Dutch paintings are my favorite style of art, so when I saw the shapely gables of this South African Cape Dutch style home rising along a tree-lined lake front, that Bobby McAlpine and interior designer Ray Booth created for a couple in Baton Rouge, Louisiana I was smitten.
Bobby McAlpine describes this home that took five years to plan, build, and furnish as, "painfully simple." The entrance area is a lofty, sparsely furnished and light-filled space which speaks like a narrative of an old master's painting, and is paved with well-worn black and white marble tiles from Paris Ceramics.
An oak partition with a beautiful fanlight, and panned, folding french doors separates the space from the adjacent gallery.
Setting the tone of the home as soon as you walk in is a 17th century portrait and a circa-1740 painted Baroque table by Dienst + Dotter Antikvieter, New York anchoring the entrance area, making the room look like something right out of a Johannes Vermeer painting. Sigh ...
Every room is filled with light from glorious windows and french doors, and this European kitchen, filled with soulful antiques and exquisite art, is no exception. A 17th-centruy portrait overlooks the kitchen table, which is surrounded by French chairs. I personally prefer a kitchen design such as this, it can accommodate a long dinning table for informal dinner parties, providing a casual elegance to every meal. The beautiful range is La Cornue, and the pottery is Cucina Fresca by Vietri. Do you see the quince coloured Le Creuset French oven on the stove top? If you don't own one, run out and buy one today or order it online at Williams & Sonoma or Sur La Table (They have the New Burgundy colour). These great enameled iron French pots can be used stove top to oven, which makes preparing a meal simple with less pots to clean.
On the loggia, en plein air dinning at it's best.
The home office includes a bespoke George Smith banquette and an antique Sultanabad rug from Beauvais.
Custom-made box beds in the guest room are another historic touch; McAlpine said they are "a very Dutch thing, like what Vermeer might have slept in." Did you notice the windows, framing still more of the beautiful views, tucked inside? The check curtains are Chelsea Editions; the glamorously tufted chair and ottoman, by Bunny Williams Home (love Bunny Williams) are upholstered in a soft citron linen by Schumacher.
Vintage terracotta tiles resemble the Indonesian tiles often found on South African floors.
Rusty browns, creams, and indigo blue convey a warm elegance in the master suite which features a bespoke bed upholstered in a Castel fabric, and a silk velvet settee by George Smith. The ceiling fan is a practical choice if you live in a warm area as I do.
A Hugo Kocke painting hangs in the master bath. Large sheets of white and gray marble soften your attention when accented by the magnificent patina of the finishes on the bathroom fixtures by Lefroy Brooks and surrounding facade of the glamorous bath tub. A beautiful lifestyle space to dream about and to dream in.
The celebrated architect Bobby McAlpine "has designed at least 500 houses
during the course of his 30-plus year career" ( Julia Reed AD). Remarkable. I have been privileged to share with you this beautiful South African Cape Dutch, my absolute favorite to date.
Congratulations Mr. Mc Alpine and interior designer Ray Booth at Mc Alpine Tankersley Architecture, for a gorgeous design. Well Done!
All the best,