Beauty in simplicity

Interior designer Margaret Berichon recently renovated her home on the North Coast. She lets us in on her process, and tells us what she did to create a space she loves living in.

Margaret has worked in the design industry for many years, and her current home is the fourth house she has built. This time, she enlisted the help of Paul Nel Architects who helped to interpret her ideas. The house, which is 450 square metres, was completed in just six months. “I opted to spend big on engineered oak floors as this is the main feature of the house, which is open plan,” she explains. “I also decided to go with fuller height windows to let in as much natural light as possible.”

When it comes to the colour palette, Margaret went with neutral shades. “I believe these colours won’t date,” she says. “I kept the same wall colour throughout the house.” In the kitchen, she decided not to use any handles. “This keeps the look very clean and simple,” she explains. The addition of floating oak shelves allowed her to display art and homeware, and gave the space a more personal touch.

With the North Coast climate in mind, high open truss ceilings were an obvious choice as they help to keep the north-facing house cool. “Because of the high ceilings, we also get a lot of natural light and didn’t have to use ceiling lights everywhere,” she says. Textured walls with smooth plaster add interest to the space, while Margaret says one of the home’s best features is the fireplace. “This has really become the heart of the home.”

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For Margaret, a must-have was a coffee station in the master bedroom. To make the most of the available space in her bedroom, she included open hanging rails and loads of drawer storage. She says the furniture throughout the home has been curated over time. The most recent piece she added is a hand-carved dining table, which is a real feature in the home.

When it comes to maximising small spaces without compromising on style and comfort, Margaret made use of pattern and texture. “A good example of this would be the use of a bold wallpaper in the guest toilet. Because of this you don’t notice the small space, but rather the textured paper which becomes the main feature.”

Throughout the home, Margaret has managed to balance functionality with her own personal aesthetic. She believes there is great merit to keeping things simple. “Don’t overcomplicate a design,” she advises. Details: www.bdesignstudio.co.za; 082 716 6914

Photographs: Michelle Reynolds Photography

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