Bureaux_House_Furman
On both ends of the open-plan living-dining-kitchen space, light pours in through large windows. On the right, a set of built-in cupboards custom-designed by Klooftique (klooftique.com) keeps clutter at bay; the kitchen island was custom-made by the Klooftique joiners using the well-worn treads of an old teak staircase – upcycling at its finest.

Text Robyn Alexander
Styling Sven Alberding
Photographs Greg Cox

This restored, renovated and much-loved family home in Cape Town’s City Bowl is proof that beautiful materials and great design can stand the test of time.

Bureaux_House_Furman
The back garden and pool area features weathered wooden decking and a number of mature trees and shrubs, including species of Eugenia, Nandina and Ficus, and with the beautiful old palm tree forming a special point of focus.

‘We’ve owned this house forever,’ says Marianna Furman as she walks through her cleverly updated Victorian cottage towards the glass doors that lead onto the pool deck. ‘In other words, since the early 1990s,’ she adds, laughing. Around that time, Marianna’s husband Jarome was keeping himself very busy: not only had he recently met Marianna, he’d also bought this house – he was especially attracted to the mature trees on the one side of the property – and was newly responsible for running his family’s business, Klooftique.

Bureaux_House_Furman
Marianna Furman at the entrance to her home with Oliver, one of the family’s two Hungarian Pointers. The front of the house features all the typical elements of a heritage Victorian cottage, including a narrow, tiled veranda or ‘stoep’ and ornate cast-iron details in a style known in South Africa as ‘broekie-lace’ – which references the Afrikaans word for women’s underwear, ‘broekies’.

An icon of the Cape Town furniture-design scene, Klooftique was started by Jarome’s father; since Jarome took over the business, Marianna has also become involved, especially on the design side. Klooftique has had the same store premises in Kloof Street for more than 40 years and is renowned all over South Africa for its clean-lined, locally designed, handmade furnishings.

Bureaux_House_Furman
The TV lounge, living room, dining area and kitchen are all open-plan, creating a lovely sense of flow through the ground floor of the house. The cast-iron wood-burning stove in the foreground warms the entire open-plan space in winter, says homeowner Marianna Furman.

No surprise, then, that craftsmanship is important to the Furman’s – and that their dedication to making carefully crafted items in their business is immediately evident in their home as well.

Bureaux_House_Furman
On the first floor, a casual lounge area contains another wood-burning stove for winter warmth. The room leads out onto a compact balcony; all the furnishings are by Klooftique (klooftique.com).

Natural textures and materials are used everywhere here: the polished slate floors in the living spaces, for example, have the kind of patina that comes only from many years of use – and special care. Leather couches and beanbags beckon invitingly and wooden tables, shelving and counter tops gleam in the soft light.

As architect Tamem Richa very aptly puts it, ‘I love how the character of the family shines through in the house – they are warm and colourful people, and this is evident from the minute you step inside. This is a real “home” in every sense of the word.’

Bureaux_House_Furman
The Furman’s clean-lined and peaceful bedroom is situated on the ground floor and features one of the Victorian house’s original fireplaces. The bed is a Klooftique (klooftique.com) design and the Egyptian cotton bed linen is from Lala Linen (lalalinen.co.za).
Bureaux_House_Furman
The Furman’s bedroom has an ensuite bathroom with a sculptural standalone bath from Lavo Bathroom Concepts (lavo.co.za). The wooden chair in the bedroom area is an antique Regency Scroll armchair, which the Furman’s acquired almost 25 years ago.
Bureaux_House_Furman
In the first-floor bathroom, a compact Victorian-style bath stands out against a wall covered in decorative wall tiles from Moroccan Warehouse.
Bureaux_House_Furman
The Furman’s bathroom leads out onto a rustic outdoor shower area. The hammam towel is from Lala Linen (lalalinen.co.za).