Contemporary architecture meets vintage design in this Umhlanga Arch apartment.
Umhlanga Arch is synonymous with luxury living and makes a striking statement on the area’s skyline. Interior architect Victoria Wood worked on one of the building’s apartments and found a way to balance the modern setting with her client’s more vintage aesthetic.
Victoria describes the homeowner’s style as layered and sophisticated. “Vintage influences needed to be expressed in an open-plan contemporary setting,” she explains. She took these unique style preferences as a starting point on which to build a conceptual storyboard. By considering custom joinery, furniture pieces and fabrics, she made sure the overall design aesthetic for the home was cohesive and harmonious.
The apartment includes a bedroom wing, as well as a single large open-plan living / dining / kitchen space. “We needed to create ‘pockets’ of experiences within the large floorplan area to create the different zones of living that the owner was familiar with from his previous home,” says Victoria. To do so, she used custom joinery designs and wall finishes and carefully considered the placement of furniture. “We created a defined bar area and study space, in addition to the kitchen, dining and living spaces.” Although distinct in style and function, these spaces blend seamlessly into one another. The bar area features warm wood and pops of yellow, while the kitchen combines modern function with old-fashioned artwork and a moody colour palette.
When it came to the types of spaces that needed to be incorporated into the design of the apartment, the homeowner was very specific. “There was a selection of existing furniture and art pieces that needed to be designed around,” says Victoria. “They also wanted to express the individuality of the bedroom suites using different finishes in each bathroom, and custom wardrobe designs.”
The final result of Victoria’s design work is a space that is rich in colour and texture – think shades of green and dark blue, alongside intricate tiles and an eclectic art collection. “We enjoyed the diverse material palette; we love working with colour, textures and tones,” she says. “The choices of material combinations and detailing incorporated a vintage aesthetic that we enjoyed balancing with the contemporary architecture.”