A South African Chef's Quirky & Colorful Loft

A South African Chef's Quirky & Colorful Loft

Lana Kenney
Jul 14, 2017

Name: Mynhardt Joubert and Ian Engelmohr
Paarl, South Africa
Size: Roughly 1776 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, renting

This quirky and colorful loft space in Paarl is home to a well-known chef and his partner. No one had lived here before — it was previously an open gallery space that belonged to the shop downstairs. And when Mynhardt moved in three years ago, much needed to be done. There was only a basin in the guest bathroom and no other plumbing, which was a challenge for the first three months to say the least! But being able to work with the owner, Amor Strauss, and develop the space together gave Mynardt the opportunity to add his own personal stamp.

The bathroom was updated, and then a kitchen created and they also added dry wall sections to create a pantry and laundry. Today you'll find a lovely open-plan kitchen and dining area where Mynhardt hosts dinners, media launches and all sorts of foodie events. The kitchen leads into a spacious living area with comfy sofas, a wood-burning stove and beautiful arched church-like windows. Throughout the loft you'll spot interesting decor details and upcycled pieces, which creates a real feast for the eyes.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: My style is eclectic. I love to renovate and upcycle old pieces. I love colour on colour and pattern on pattern.

Inspiration: I love South African design and South African art and heritage. Inspiration comes from all over and handcrafted pieces and objects are probably my favorite.

Favorite Element: Love the fact that my building sits right across from a train station so you get a true feel and sound and vibe of South Africa. It is very vibrant and we are lucky that it is quite safe. I also love the movement of the light through the house at different stages of the day.

Biggest Challenge: There are very few cupboards and space for cupboards so one has to live and make do with only the necessary. It does have the added benefit that one accumulates very little clutter.

What Friends Say: My friends love the house and my door is always open. It is a safe haven for a lot of people and they are very comfortable in it. The party is always here!

Biggest Embarrassment: The guest toilet has got a very low window on the floor and you can look down on the courtyard from the loo (and vice versa).

Proudest DIY: My recycled doors that act as room dividers.

Biggest Indulgence: Fresh flowers, fresh flowers, fresh flowers.

Best Advice: If you are comfortable in your space most other people will be too, make sure that beauty also has function.

Dream Sources: Fleur le Cordeur, Wood for Africa, Patat Design Ceramics


Main dining table — It was actually used in a cooking series Mynhardt took part in. It was donated to them.
Replica Ghost chairs — On loan from a friend who owns an event company
Round place mats — Handmade by Me
Wine glasses — Pep Home
Candelabras — made by Mynhardt's father
Fake lawn carpet — originally used for a shoot
Low wooden chairs — made out of wine barrels by Wood 4 Africa
Linen table cloth — Fleur le Cordeur
Table & benches — Wood 4 Africa
Enamel table/desk — Bought in Riebeeck Kasteel
Bentwood chairs — Found by Mynhardt's dad in Lesotho
Gold plates — Theo Kleynhans
Blue ceramic wall — Two painted plates were bought in Russia, the old school ones are from his mom, some from Wonkiware and some by Patat Design Ontwerp.

Sofas — Coricraft
Wooden chairs — Wood 4 Africa
Door frames — second-hand shop in Wellington
Union Jack table — picked up from a second-hand shop in the area
Throw on single bed — Fleur le Cordeur
Umbrellas — They were used for a friend's wedding where they suspended them from the ceiling.
Malawian cane chairs — made locally
Blankets — from Lesotho
6 Ceramic plates on wall — Patat Design Ontwerp

Vintage eiderdown quilts — Second-hand shop
Navy bedspread — made by Mynhardt's sister
Ladder shelf — Mr Price Home
Bath tub — On Tap
Blue wooden table — second-hand shop
White cabinet — IKEA
Hanging plants — Woolworths
Two large lamps — Belong to the loft owner, they used to be in the shop below and Mynhardt asked if he could use them upstairs.

Thanks, Mynhardt and Ian!

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