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House Tour: A Johannesburg Home is a Masterclass in Less is More Design

Perched in the Parkhurst suburb, this home highlights how a pared-back palette still requires a vision of textures and sharp tones

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By House & Garden South Africa | July 3, 2024 | Interiors

A minimalist at heart with a panache for exciting textures, homeowner Marc Shotland envisioned a space that reflects his less-is-more approach while highlighting various textures: dark, masculine and sharp tones are layered with bold prints to create a monochromatic and moody atmosphere, reminiscent of Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals.

‘Les Thermas Saturnia’ wallpaper adorn the dining room, Photograph: Sarah de Pina

Marc dreamed of a home with a tightly edited selection of colour; chocolate brown being the anchor and the interweaving of cream and black. He also wanted to eschew grey in the colour scheme, avoiding the ‘typical’ palette. As managing director of Home Fabrics, texture was always going to be an important aspect and the muted palette truly allowed these – along with the fabrics – to take centre stage. ‘The inspiration for my home was a neutral colour palette mixed with hard black metal, dark-stained oak and marble, while warmth is brought in through fabrics and wallpaper choices,’ Marc says. ‘Working in the textile and wallcoverings industry, a timeless trend I see over and over again is that neutrals remain stylish and sophisticated. They also create an easy base to start with if you want to mix it up in the future through scatter cushions, rugs and smalls.’

Kitchen cupboards in black add to the minimal style of the home, Photograph: Sarah de Pina

Due to his hectic work and travel schedule, Marc decided to ask close friend and interior designer Jessica Boyer of Jessica Boyer Interior Design to work alongside some of the Home Fabrics suppliers to pull the project together. Jessica took the project head on and carefully considered his likes, dislikes and lifestyle of an easy lock-up-and-go situation while also being able to host dinner parties or Sunday lunches where guests can unwind in a little oasis.

The covered patio reflects the same design aesthetic as the interior space, Photograph: Sarah de Pina

‘I wanted a feeling of openness and flow, which Jessica achieved,’ Marc adds. ‘The main area of the home has long stacking doors that link the outdoor and indoor elements beautifully. It is cosy and warm in the winter with the fireplace going, yet open and breezy in the summer — the perfect balance for all year round.’

Coffee table books adorn the living room table along with other homely touches, Photograph: Sarah de Pina

For the furniture design, Jessica worked with Dylan Joseph from Semper Fortis, and together they came up with a timeless design of bold furniture pieces that are smart enough for a formal atmosphere yet relaxed for lazing about. Dylan’s process through the design stage was hands-on and considered everything with regards to the inclusion of key pieces and textures while Jessica delved right into Home Fabrics’ FibreGuard ranges (a stain-free technology brand that allows you to wipe away any stain easily) to give Marc peace of mind that there is longevity in his furniture. The home uses Home Fabrics’ wide range of FibreGuard and employs every available texture, from 100-per-cent linens, velvets, chenilles and polys. ‘My home is not a museum. It is a space to be lived in and enjoyed by myself and friends and family,’ Marc adds.

In the pared-back guest bedroom, darker wallpaper is complimented with bold art and soft furnishings, Photograph: Sarah de Pina

The ease at which everything flows without being too precious makes this home a beacon of style, texture and practicality — perfectly encapsulated from the FibreGuard, marble-esque velvet headboard in the bedroom to the Designers Guild braided, leather bed, ottoman and faux fur throw, all the way to the Arte wallcoverings that push the boundaries of bold colours and patterns — this home is a study in restrained sophistication.

The bathroom is finished with black taps and other black accents, Photograph: Sarah de Pina
The bedroom is kept with simple lines and an understated class, Photograph: Sarah de Pina

Text originally by Shai Rama and appeared in our H&G November 2022 issue.