Industrial Vibe #13

This Cape Town home artfully blends lush foliage with luxe textiles and burnished finishes to create a relaxed a mid-century industrial vibe...


A split-level Fifties house in Cape Town, South Africa. On the ground floor, there is a kitchen-diner, living area and patio. The master bedroom with en suite, guest bedroom, office, bathroom and WC are on the first floor.


Lush, luxe, burnished boho… That’s the vibe in this Cape Town eyrie, perched on the cliffs with a bird’s-eye view of Table Mountain.

The property was built in 1954 and actually featured in a magazine at the time – all black and white photographs of Bauhaus furniture and beehive hairstyles. Fast forward 55 years and the Mad Men gloss had definitely lost its shine – think Don Draper with a paunch and an ill-fitting safari suit.

It was on the market as a deceased estate, with a badly neglected garden and dated details like a natural rock fireplace in the living room and a heavy floral carpet covering the original parquet flooring. But it’s on the highest road in the Cape Town suburb of Oranjezicht, with a back gate that opens on to the mountain, and the owners could see its potential to be renovated to make the most of the 360-degree views.

Get the look: Find a bull’s head like this at English Lamp Post Co. The side tables are made from stumps of olive trees. French Connection Home does similar tables. The cane chair is a flea-market find. Try Graham and Green for similar.

Rather than knock out the dated natural rock fireplace wall, the owners concealed it with a plaster screen, with lights behind to give a soft glow in the evening.


The designer-look kitchen is actually home-made units decorated with a stencil and sprayed with grey spray paint. Previously separate from the main living space, a wall was knocked down to open it up and provide a clear flow through to the back door.

Get the look: The units were made bespoke. Birgit Israel does a similar design.  Find a recommended carpenter to replicate the wood wall design through


The house was renovated on a tight budget, with even most of the furniture found at flea markets or up cycled. Relying on found or upcycled objects can be a risky business – what looks great on a stall can appear tacky and out of place once it’s unpacked at home – but a tight edit of colour and materials brings the scheme together.

A cluster of lamps and overlapping ceiling roses turn lighting into an art installation on the cheap.

Get the look: The pendant lights are flea-market finds. Moroccan Bazaar does similar. The large mirrored light came from Hadeda in Cape Town. The Chandelier & Mirror Company sells mirrored lights. The table came from Lim in Cape Town. Find similar at Fish Fabrications. Head to CB2 for a similar shelving unit. These are Nguni chairs from Vogel Design in Cape Town. West Elm stocks similar John Vogel chairs. The benches are junk-shop finds. Try Metro Retro for a similar style.

That rediscovered parquet floor makes an elegant base for a richly restrained palette – graphite walls, a charcoal kitchen, the ashy finish of a blowtorched sideboard. Bare wood picks up the golden tones and adds form, from the smooth curves of a bentwood chair to the knobbly mass of tree-stump side tables.

This is a house that invites you to reach and touch, following a fingertip trail of rough concrete, strokeable fabrics, smooth metal and faceted glassware.

And then there’s the greenery… The garden is creeping indoors, it’s like Eden in the making.

Get the look: Head to CB2 for a similar shelving unit.


Upcycled and contemporary pieces complement each other in the office. The glass table top was made from the original shower enclosure.

Get the look: The table base is from Milnerton Flea Market in Cape Town. Try for a similar table. The chair is by South African furniture designer Haldane Martin. The Quadrin chair by Katie Walker at Heal’s has a similar look. The vintage cupboard came from Vamp in Cape Town. Lago has a good range of grey lacquer cabinets.


The entrance is a textbook example of layering – the wallpaper, screen and furniture create a 3-D tableau. The distressed sideboard was a white-painted flea-market find that was then blasted with a blowtorch. The wallpaper is taken from a photograph, resized and reprinted to a larger scale.

Get the look: The sideboard and objects are flea-market finds. Circus Antiques does a similar sideboard; Rockett St George is a good source of objects. The console table came from Lim in Cape Town. Try Oka for similar. The painted screen is made from old doors. Try Julian Chichester for something similar.


The wood wall was made from old grape pallets that a farmer had thrown away, mainly as a place to hang the three pod lights. The concrete and glass table beneath it was also a DIY job. Soft fabrics contrast with the hard surfaces and make the bed even more inviting.

Get the look: For woven pendant lights in a pod-like style, try Louise Tucker. Gray Concrete could make a table like this. The ottoman is from DAG in Cape Town. Head to George Smith for similar. The painting was knocked up by home owner. Try for similar artwork. For a throw like this, try The French Bedroom Company.


The en-suite bathroom was created from a guest bedroom. The ‘stone’ support for the basins was actually cast in concrete from a clay mould.

Get the look: CP Hart does similar basins. Plaster Decoration Company could provide a similar concrete support. To source a skilled glass engraver, contact the Guild of Glass Engravers.

Photography / Micky Hoyle

For more of Micky’s work, see

More Modern Houses