Dressed for Success

Interior designer Aidan Bennetts offers his insider know-how for transforming a small space by focusing on finishes, furniture and fabrics.

Laying the Groundwork (above)
‘The first thing we did to this lock-up-and-go holiday apartment was paint the entire space in a subdued grey palette to set the mood,’ says Aidan Bennetts. ‘I was careful to choose a neutral base without any undertones in it.’
Feature walls: ‘Shweshwe-print wallpaper by Robin Sprong creates a feature in the dining area by injecting vibrant colour as well as local flavour. I added a pendant light by Framed, in white, because it pops against the background and adds an effective additional graphic element to the room.’
Designer pieces: A few designer pieces add gravitas to an interior. ‘The chairs are by Guideline Manufacturing and the coffee table is my own design,’ Aidan reveals.

Setting the Scene

Wall-hung bookshelf: Aidan felt that leaving the TV-room wall bare would create a cold void. ‘I knew that James Mudge’s signature ash hanging shelving unit would be the perfect piece to soften the space.’ It plays Tetris perfectly, filling the dead wall space with its extended arm. It’s both an aesthetic addition as well as a practical one, storing eye-catching coffee-table books along with decorative objects.

Framing the bed: ‘I positioned the bed in a purpose-built recess – it creates an alcove, which surrounds the bed and provides a sense of comfort. The columns are clad in smoky mirrors with a bevelled-edge detail. I intentionally hung Minima pendants by Jacques Cronje here to bounce light off these panels.

Improve a Passageway
‘A narrow passage can be a dead space – mirrors are a brilliant way to bring it to life as they create the illusion of space and add light,’ Aidan says. ‘I designed a set of geometrically shaped mirrors and created a gallery, which adds an element of fun. The gold-tinted mirror surface adds warmth and glamour.’

Photographs Mickey Hoyle