A restored Cape Town home

This lovingly restored Cape Town home reflects a passion for period features and Provencal decor

The Venetian chandelier in the entrance hall is one of the original features that homeowner Charlie Hayward fell in love with when she first viewed this historic home. She painted the carved staircase and the floorboards white for a light, airy look.

“The intricate pattern of the ornate pressed steel ceilings never fails to fascinate me – I can lie on the sofa in the living room and admire it for hours,” says Charlie.

Quite unusual for a home of this age, the flow of the layout was good and it didn’t require too much structural work to open the living spaces up with the help of builders John Smuts and Ian McAllistair of Mc Smuts Building Services. However, when the cottage and garages burnt down in a near catastrophic fire a few years ago, Charlie took the opportunity to redesign the garage and add a utility room.

To set the scene for the light look she was after, Charlie painted all the wooden floors a neutral shade, Plascon’s White Canvas. Some of the walls were left with their RhinoLite finish for an aged feel, while the rest were painted a soft white. For the window frames and doors she selected a pale dove, Shell Grey from the International Colour Chart, which gives the house a distinctly French feel.

Designed by Charlie with the help of her builders the revamped kitchen features a charmingly rustic mix of raw brick units and cement countertops. It opens onto a small breakfast room with a fireplace.

“The linen curtains in the dining room were made from French tablecloths; the seamstress who made them said she’d never forgive me as sewing them all together was the hardest job she’d ever done,” laughs Charlie.

“In winter we have wonderful parties in the dining room in front of a roaring fire. In summer we open the doors onto the courtyard and the air is filled with the sound of a fountain – it’s magical,” says Charlie.

The courtyard garden is filled with organically grown vegetables, lavender bushes and lemon trees.

A free-standing Franco Belge fireplace takes pride of place in the breakfast room. The cupboard was made by a local carpenter.

An ornate, upholstered French bed from Farriers takes centre stage in the master bedroom, giving it a luxuriously romantic feel.

The chaise upholstered in crisp linen is the perfect spot for catching the afternoon sun.