A Scandi-Inspired Vintage + Modern Mix in Cape Town

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

Name: Lei and Dijon and their children, Lola and Harrison
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Size: +- 500 square meters (property size: 700 square meters)
Years lived in: Owned 1 year

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Lei and Dijon had been house hunting for awhile when they came across this place; they knew it was the one at first sight. Lei is an interior designer and retail consultant and instantly saw the potential. They signed the deal within 24 hours!

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

In just over eight weeks, with the help of a fantastic team, they transformed the house. Walls were knocked out to create more space and all the windows and most of the doors were replaced. They put in the oak flooring and refitted the bathroom and kitchen.

They love entertaining, and the heart of their home is the open-plan kitchen and dining area. It’s spacious with wonderful views onto the garden. It’s also practical because the kids’ play area runs alongside the kitchen. This is one of the elements that Lei loves about their home: That everyone can be doing their own thing and yet they’re all still connected because of the open plan flow.

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Lei and Dijon believe in choosing the right pieces over time as opposed to rushing off and buying everything at once. So there are still areas that need some attention. Future plans include tackling the outdoor area and putting in decking and stairs leading out from the living area. A covered trellis is also in the cards.

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Mid-century modern with a little side order of quirky, and a Scandinavian twist.

Inspiration: Our home is a story about us…things we have found in little towns for weekend breaks, art and photography from around the world, entwined with little quirky items found along the way. It’s a collection of our life together and all the things and people we love.

Favorite Element: View of the treetops from our bedroom window and the view of Table Mountain from our lounge.

We lived in Sea Point before, so suddenly being surrounded by nature and trees has been magical—although Dijon will complain about sweeping up the leaves the whole time!

Biggest Challenge: Renovating the entire house and moving with two kids under the age of two! Every time we unpacked a box they would repack it or visa versa.

What Friends Say: No clue! Think they would say it reflects who we are as a couple, as individuals and as a family.

They also love that we still have a red door like we had at our last house… guess that’s become our little thing.

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Biggest Embarrassment: The fact that we have massive folding doors onto our garden but haven’t yet built the deck and stairs going out!

Proudest DIY: Painting the garden fence and hanging a massive amount of pictures!

Dijon would say his makeshift “kiddy fence” that stops the kids falling from the open lounge doors into the garden.

Biggest Indulgence: The oak flooring throughout….DON’T regret it though.

Best Advice: Do things properly the first time… if you rush it or try to cut corners you’ll end up with a result you’re not happy with and will probably end up redoing it anyway.

Be realistic with your budget and prioritize the most important things that will impact your home life.

Dream Sources: It’s hard to say… half the fun is going to a small town for a weekend getaway and returning with an old chair or trawling second-hand shops for those special finds. That’s a huge reason why our home is still fairly unfinished in terms of furnishings…it’s about finding and sourcing things along the way and adding them into the story. And I love looking at local South African designers for inspiration and I will always pop into Vamp to see what they have.

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)
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Having a red door has become a family tradition. The charcoal paint is Silk Aluminium from Plascon. (Image credit: Lana Kenney)

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Thanks, Lei & Dijon!