If you’re looking for a little design inspiration, be sure not to miss tomorrow night’s episode (12 May @ 19:30pm on SABC 3) of Top Billing as John shows us how he transformed a 150m2 penthouse in CT into something extraordinary.
Read on to get the details of his transformation for more excitement….
John Jacob has been a leader in the South African design industry for 15 years.
John Jacob Zwiegelaar launched John Jacob Interiors in Cape Town in 2005. At 39, he has since made his name as a designer of unmistakable, highly bespoke, stylish interiors characterized by their attention to detail. To date he has clients in South Africa, the US and Europe, and his work includes not just the interiors of domestic and commercial projects, but private planes and a yacht and he’s coordinated new fabric ranges for a lifestyle brand called Studio H.
The De Oude Schuur building in the heart of Cape Town’s CBD on Bree Street is a 19th century building with a very New York feel to it. The space was originally offices that John transformed into a luxury penthouse through an extensive renovation process. The space was conceived of as a luxury 6 star hotel suit with amazing views of Table Mountain.
John's design intent was to create a soft, yet clean aesthetic, to ensure this he made use of recessed lighting details throughout the penthouse. The space is situated in an apartment building. All external details could not be touched therefore the external doors and windows were carefully proportioned and worked into the new design.
The space had some structural restraints in terms of load bearing columns that had to be worked into the layout of the new space. The renovation was conducted over a three month period. John makes use of extensive 3D modelling when conceiving his designs - he uses this as a tool to clearly explain and show the client every last detail of the overall design before the drawings get implemented on site, this illuminates the client making any changes in the construction phase due to not comprehending the design fully prior to commencement.
The penthouse has some unique design elements. The space is fully automated everything from blinds and curtains to the audio visual aspects of the design, which are all fully integrated. The space is open plan to create a very spacious feeling. All the large furniture pieces were custom designed for the space and proportionally over scaled to simplify the space and to make it feel larger.
The headboard of the bed was designed to run across the entire width of the room creating an over scaled sense of simplicity. The feature wall in the centre of the room was used to create a TV nook on the bedroom side and on the counter side of the lounge, it was clad in mirror with an over scaled artwork.
A TV is hidden in the server unit on the lounge side to avoid the space feeling to0 ordinary and expected. The fire place in the lounge was also designed to span the entire length of the lounge wall to create maximum impact. Bagged brickwork was left unplastered and illuminated to create a loft like feel and to add texture to the space. The fully automated curtains and blinds are back lit at the push of a button with a shear blind detail that drops down from behind a bulkhead and illuminates a concealed lighting to create softness.
Antique floor boards were installed to create depth and patina. Silk rugs, custom designed by John where used on top to create a sense of luxury. Bianco pearl marble was used in the kitchen leaving the floors rehoned, to create a seamless feel when the light bounces off them. Concealed lighting details were used extensively in the kitchen area to create a soft floating feeling. The island is also under lit carrying through the mood.
John designed a custom glass and steel cabinetry detail with concealed lighting to create depth and interest in the kitchen space. All the appliances have been cleverly integrated into the joinery to create a seamless feeling. The exposed appliances were carefully chosen to work with the overall feel of the space such as the black Miele ovens.
A wall to wall library unit was custom designed for the bedroom. This creates the opportunity to sit at the windows and enjoy the view. The open plan bathroom was created to add depth to the bedroom space and to avoid a constrained feeling within the space. Honed Bianco Pearl marble was used on the bathroom floor.
The built in cupboards have been cladded in mirror to create depth to the space. Concealed lighting has been used extensively in the bathroom to create ambiance. John wanted to keep the bathroom as light and airy as possible. The cosmetics storage units have been created to double up as the vanity mirrors. In keeping with the over scaled sense of luxury that the penthouse has to offer, the shower is generous in its dimensions. And allows for a seating bench creating extra comfort and convenience. John opted for matt black sanitary ware to create contrast against the white walls. The vanity lights were custom designed by John to create a pleasing proportion.
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