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Women In Design: Inside the home of La Grange Interiors CEO Sumari Krige

Legendary design icon Sumari Krige opens her home in Bantry Bay

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By Piet Smedy | August 9, 2023 | Interiors

When it came to designing her home, the La Grange Interiors CEO took the same approach she always does when creating spaces: carefully addressing the homeowners’ needs through an eclectic, always considered composition of texture, tone and individuality.

As this is your own house, you had the task of briefing yourself on the project. From the outset, what did you know you wanted, and how would you meet those demands?

With small plots in the area of Bantry Bay, we were looking for a lock-up-and-go house, so there is no garden, just a lovely pool and a small exterior entertainment area. The house had a very uncool art deco feel that we needed to modernise, and we also needed to give each room its own en-suite bathroom and expand the public areas for open-plan living. The original house was built in the late ’80s, and we knew we needed to gut and re-design it completely, shifting and removing walls throughout to achieve a simple space for our family to live.

The French server in the entrance hall, sourced many years ago from L’isle-Sur-La-Sorgue In Provence, is paired with a Graphic abstract Wool Berber from Mae Artisan rug’s and eclectic accessories.

And now, the spaces are seamless as you move through them.

Exactly. Especially the living and kitchen areas, whose open-plan configurations overlap different zones effortlessly. We designed the home’s public spaces to be comfortable, so family and friends can enjoy them. We individually decorated private areas, such as the bedrooms, with luxury fabrics and textural accents. Each bedroom has an incorporated study area for every family member to have their own space.

The incredible nature of the site cannot be overstated. How did your design lean into that?

Given the mountainside and Bantry Bay location, I opted for a staggered layout of various open-plan spaces wrapped in full-scale glass windows to flood the home with natural light and afford panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

The modern brutalist dining room, with an array of Ceramics and Glassware. The ‘Loop’ dining chairs from district eight are upholstered in Mark Alexander fabric.

If you had to narrow it down to one thing, what were you setting out to achieve with the interiors – and how did you make that happen?

I would say that the overall look I wanted to bring about in the home was one of warmth, its interiors hallmarked with textural fabrics and rustic accents. It is a design language that incorporates both the contemporary and the rustic, with the finished spaces feeling quite eclectic.

Overall, the interiors tell a predominantly autumnal colour story – amber and pumpkin, sea green and gem blue. What was your thinking behind this?

It goes back to that idea of creating warmth, especially as these Atlantic seaboard houses can become quite cold during winter. By layering these inherently comforting tones and fabrics over each other, we created a space suitable for year-round living.

Do you think there is ever a danger of this layering approach becoming too much? Were there ever moments when you thought, time to reel it in?

It can never be too much, haha! however, in this instance, particularly in the places where I used many patterned fabrics, it was important to mix in plain, textured neutrals and rustic pieces to strike a balance.

An ‘Orbit’ chair and ottoman and ‘Stilt’ Coffee table from District Eight

I know it is like asking you to choose your favourite child, but what would you say are some of the key pieces and features in the house you love most?

The master bedroom is definitely my favourite space, largely thanks to its 180-degree views. One of the top brands in our stable at La Grange Interiors, district eight from Vietnam, has quite a presence in the house too, which is really cool. otherwise, the ‘stilt’ daybed in the master bedroom, ‘Akron’ barstool around the concrete bar and the ‘Loop’ dining chairs and bench around the marble ‘Foundry’ dining table are all very special to me.

Without pigeonholing yourself, which I know would be a feat on its own, given how eclectic La Grange Interiors’ work is, how does your home reflect, at least in part, your design philosophy?

This is my home, so, naturally, it is going to have a lot of me in it – and by extension, that speaks to what La grange Interiors stands for in terms of interiors. We create homes, not showcases, so although you will see some of our signature pieces throughout the home, it does what all of our projects do: present an honest, individual reflection of the people who call these spaces home

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