Living areas: Five beautiful spaces

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Friends and family gave Brian the bookshelf for his 40th birthday. The two generous windows let in so much beautiful light that it felt natural to include two window seats where the kids can cuddle up and read books. Bookshelf designed by Zarah Riley; joinery by Iron & Wood 4U; sofa from Superbalist
Friends and family gave Brian the bookshelf for his 40th birthday. The two generous windows let in so much beautiful light that it felt natural to include two window seats where the kids can cuddle up and read books. Bookshelf designed by Zarah Riley; joinery by Iron & Wood 4U; sofa from Superbalist

Photographs Henrique Wilding, Elza Cooper and Francois Oberholster l Styling Marian van Wyk, Zarah Riley, Amanda van Wyngaardt and Cornel Dunn

After the awkward staircase between the dining area and living room in Brian and Louise Tait’s Rondebosch home was removed during a total revamp in 2019, the two spaces felt too large. With assistance from architectural designer Jenny Collins of Red Cat Design and interior designer Zarah Riley of Zarah Riley Interiors and Design, the couple opted to install a double-sided fireplace between the living area and dining room – not only a great way to subtly separate the two spaces, but also a striking feature. “The connection between the living area, dining room and kitchen and how the family interact with each other in these spaces was important,” says Jenny. “There needed to be plenty of cosy spots in which to relax with a book or doze in the afternoon sun as well as spaces ideal for hosting braais and dinner parties.”

The open-plan living areas flow naturally to the deck, pool and back garden and form an organic whole when the doors are thrown wide open. The décor strikes a balance between new and old, soft and hard, modern and classic, creating a space that’s both comfortable and stylish. Aluminium doors and windows by G&E Glass and Aluminium

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