Discovering what customers responded to during the course of his career as a homeware store visual merchandiser aided Dylan Thomaz in doubling the return on this 42-square-metre unit in Sea Point. He purchased the property to rent out on Airbnb and, with his sleek makeover, saw it booked almost every night. This project complete, he put it on the market, and sold it the same day.
Let the Light In
The dated balcony door and window were replaced with slick stacking doors that contemporise the space and, when open, create a breezy indoor-outdoor flow, while sheer linen curtains maintain the spatial illusion and lend softness to the room. The newly installed panelling is both an interesting textural detail and an aid in forming the impression of a higher ceiling.
The Living Space
To appeal to foreign customers, Dylan added both African and European design elements, featuring replicas of the iconic Eero Saarinen ‘Tulip’ Chair and Philippe Starck stacking chair, woven baskets and rustic wooden furniture. Together, the oriental blue stool, vintage wall panelling reminiscent of mid-century homes, and Persian rug create a contemporary look of different worlds coming together. ‘I wanted to appeal to a mass grouping of people but in a way that’s also sophisticated and is still in my handwriting,’ Dylan says.
By enclosing a private bedroom space, with the help of a drywall pillar for support, an entrance passageway was also created. The ceramic herringbone tiles used on the floor create interest and help to elongate the space.
The white walls and floors lighten the space — ‘you want it to seem endless,’ says Dylan — while cornices and double floor skirtings add visual interest.
To create an enclosed bedroom, Dylan knocked down the drywall in the kitchen and moved the sink. In the kitchen, he extended the high-gloss cabinetry to the floor for a seamless look. It also enabled him to accommodate a small freestanding fridge that would not have been able to fit with the kickboards.
By installing a shelf above the stove, Dylan created more storage space while allowing for kitchenware to be strikingly displayed.
Juxtapose shape and form
With no room in the apartment for a dining table, a nifty kitchen counter provides both a work surface and casual spot to take meals. A sculptural plant adds height and a splash of colour to an otherwise neutral area. For lighting, a clear-glass pendant makes for an unobtrusive statement.
By constructing a glass cube around the bedroom, the apartment was converted from a studio into a one-bedroom space, increasing its privacy and value. Built-in cupboards neatly store clothing and linen previously kept on display. Dylan continued the tonal white treatment of the walls in the bedroom, this time extending the palette to the luxurious linen and furniture with carefully selected pops of colour to add contrast. The look is grounded by a strong masculine pendant light.
Studio Dylan Thomaz represents eight artists, displaying their work and product ranges. Here, the cushions feature a hand-painted print by Kurt Pio and velvet seascape by Gabi Lee Smit. The walls boast artworks by Lisette Forsyth, Maria Magdalena van Wyk and David Bellamy.
Photographs Karl Rogers