Add glamour and elegance to your small apartment with inspiration from this Cape Town holiday home. Interior decorator, Nicola Townsend explains how she gave this small space a luxurious look.

“When it comes to decorating and furnishing a small space, it’s not simply a matter of what you can fit in,” says Nicola. “It’s important to choose pieces that reflect your style and don’t overwhelm the rooms.”


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As it was newly built when the owners bought it, Nicola had a blank canvas on which to work.  “The owners know my style so they were happy to give me free rein,” she says. “I wanted to achieve an easy, comfortable look so that the apartment feels like a home from home. But I also wanted to inject some Ralph Lauren-inspired glamour. The furniture had to be easy to maintain, as this is a holiday home, and suitable for entertaining.”

Nicola started with a navy theme for the living and dining area. “Navy is bold but it’s also classic and it mixes well with other colours, so I love to use it.”

small-apartment-inspirationTo offset the sofa and the dark rug from Hertex, Nicola introduced yellow in the form of scatter cushions and ceramics. This adds a ray of sunshine, while glass accessories and metallic accents add glamour.

In the open-plan dining area, a striking contemporary table takes centre stage. The navy velvet dining chairs have stylish door-style knockers on the back of each one to ensure that they look as good from the back as they do from the front.

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Nicola hung large mirrors on the walls and included mirrored furniture and accessories to make the rooms feel both luxurious and spacious. “I chose both clear and smoky mirror surfaces as I think it’s interesting to include a combination, and it introduces a mix of textures and styles,” she says.


In both bedrooms soft, soothing colours look timeless and sophisticated. “A common but effective strategy is to create a neutral backdrop and then mix in warm textures such as wood, layer the bedlinens and add a dash of colour.”

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