Although small, this apartment’s clever interior design makes it a comfortable and stylish retreat for the owners and their Airbnb guests.
Story: Candice Botha
Pictures: Chris Allan
When the owners of this newly-built apartment at Sibaya’s Coral Point bought it, the bones were good but it lacked personality. Intended as both a city bolt hole for the couple and their young daughter and son who are based in northern KZN, as well as an Airbnb rental, it needed to be a comfortable second home as well as a resilient apartment for renting. To get this balance right, they called on Katherine McIntosh of Dandelion Designs who immediately took note of her client’s lifestyle and decor style.
“The apartment’s fittings were all good quality and the design quite functional,” she says, “but maximising space was a priority. Adding a table to the end of the kitchen island utilised empty space to give the family an indoor dining area, and instead of a series of small sofas and chairs, choosing just one large sofa that fills the wall and a narrow coffee table in the lounge allows for plenty of seating without blocking the flow on to the balcony.”
The concrete ceilings, white tiles and cabinetry created a good base to work from and Katherine added colour and texture, all the while choosing durable, low maintenance items which would stand the test of time. Injecting style without taking up floor space is a perfect job for wallpaper and Katherine selected a custom-printed tropical pattern design that not only sets the tone and colour palette for the space, but is a clever nod to the coastal location and views outdoors. The rich green in the wallpaper is echoed in the sofa, a small splashback of tiles in the kitchen, and the green marble top of the coffee table, while touches of mustard are picked up by the scatter cushions. A series of geometric patterns in black and white add a contemporary feel in each space.
“Layering texture is essential to creating interest in a small space,” says Katherine. “We’ve chosen wicker, rattan, leather, velvet and cushions with bold embroidery that invite touch.” In the bedrooms, the headboards have been cleverly designed as focal points: woven leather in the guest room, and in the main bedroom, a timber one running the length of the room that, with its built-in side tables and lamps, gives the illusion of a much bigger space.
“Since it’s so close to the sea, we needed the balcony furniture to be both stylish and hard-wearing. The predominantly black palette is forgiving and the concrete table very durable,” says Katherine. A round rug, cushions with an inky tie-dye pattern and a series of custom-made planters on the wall soften the space, making it feel as chic and inviting as the interior. *
TIPS FOR DECORATING A SMALL SPACE TO BE RENTED OUT
- Durability is key. Choose linen and curtains which will survive being washed on high heat, have your sofas treated to prevent stains, and choose rugs that can survive high foot traffic. Indoor-outdoor rugs are easy to clean and look good for ages.
- Buy doubles of items like crockery, cutlery, glasses and linen and store them nearby. That way, if something breaks or goes missing, you’re not running around having to replace it before your next guests arrive.
- Think about what guests will want to do while in the apartment and cater to those needs. Provide the necessary items for cooking in the kitchen or having a braai. Hooks to hang towels, strategically-placed power points, bins and thoughtful touches like a laundry basket create a homely feel.
- Spend where it’s going to have an impact and choose at least one noteworthy element that potential clients will remember when looking at your online listing.
FOR MORE INFO: Dandelion Designs: dandelionsa.co.za