This beachside apartment in South Africa gets a luxurious makeover

modern library nook

Waterside is situated in a nine-story beachside apartment building in Clifton, Cape Town, South Africa, designed by SAOTA in 2009. Interior design studio ARRCC, in collaboration with Karen Stanek from KS Designs, had the task of merging three apartments over two levels. ARRCC’s first priority was to redevelop and unify the floor plan with a particular emphasis on celebrating the entrance.

Towards the front of the apartments, they removed the slab to create a fully glazed double-volume central living space that opens onto a sea-facing balcony, inviting natural light deep into the interior. A grand entrance, relocated to the top floor, now overlooks the living space for a radically different spatial experience offering glimpses of the ocean beyond.

modern staircase

A curved staircase and undulating walls at the entrance take creative inspiration from the shapes of boulders on the beach below and the contours of the cliffside, expressing their natural presence while simultaneously enhancing the flow, orientation, and integration of the spaces throughout the apartment.

arrival area of the home with a double-volume staircase

This level includes a central lounge, dining room, front- and back-of-house kitchens, as well as a bar lounge and separate TV lounge. Previously obstructive support columns have been integrated into the interior architecture, holding spaces, and framing views so that their presence is barely discernible. They also modulate the relationship between the double-volume space and more intimate areas such as the library and dining room.

modern staircase

Above: The staircase design was inspired by the naturally occurring curves that derive from the mountain contours, the goal was to complement the property organically and naturally.

modern staircase

Above: The design of the staircase allows for the view to be the main focal point. Concealed lighting acts as a key design element that
flows through the home. 

Above: Right The main suite is to the right of the staircase on the top level and is designed to function as a self-contained wing that can
be incorporated into the rest of the apartment via a series of louvers that open and close.

modern staircase

The timber wall cladding has been designed to accommodate concealed lighting, which washes it and accentuates it as a feature throughout the day. Light fittings and other services are concealed wherever possible, and strip lighting is intentionally included to maintain the seamless continuity of the timber interior wrapping keeping walls, floors, and surfaces uncluttered by lamps.

modern staircase with chairs underneath

Natural materials such as marble and timber have been selected to evoke the surrounding environment. Other features, such as the wave-like wall at the entrance, are finished in simple plaster and paint to emphasize their form. The bedrooms and bathrooms are finished in calm, sophisticated neutrals, including limed oak and a classical combination of black-and-white marble, in contrast with the pops of color and pattern in the social spaces.

modern living room

The interiors themselves hold as much gravitas. Led by KS Designs, and driven by the client’s keen eye for design, color, and texture, the use of smoky mirrors, oxidized copper, and green marble throughout the apartment all evoke the hues and textures of the seashore. This further manifests in the spectacular “Fire + Ice” lighting piece by Stephen Pikus, incorporating the use of recycled glass.

modern library nook

Other custom-designed furnishings, such as the dining table by OKHA and the ribbon-like wall installation by Louw Roets, deepen the dialogue between forms, while soft furnishings offset shell and coastal elements. Other custom-designed furnishings, such as the dining table by OKHA and the ribbon-like wall installation by Louw Roets, deepen the dialogue between forms.

modern library nook

Above: The library nook makes use of bronze material with concealed lighting. ARRCC chose a low ceiling to promote an intimate setting. The custom-designed bookshelf echoes elements found on the seashore and completes the delicate setting.

modern home bar

Above: The hand-chiseled bar, which doubles up as a bar server. The design aimed to accentuate the curves echoed throughout the main living area while feeling grand and colorful.

modern living room

Above: The main living area is complemented by unparalleled views of the ocean. The subtle curves in the roof’s design allow for the continuity of the concealed lighting detail.

modern hallway into the guest bedroom

Above: Entrance into the secondary bedrooms on the lower level.

modern guest bedroom

Above: The guest bathroom features concealed lighting detail, complimented by the owner’s extensive art collection.

modern bedroom with views of a private beach

Main Bedroom, with a 360 view of a private beach in Clifton.

The master suite on the top level is designed to function as a self-contained wing that can be incorporated into the rest of the apartment via a series of louvers, which also unlock additional views. Four en suite bedrooms, carefully configured so that they all have access to natural light, are located on the periphery of the lower level.

Above: Main Bathroom with a side view of the ocean, complimented by a double-sided biofuel fireplace.

modern bathroom vanity

Main Bedroom bathroom vanity with views of the ocean.

The delicate balance of richness and restraint creates an understated backdrop for the owner’s curated collection of contemporary art. Together, all these elements of the redeveloped interior create a compelling response to place, space, and user experience.

modern bathroom

Above: Secondary bathroom where the design was inspired by various materials one would find on a beach.

modern cinema room

Above: The enclosed cinema room with detailed curves running through the roof structure.

modern cinema room

What We Love: This beachside apartment has undergone a complete interior overhaul, providing luxurious furnishings, finishes, and materials throughout. Eye-catching details can be found at every turn, creating a sophisticated and inviting atmosphere. There are so many elements in this home that we love, from the unique staircase design to the exquisite bathrooms and amazing views captured through large walls of glazing.

Tell Us: What details in this home’s interior refresh do you find most appealing? Let us know in the Comments below!

Note: Be sure to check out a couple of other incredible home tours that we have showcased here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the designers of this project, ARCC: Beyond spectacular beach house perched on a hillside in Cape Town and Step inside this luxurious waterfront pied-à-terre in Cape Town.

modern cinema room bookshelf

PHOTOGRAPHER Greg Cox and Emma Jackson

modern waterside apartment floor plan

modern waterside apartment floor plan

One Kindesign has received this project from our submissions page. If you have a project you would like to submit, please visit our submit your work page for consideration! 

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