights of stairs on what must be some of Cape Town’s quirkiest floors – they are a combination of terrazzo (for the treads) and broken tiles laid in what can really only be called a crazy-paving pattern. To the left of the entryway is the open-plan kitchen, which features simple built-in cupboards and plenty of open shelving. Adjacent to the kitchen is a study, with an inviting, built-in single daybed (‘Ideal for sneaky afternoon naps,’ says Paul confidentially) and simple desk and chair. Plus there’s a small balcony off the bedroom, too – regularly occupied by Monkey, but also featuring a vintage chair with plump cushions clad in Skinny laMinx fabrics as well as a veritable forest of pot plants, most of which are thriving succulents (although there’s also a lush fern and an enviable fiddle-leaf fig).

This is a home that could only belong to the two people who live in it: it’s the perfect expression of the deeply thoughtful creative spirit that animates them both, as well as their very evident insistence on living simply with beautiful things that they genuinely love. And it’s a space in which to realise that all the best upgrades take place slowly, over time.

The building’s stairwell is an ode to ‘crazy paving’, featuring terrazzo treads and multihued collages of tile shards.

The couple’s cherished array of Mid-Century, West German studio ceramics was acquired over time.

Host to an assortment of accumulated pottery and drinkware, the Pantone 578C green kitchen cupboards were crafted by Gibb Cabinet Works.

Treasures from Milnerton Market were destined for the open shelves in the cooking space, designed by Daniel Maggs.