‘Colour makes us feel happy and alive’

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
This vibrant home is all about bold décor choices – and having fun!

David Bolton and Gorgina Franks

WHERE Cape Town

SIZE 300m²

The exterior of the home is just as colourful as the interior: purple, red and orange complement the fresh blue and green on the stoep 

Why should the exterior of your home be dull? Have fun and don’t take decorating so seriously! – Gorgina Franks

An unusual vintage hat rack adds character to the entrance hall. The dining room (below) features a beautifully refurbished table bought on auction; Gorgina had the tabletop spray-painted blue and the base pink.

As you walk through the front door of David Bolton and Gorgina Franks’ Cape Town home, a cool sky-blue entrance hall invites you to explore further; inside, a kaleidoscope of colour promises a feast for your senses...

Although David and Gorgina were born in England, the couple have been living in the Mother City for long enough to qualify as locals. Their love of Cape Town is expressed not only through Gorgina’s business Stuff from Africa, a company that designs and creates stationery, but also their impressive collection of local artworks and bold colour choices inspired by the city’s vibrant Bo-Kaap. 

“I have no idea where my love of colour comes from but it wakes me up and makes me feel alive and happy,” says Gorgina. While she also has an appreciation for a more neutral palette, Gorgina feels at home with a variety of invigorating shades – in fact, the more the merrier! 

“Our walls are colour-blocked in bold hues,” she explains. Despite the riot of saturated shades, it all works together harmoniously to create a balanced space. 

“We call our décor style ‘colour madness’!” Gorgina adds with a laugh. While she admits that there have been a few mishaps along the way, nothing will deter her from racing off to the paint store when colour inspiration strikes! “It’s a gut feel…”
The walls in the smaller living room have been painted in shades of Gorgina’s favourite colour, purple. This room is also home to her best-loved artwork by Philip Barlow. Armchair from Weylandts

A large artwork by Paul Senyol above the couch, a Paul Latimer illustration in a peach frame and Frank van Reenen ceramics are proudly displayed in the main lounge. Couch fabric from Designers Guild; floral artwork above cupboard by Zenzulu

A fiery red fireplace complements the touches of blue, orange and green in the main lounge. Finn Juhl armchair from Vamp Furniture

The kitchen might be small but it packs a punch with everything in its place and enough storage to keep things neat and tidy. The only change the couple made when they bought the house 14 years ago was to have the cupboards painted in soft blue and pink; they also added the tiled splashback in lime-green. The look is anchored by black granite countertops and a black SMEG fridge. 

A yellow focal wall in the smaller living room contrasts beautifully with the other walls painted in shades of purple. A painting by David Kuijers adds the finishing touch. 

David and Gorgina relax in their living room; a painting by Gavin Rain takes pride of place on the wall behind the sofa. “Our house is open-plan but it’s not too big and it has a friendly charm,” says Gorgina.  

A painting by Cathy Layzell pops against this bright orange wall. The traditional African bench beneath was spraypainted in a glossy peach. 

The striking yellow and blue patterns on the nesting tables pick up the colours in the smaller living room beautifully. Umuntu nesting tables from Saks Corner; rug from Hertex

A gorgeous red leather chair from Cassina is a work of art in itself. The cabinet is filled with pieces from local artists that the couple have collected over the years. Cabinet from Vamp Furniture

It would have been too costly to replace the built-in cupboards in the main bedroom, so the couple decided to have the original off-white doors spray-painted instead


• White and cream are safe choices but even a little colour can really make your home stand out. Spruce up your space by painting just one wall in each room.

• When deciding on colour, identify an object or artwork in the room that has attractive accents and pick the dominant shade to set the tone for your palette.

• Have fun and just go for it! You can always paint over what doesn’t work. 



Designers Guild

Hertex 0860 437 839

Saks Corner 021 447 2966

Stuff from Africa 

Vamp Furniture 021 448 2755

Weylandts 021 914 1433

Zenzulu 031 201 0002

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()

April 2023

Read your favourite magazine here.
Read now