A Collector’s Victorian Cape Town Cottage Inspired by the East

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Collector’s Victorian Cape Town Cottage Inspired by the East

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Square feet
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Name: Sarah Scott and her pugs, Lulu and Ozzy
Location: Sea Point East, Cape Town
Size: 1615 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years, owned

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The beautiful house you see today is a far cry from how it looked when Sarah, a designer, purchased it two and a half years ago. She had chanced upon the property when it was totally derelict and still in the very beginning stages of a renovation. But it was the incredible Victorian staircase that sold Sarah on this 1901 naval cottage…and made her put in an offer.

Sarah reconfigured the entire downstairs to maximize space and create a better flow. What used to be a bedroom became the open-plan kitchen, which was oriented around Sarah’s must-have Smeg gas cooker. French doors were added, which open up onto the enclosed front stoop, increasing the entertaining area on summer days. And the original tiny kitchen became Sarah’s studio.

Although it was the staircase that clinched the deal, it originally led to nowhere! Sarah had a bedroom and bathroom cleverly added into the pitched roof, along with essential storage space and a small laundry.

Although Sarah loves many different styles, she has a real passion for the East, and this can be seen throughout her home. In fact, much of the furniture and decor was gathered on travels to Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand. It’s her designer eye that makes all the unusual artwork and objects go together beautifully.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic! Colonial/Chinoiserie/Safari/Modern/Miami etc

Inspiration: Travel

Favorite Element: The staircase

Biggest Challenge: Fitting everything I love in a smaller space. I loooove my stuff, so it was very hard to decide what to keep and what to chuck – and where to put or store the things I love.

What Friends Say: “How on earth did you fit it all in!” And that my house has a lovely warmth 🙂

Biggest Embarrassment: I can’t get the crayfish smell out of my fridge…

Proudest DIY: My garden

Biggest Indulgence: My artwork collection… and my dining chairs.

Best Advice: Buy things that you love and create your own personal “look” rather than try and copy a style. Buy the best quality fittings, fixtures and appliances you can afford – it will save you in the long run.

Dream Sources: Morocco and Bali


Headboard — Guideline mnf
Artworks — Girl with Orchids series by Krisjan Rossouw
Side tables — @home
Wall lights — Ikea
Cushions — Fabric from Hertex, made up by The Fabric House
Chandelier — used to be in Sarah’s parent home, bought in Italy on a trip.
Art near doorway — Christiaan Diedericks

Table — An old pine table which used to be varnished red and lived outdoors. Dining chairs — Guideline mnf
Art — Krisjan Rossouw
Skull — bought in Bali

Large print — Weylandts
Rattan side and coffee tables — designed by Sarah’s mother and made up by the Natal Society for the Blind
Sofa — made by a local upholsterer in Durban when Sarah lived there.

Gas cooker — Smeg
Cabinets — designed and fitted by The Kitchen Studio
Ceramic skull — Rialheim

Headboard — made by a local upholsterer in Durban when Sarah lived there. Made from a curtain from Loads of Living.
Bedside lamps — Woolworths
Side tables — Melonwoods

Bath — Bathroom Bazaar
Chair — flea market in London total bargain

Thanks, Sarah!

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