Tessa & Craig’s Blend of Old and New in Cape Town

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Name: Craig and Tessa Harding, Ted the dog, and Bear Grylls the cat
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Size: 160 square meters (1,722 square feet)
Years lived in: 5 years; Owned

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Tessa and Craig’s down-to-earth home is full of warmth and character. Built in the 1940s, the semi-detached house has lovely original wooden floors and an interesting series of arches running down the central passage. The house was in a fairly good condition when they moved in, but they did renovate the kitchen. The most exciting part was removing the ceiling and exposing the timber beams, which created more height and space. They had Oregon pine shelves made to match the style of the home and then chose modern cupboards and countertops. The result is a wonderful space with a rustic yet modern feel.

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

The open plan living and dining areas are the heart of the home, opening up onto the small courtyard garden, which is Craig’s pride and joy. Craig is an avid gardener and enjoys growing herbs and veggies despite the challenge of living in a notoriously windy part of the city. Tessa works for Mungo, a South African housewares textile company, which of course has its perks. You’ll spot beautiful Mungo throws, towels and linens throughout their home.

Their style is eclectic, with many pieces collected over time and on travels. Tessa and Craig combine those finds with locally made furniture and quirky artwork, creating a vibrant and charming home.

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Our style is quite eclectic and a blend of old and new, in keeping with the heritage of the house.

Inspiration: We’re inspired to have a home that is uncomplicated, comfortable and user-friendly. A place where our family, friends, and pets can feel welcome.

Favorite Element: The light. We get the morning sun in our bedroom and the afternoon sun everywhere else. The original safe that is still working. There is a locked drawer it in that we can’t open. We wonder if it holds a fortune of diamond rings. We are to afraid to open it and shatter our dream!

Biggest Challenge: We live in a very windy part of the city and it plays havoc with our garden and anything we try to do outside.

What Friends Say: Warm, inviting and easygoing. Our friends comment on our wonderful dog first, then on to the house. 🙂

Biggest Embarrassment: Finding the perfect couch within our budget is proving to be more difficult and time-consuming than it should be.

Proudest DIY: Craig works hardest at his vegetable garden and he’s always proud of the fruits of his labors. For Tessa, it’s the pieces of furniture she has sanded, painted and recovered. A neglected wooden armchair found in our basement, restored and covered in Mungo fabric, is her favorite.

Biggest Indulgence: Our en suite shower has two shower heads! And an outside shower that gives you a peek of the mountain. And then there’s our secret wine cellar stash.

Best Advice: Restore and change what you already have before looking for something new. Let your home evolve over time, don’t try do it all in one go and don’t freeze it in time.

Dream Sources: We are lucky enough to be part of a family business making some of the most amazing textiles, so we’re kitted on that level. We really like to keep things local. Pedersen Lennard, Brak Furniture, and we’ve got a guy down the road who makes furniture out of reclaimed wood. We also pick up things at secondhand markets around Cape Town.



  • Living room trim: Plascon Winter White
  • Master bedroom: Plascon Tidal Pool
  • Guest bedroom: Plascon Twirl
  • Craig’s office blue: Plascon Electric Shock
  • Exterior grey: Plascon Geneva Morn
(Image credit: Lana Kenney)


  • Carpet: Oriental Carpets
  • Chair: Malawi Chairs
  • Scatter pillows: Mungo
  • Server: Mr Price Home
  • Set of four mini paintings: Gabi Lee via Dylan Thomaz Gallery
(Image credit: Lana Kenney)


(Image credit: Lana Kenney)


  • Ceiling light: Kloof St Antiques
  • Table and benches: R.O.A in Woodstock
  • Candle holders: antiques
  • Runner: Mungo
  • Chair: Chair Crazy
  • Lion Around print: Katrin Coetzer
  • Figure drawing: art class piece by Tessa’s mom
(Image credit: Lana Kenney)


(Image credit: Lana Kenney)


  • Mustard pillowcases: Mungo
  • Charcoal bedding: Mungo
  • Blanket: Juno by Mungo
  • Gold Moroccan pouf: Moroccan Warehouse
  • Wooden chair: Milnerton Market
  • Bedside lamp: Pedersen Lennard
  • Laundry basket: Zimbabwe Traders
  • Carpet: Oriental Carpets
(Image credit: Lana Kenney)


  • Bathroom cabinet: custom joinery
  • Hand towel: Willow Weave by Mungo
  • (Image credit: Lana Kenney)


    • Chair: Malawi Chairs
    • Anglepoise lamp: Eagle Lighting
    • Pillowcases: Mungo Pure Linen
    • Throw: Bakuba by Mungo
    • Wooden bench: Woodstock Traders
    (Image credit: Lana Kenney)


    • Tennis racket: Milnerton Market
    • Mirror: Milnerton Market
    • Bathroom cabinet: custom joinery
    • Basin: Classic Trading
    • Bird towel hooks: gift
    • Bathroom towels: Mungo
    (Image credit: Lana Kenney)


    • Trestle table: Lumer City (DIY)
    • Hanging airplane: local artisan
    • Anglepoise lamp: Eagle Lighting
    • Striped rug: Mr Price Home
    (Image credit: Lana Kenney)


    • Rug: Oriental Carpets
    • Pendant lamp: Eagle Lighting
    • Painting: Paula Beatson, an artist friend of Tessa’s mom—Tessa and Craig requested art as a wedding gift option.
    • Chair: Chair Crazy
    • Desk: custom-made
    (Image credit: Lana Kenney)


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    Thanks, Tessa & Craig!