TARRYN HENDRA OF CALLA&TAIA INTERIOR DESIGN HAS TRANSFORMED THIS COMPACT HOLIDAY APARTMENT FROM BLAND AND OUTDATED TO CHIC AND CONTEMPORARY
Story Candice Botha
The owners of this one-bedroomed, one-bathroom apartment in uMhlanga wanted to give it a fresh feel to rent out to holidaymakers. They called in Tarryn Hendra of calla&taia Interior Design to work on their brief for a contemporary look that would nod to the apartment’s seaside setting.
“The kitchen was an old melamine and pine design that had passed its glory days and the bathroom was very old-fashioned,” Tarryn recalls. The tiles throughout were also dated and the floor-to-ceiling mirrors, although a good idea for making the apartment look larger, felt a bit passé. A complete gut was necessary to transform the space from floor to ceiling, and Tarryn and her team set about removing the kitchen, bathroom, tiles, mirrors and sliding doors leaving an empty shell to be completely redesigned.
“The apartment is very small, with the living space leading on to the patio and the bedroom en suite bathroom at the back of the apartment,” she explains, “so making the space feel much bigger than it actually is was the goal.”
The first step was to replace the old sliding door with a set of stack-back doors. “It now feels like the balcony is an extension of the living room,” says Tarryn. Next up was the kitchen where Tarryn replaced the old melamine countertops and pine doors with quartz tops and handle-less doors that are chic and contemporary. Screed flooring was used throughout, giving a cohesive feel to the living area and patio which draws the eye outwards to the view and gives the illusion of space. The reflective nature of the finish also reflects light and helps to make the room feel larger. On the balcony, the screed is non-slip to ensure there are no accidents when the sea mist rolls in.
The decor balances clean lines and texture. A fresh, white finish is combined with timber elements in the dining and coffee tables as well as TV unit, while a white ceramic stool contrasts with the rustic feel of a Malawi chair. A jute rug layered over the screed floor defines the lounge in the open-plan area. In the bedroom, an iridescent wallpaper is juxtaposed with a solid white headboard, and hanging bedside lamps save space.
The colour scheme is inspired by the beach and the starting point was the bold, over-scaled wallpaper from Hertex. “The geometric trellis pattern brings a bit of structure to the room and draws the eye upwards,” Tarryn notes. “The large furniture pieces are in neutrals – a sandy beige for the sofa and white for the chairs to ensure that the entire colour scheme can be transformed by changing the scatter cushions.”
This current palette of navy and burnt coral is a sophisticated take on a reef with subtle octopus motifs on a pair of cushions adding to the seaside feel.
“Designing for a holiday rental means a balance of practical and pretty,” says Tarryn. “The fittings and furnishings need to be durable but also look welcoming. We’ve put glass on the dining, coffee and bedside table to ensure they last, had the couch fabric protected, lined the kitchen drawers, and chosen polyurethane furniture to withstand the elements on the balcony. The lights are made of plastic that look like wicker but can be wiped down more easily, and we’ve fashioned wooden arm-covers for the sofas to minimise damage.”
The result of this careful planning is an apartment that’s contemporary, spacious and relaxing – just what you need on a beach holiday.
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