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Heidi Arenstein’s Home Truths

Text Graham Wood Production Sherri Chipps Food production Otto de Jager Photographs Elsa Young, David Ross You may recall the classic renovated Parktown home of Selwyn and Heidi Arenstein, featured in our June 2009 issue? Renovated twice, first in the 1970s and again in the 1990s, this home still retains much of its former glory, including the beautiful original fittings, such as the handcrafted door handles and doors. It has, however, moved with the times and is a wonderful example of how the new and the old can merge into one, resulting in something quite extraordinary. We chatted to one of the owners,  Heidi Arenstein, about all things design, some of their favourite things and more... Five words to describe yourself? Mother, wife, daughter, designer, hooligan. Which building do you wish you’d designed? The Constitutional Court. What’s your signature dish? The most delicious pastrami sandwich ever. How do you relax? Eat, drink, spend time with family and friends. Design you’re most proud of? The bunk bed. What has building your own home taught you? Patience… What is your interiors motto? Relaxed family living and design are definitely not mutually exclusive. What is the soundtrack to your perfect weekend? Anything by Diana Krall (and some Lady Gaga at the moment). Where do you think up your best ideas? In my study, at 3 o’clock in the morning. Most treasured piece of art? My Judith Mason drawing. Favourite architectural style? Anything by my mom and Piet Boon. What are a few of your favourite things? Our approximately 500 Volksie models (does that count as a few?). Other than in Parktown, where would you live? In a glass-and-steel house on the beach (maybe in the Seychelles). Do you like any furniture designers in particular? Yes lots; Eileen Grey, Le Corbusier, Philippe Starck, Mies van der Rohe, Charles Eames. What do you love about winter? Being cosy inside, fires, boots, coats, blankets, red wine, no need ever to wear a bikini… To read the rest of the Arts and Crafts Home story, and to view the beautiful transformation, please click here. This home was originally published in the June 2009 issue of House and Leisure.