House Tour: K & R’s Seaside Retreat

published Mar 5, 2009
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Post Image
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Name: K & R’s
Location: Kalk Bay, Cape Town
Type: Apartment
Size: 900 sq.ft.
Years lived in: 7 months, renting.


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

R & K have created a peaceful retreat in the beautiful town of Kalk Bay. It feels like a weekend getaway, yet they live here full time. They enthusiastically speak of the inspiration they find around them every day — from the stunning location, the beautiful mountain and sea views, the indigenous succulents, the Main Road shops filled with clutter, the colorful boats in the harbor and their beloved beach holidays in Mozambique.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


It comes at no surprise then that they don’t own a television, with such visual stimulation around, who needs a TV! Not only does this nest inspire the creative duo, but it also provides a wonderful setting for R’s art and foodie K’s recipe trials. This is a soulful and functional home, where the owners work and play in the surroundings they adore. They love rummaging through the second hands shops down the road and majority of items they own, have been around the block a few times. The pair are not constricted by the intended functions of an item either, they recently created a wall lamp from a toilet towel dispenser! Creativity runs in K’s family and his parents craftsmanship is visible throughout the apartment. They dream of being on holiday permanently and to travel without end, but with a little retreat like this every day feels like a holiday!

AT Survey:

My/Our Style: a mix of old and new, vintage and modern, hand-me-downs. We’re probably modernists at heart, but a love for bargain finds, funny toys and bright clutter always seems to take over.

Favorite Element: the balcony (and the view), the wooden floors, high ceilings and open plan living space. And the record player.

Biggest Challenge: the tiny kitchen and minimal cupboard space.

What Friends Say: A friendly, homey weekend retreat.

Biggest Embarrassment: A strip of paisley-patterned tiles in the kitchen

Proudest DIY: Painting most of the walls white. When we first moved in the walls were painted yellow, green and peach respectively

Biggest Indulgence: Stacks of 80’s LP’s

Best advice:When “collecting” things for your home, let it be an organic process.

Dream Source:Original pieces from the International Style and modernist movements by designers such as Alvar Aalto, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Arne Jacobsen and auctions.


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


Kitchen Hardware: Banks (industrial catering supply shop in Cape Town), some IKEA items from trips abroad, a modernist Arzberg set from a friend who emigrated, crockery from Vietnam, cheap

Kitchen furniture: Gas stove is from local furniture store, and the white cubic kitchen shelving units were made by K’s dad

Other furniture: Dining Room: The table is a family heirloom and the old SAP (South African Police service) pigeonhole shelving unit was bought on auction.
Desk: Trestle and laminate table top from the local hardware store
Bedrooms: two 1950’s arm chairs on loan from a friend who’s a serious retro furniture collector, a small linen cupboard built by K’s dad.
Other: 1950’s sleeper couch “on loan” from the same collector friend, a bookshelf from my grandmother, naval flags from a local antiques dealer

Accessories: Thrift shops, R5 stores in Woodstock, antique stores, markets in Mozambique,

Lighting: Original art deco fittings were in the house when we moved in. A collection of all-white wall and ceiling lamp fittings of different shapes and sizes are used upside-down as lamps throughout the house. An art-deco desk lamp from Kalk Bay Trading post. Turned a red towel dispenser into a wall lamp

Paint: Standard white paint from the local hardware store

Rugs and Carpets: A grass mat from a local market in Inhambane, Mozambique

Window Treatments: Made by K’s mother

Beds: Hand-me-down

Art:Mostly by R, but some other pieces bought directly from Cape Town-based artists such as Frank van Reenen; wooden carvings from Mozambique


Thanks, K & R!