House Tour: Nataniël's Blank Canvas

House Tour: Nataniël's Blank Canvas

Liezel Strauss
May 21, 2009

Name: Nataniël
Location: Irene, Gauteng, South Africa
Occupation: Singer / Author / Food Writer / Entrepreneur / Ambassador of Child Welfare - South Africa
Type: House
Size: 2,300 square feet
Years lived in: 4

Entering Nataniël's box is a magical experience, the all-white interior is only the first layer of many dimensions. It came as a surprise to find this creative prodigy in a neutral nest, but his home is his canvas, his sanity — a place to breath and rejuvenate, away from his colorful life in the public eye.

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He really lives 100% clutter free with only the bare essentials on show, but when it's production or entertainment time an impressive collection of accessories flow from the (all white!) cupboards. There's a lot to be said about the calming effect of this home, it soothes and revives, whilst mirroring the image of it's owner — a soulful chameleon, seamlessly. For more of Nataniël's creations see : Nataniël.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

What are your hopes and dreams?:
Hopes: To work and be on stage for as long as I can breath. I will grow old in a day if I have to take things slower or sit around. I try to stay in good health so that I will be active until my last day on this planet.

Dreams: That I would one day live in a country ruled with wisdom, kindness and insight. We have become a sloppy and aggressive nation. And we live in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

My/Our Style: Simple. And hopefully contemporary. I like new things, things that have just been designed

Inspiration: Productivity. I work in my house, run two companies, write and rehearse shows and have meetings here. I cannot be attacked by possessions when I start my day. My house is like a blank canvas and my life starts every morning. I have many things in storerooms and can change the look of the entire house in an hour. Cushions, rugs, artworks, cutlery and crockery and linen in many colours and styles are neatly packed away and get used when I'm entertaining or just in the mood. But when the party's over, everything goes back into the storerooms so my brain can work again.

Favorite Element: The garden. The house is basically a little white box in the middle of a tiny forest. I bought the property because of the trees. And the location. Silence is everything. It was an ugly little 50's house. I knocked out every wall that wasn't holding up the roof and painted everything white. Now I'm in heaven.

Biggest Challenge: To shop less. In an minimalist sort of house there is a limit to storage. I am now at the stage where I have to get rid of something old everytime I buy something new. I have another house in the Cape, much busier and colourful and homelier than this one. When I really, really want something but cannot live with it every day, it goes to the Cape house.

What Friends Say: Some find it peaceful, especially the ones who stay for a few days, my house is not about the look (there's very little to see!), it's about the peace and quiet. The minute you walk through the front gate you're away from the world. Other friends complain because none of my furniture is really comfortable. I buy a chair because I like the lines, not because of how comfortable it is. And a few friends complain that they can never see anything when we have dinner. All my lights are on dimmers and are always very low. And there are always a million candles burning. That's how we stay young.

Proudest DIY: None. Never had it. Never will. I bake cakes and I cook elaborate meals, but I don't fix the house.

Biggest Indulgence: Books. Thousands of them. But they are behind doors, in cupboards and drawers, in cases and boxes. Firstly because light damages books and paper, and secondly because I find the whole lot too colourful, it will drive me mad if I have to see them the whole time.

Best advice: Look at everything out there and buy what YOU like. I have never paid attention to trends or fashion or the latest colours, etc. I live the way I want to or need to. And I love coming home, my house is my favourite place in the world. The get rid of something the second it bothers me, life is too short to live in a place that does not soothe your soul.

Resources:

Kitchen Hardware: : Everything in my house, furniture, bathroom, kitchen units, shelves, drawers were designed and made by Terence Bacon of Innovations, Johannesburg
I don't have time to shop around. I know what I want and he makes it.
Dining rooms chairs were found in a catalogue.
That's it.

Accessories: : I have, many, many beautiful white objects. They were bought all over the world. They are the first things to catch my eye when I walk into a shop or gallery. Some are on display, some are in storage, I change them all the time.

Lighting: : Lighting in the dining and sitting room came from the set of my stage show, WAX.

Painting jobs: : Chasmere by Plascon. White. Completely washable. I have eleven godchildren.

Art: My two favourite artists: Catherina de Bliquy (I think I have 16 paintings) and Chris Diedericks. And a few others.

Other: The desk in my office I had made years ago, long before I decided to stop using wood. I will never have a tree killed again.

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Thanks Nataniël!

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