An Art Lover’s Sunny Garden Flat in Cape Town

updated Apr 30, 2019

An Art Lover’s Sunny Garden Flat in Cape Town

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Jean Mortlock
Location: Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa
Size: 947 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned

When Jean bought this apartment three years ago, not much needed to be done at all. Unfortunately, just one year later the apartment flooded — not once but twice — and all within two months! All the floors, cabinets and carpets had to be ripped out and replaced. Luckily, this meant Jean got to choose new paint colors, rugs and flooring, which made up for the inconvenience.

Jean is a photographer by trade and has been working in the advertising industry for a while as an art buyer and producer. Only recently has she decided to take the leap, follow her heart and branch out into the interiors and art industry. Judging by her home and Instagram feed alone, this is a field that Jean will excel in.

Jean’s home is awash with color, artwork and sentimental items collected on travels, all of which have a story and personal meaning. This has created a home with a heart and a space that feels very welcoming.

Next on her home to-do list is replacing the kitchen backsplash with interesting tiles that she’s has been collecting from various countries. And change out all the light fixtures, which she feels are far too drab and boring.

“Anything bright! I love color, texture and pattern, especially all combined!” This is Jean’s secret to creating her dream home.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic, colourful, sentimental with a twist of quirky

Inspiration: My home is a story about me, and my travels. Color, pattern, travel, cultures and countries inspire me.

Favorite Element: My blue and white striped couch, my paintings of Frida from Mexico and my framed Indian soldier from Udaipur, India.

Biggest Challenge: Trying to fit everything in, without looking cluttered. I still have boxes of artwork that still need to go up…

What Friends Say: That they want to move in! I’m always told that everyone loves my space as there are no design rules, ample colour and that it feels homely, which is why I often play hostess as I love to entertain, too. As a good friend once said, everything in my house has a home. Even the littlest belonging has its space on the shelf or in a drawer.

Biggest Embarrassment: Nothing comes to mind as all homes come with stories to tell. I should probably get some lovely flowing cotton curtains for my lounge. I do hate anything being out of place, so it drives me mad always making sure that everything looks good. I am not relaxed in a messy space…

Proudest DIY: I haven’t really done much DIY as I pretty much moved right in. The only thing I have done is paint the wall in the kitchen with blackboard paint and establish the garden.

Biggest Indulgence: My blue and white striped couch

Best Advice: Shop with your heart and always buy items that you love for their meaning to you and not the placement in your home. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour and there are no rules. Use a professional picture hanging service to hang your artwork. Buy prints or postcards and frame them as opposed to expensive artworks.

Dream Sources: Roadside stalls, markets, foreign countries, other peoples neglected items, bartering with friends, hand-me-downs.


Lamp and shade — Mr Price Home
Bedspread — Nosy Komba Island, Madagascar
Bedside table — A very precious and unique antique from the Edwardian era passed down to me from my great grandmother
Basket — Oranjezicht Farmers Market
Wall hooks — Builders Warehouse
Frida Kahlo — Painted by Maria in Merida, Mexico.

Turquoise stool — Found in a rubbish dump, Jean took it home, and painted it a bright colour
Cushions — Coricraft
Throw — Mumbai, India
Lamp and shade — Mr Price Home
Wooden animal head — Eloff Gallery, White River
Vintage mirror — Passed down to Jean from her grandmother

Table and benches — Made by a carpenter in Woodstock that Jean commissioned
Bookcase/shelf — Made by a carpenter in Woodstock that Jean commissioned
Babushkas — bought on the street in St.Petersburg in Russia.
Round silver vase — Indonesia
Big basket on floor — Maputo Central Market, Mozambique

Striped couch — Coricraft
Cream couch — Coricraft
Coffee table — Passed down to Jean from her grandmother
Throws — Mexico and Bolivia
Cushions — Coricraft, Skinny laMinx and Mr Price Home
Cupboard — Inherited from family friends who moved to Portugal
Silver tray — Coricraft
Striped black & white rug — Mr Price Home
Artwork and ceramic above vase — Michael Taylor
Art above sofa — Far left; an acrylic from Michael Taylor, Olive leaf: Lorraine Loots, Frida Kahlo: purchased from Maria in Merida, Mexico

Thanks, Jean!

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