There is nothing understated about this apartment. Every one if its features, from floor to ceiling, exudes luxury and begs to be noticed. This was the aim from the get-go when Mumtaz Dasoo, founder of Mumtaz D’Interiors, and Fatima Garda, of Poliform South Africa, took on the renovation of this family home, north-east of Johannesburg. ‘When we first walked into the apartment,’ says Mumtaz, ‘it was an empty shell, but even at the beginning of the planning stages, we realised it had a lot of potential. We knew this space needed to be glamorous and theatrical. We wanted every corner to emanate luxury and high comfort.’ For Fatima, there was no question that the apartment would be dark and chic. ‘I wanted it to be modern,’ she says, ‘and stylish, as if it were an exclusive, boutique hotel.
Clean lines and neutral tones are the main features of the interior design. With a clever combination of shapes, colour and finishes, we were able to create a compelling home.’ The design duo prioritised making a statement in the entrance of the four-bedroom apartment, which is accessed via an elevator, by cladding in gold tones and adding a large Rimadesio screen that separates it from the rest of the home. Beyond the screen, the living room echoes the dramatic structure of the entrance, with marble-clad walls and furniture from Poliform. Objects and lights from, among others, Hermès and Créma Design, add moments of interest on many of the surfaces around the house. ‘We used a large number of products,’ says Fatima, ‘but they all share a consistent stylistic offering. Every object tells a tale of research, functional quality and styling.’
In the kitchen, Poliform’s characteristic, clean minimalism informs the mood – and for Fatima, it’s one of the standout rooms in the apartment. ‘I spent most of my time designing the kitchen. I tried to create a harmonious balance between quality materials, meticulously crafted details and technical sophistication. I wanted it to be in tune with the needs of whoever uses it.’ Fatima softened the hard lines of the kitchen with a herringbone wood floor, which also features in the rest of the home, and complements the cabinetry with functional and ambient lighting. The comprehensive, dark interior seems effortless, but it was a design process that was carefully curated. ‘When dark palettes are used properly,’ says Fatima, ‘they create a cosy and dramatic atmosphere that is full of life.’
This could only be achieved by introducing texture, which Mumtaz did with layers of wallpaper, leather, velvet and linen. ‘We created a pared-down palette but introduced lighter shades, such as marble and glamorous brass. For me, a well-designed room is layered and feels assembled.’ This also helps the apartment take on new life at sunset. ‘The natural light that comes in through the large sliding doors transforms the home from day to night,’ says Mumtaz.
‘During the day, it is bold and strong, but at night, it’s moodier and a lot more romantic.’ At first glance, it’s easy to mistake the interior for the inner workings of a city apartment. A closer look reveals it is surrounded by hectares of lush, green lawns and trees, which the homeowners wanted to take full advantage of. The large patio was renovated to make it a high-functioning and comfortable space, suitable for entertaining friends and family during summer. The apartment is decidedly polished, but with every hard and structured line there exists just enough softness to speak to everyday family life.