Tamara's Quirky Cape Town Home

Tamara's Quirky Cape Town Home

Lana Kenney
May 2, 2016
(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Name: Tamara and her children, Jonah and Sophia-Rose, and their Boston Terrier, Ollie.
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Size: 2583 square feet
Years lived in: 15 years; Owned

Vintage lovers will take great delight in discovering Tamara's charming collections spread throughout her home. Nostalgic kitchen scales, glass perfume bottles and china tea cups to name a few. Tamara has a creative eye and a real flair for curating vignettes and quirky nooks. Keepsakes and collectibles gathered over time, along with unique artworks, give her home character and reflect her warm personality.

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

When Tamara bought the house it looked quite different. The rooms were reconfigured and the main living/dining area was added on to create a lovely light-filled space for entertaining. The screed floors in the lower level add a modern feel to the 1930s house along with the extra tall windows.

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Tamara’s favorite spot is her bedroom and it’s easy to see why. Her cozy bedroom sanctuary is filled with interesting artworks and pops of color. A clever feature shelf behind the bed is covered in wallpaper and serves as a place to display family photos and knick-knacks.

The eclectic mix of old and new is both appealing and inviting. This is certainly a family home with style.

(Image credit: Lana Kenney)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic

Inspiration: I’m not inspired by any particular style, but definitely prefer a more homely, comfortable feel. I love the combination of old and modern and how they can work so well together.

Favorite Element: My bedroom is my sanctuary and is very reflective of me.

Biggest Challenge: I love art and there isn’t a lot of wall space in my house!

What Friends Say: My friends have seen the house change and develop over the years and feel the house reflects my personality.

Biggest Embarrassment: Hands down, the trampoline that dominates the garden!!

Proudest DIY: The chandelier in my bedroom. I wanted a new chandelier, but couldn’t find anything I liked in my price range so decided to make an interim plan. I bought a load of fake leaves, flowers and birds and wound them round the existing chandelier. It’s not a forever, but I’m pretty happy with it for now!

Biggest Indulgence: I have just bought a gorgeous custom velvet couch. I also splurged on security shutters for the lounge dining area. They were over budget, but worth it!

Best Advice: Don’t be afraid to use color. Add personal touches. Be aware of space (I realize this may sound strange as my house is so full of stuff!), but less is always more – don’t try and cram too much furniture into a room just because you have it. Rather, keep the pieces you really love. If you have a piece of furniture that is of sentimental value, but don’t like the color of the wood for instance, don’t be afraid to paint it – you’d be amazed at the transformation!

Dream Sources: I’m particularly loving scandi style at the moment. I wouldn’t say no to a bespoke piece from James Mudge or something quirky from Heath Nash. Nothing beats a fabulous bargain find at a flea market and I dream of owning a lamp by Willowlamp. The list is endless...



  • Blue in Jonah's bedroom – Plascon Heron’s wing
  • Charcoal in main bedroom – Plascon Smokey grey
  • Main wall colour - Plascon Corbusier
  • (Image credit: Lana Kenney)


  • Maroon rug: given to us
  • Chobe rug: bought at a shop in Canal Walk
  • Cupboard: custom made by local carpenter
  • Wooden chair: bought at Kloof Antiques & covered in Skinny laMinx fabric
  • (Image credit: Lana Kenney)


  • Blue velvet sofa: Custom made by Moorgas & Sons
  • Armchairs: the pair of retro chairs were bought from a friend in Johannesburg who sells vintage/retro furniture – her shop is called Venti Rosa
  • Rug: a wedding gift from Isfahan
  • Perspex coffee table: custom made
  • Pots above TV unit: They were bought from an artifacts dealer
  • Artwork above fireplace: a one of a kind by one of my very best friends, Nicky Ressel, given to me by my birthday
  • Tapestry scatters: Quite a few of these were actually made by my mom, the others were gifts and hand me downs
  • Trio of Ercol side tables: bought from Tonic
  • Bull platter: Mr Price Home
  • Piano: 2nd hand bought from a shop in Wellington
  • Artwork above piano: painted by my sister in law, Melanie Sutton
  • Vases on coffee table: the two matching ones, lim. I made the speckled one, the little one from an antique shop and the green vase from a shop at Kamersvol a year or two ago
  • (Image credit: Lana Kenney)


  • Dining table: Custom made by James Narramore
  • Dining chairs: bought at an antique dealership in Somerset West
  • Chandeliers: I seriously can’t remember!
  • Wooden sideboard: bought from a shop in Woodstock that has since closed down
  • Runner: gift from a friend who bought it a H&M in London
  • China collection: years and years of collecting from everywhere!!
  • Artwork next to window: painted by my sister in law – Melanie Sutton
  • Mirrors: Made for me by lim many years ago
  • (Image credit: Lana Kenney)


  • White pendant light: K Light imports
  • Round table: Boardmans
  • Grey chairs: Chair crazy
  • Black & white patterned tiles: WOMAG
  • Coffee and tea jars: Alessi
  • Kitchen Scales: vintage shops and markets
  • (Image credit: Lana Kenney)


  • Chandelier: DIY by myself!
  • Little Trees wallpaper: MissPrint
  • Artwork above chest of drawers: Tracey Lee Lynch
  • Grey tub chair: Belonged to my late grandmother
  • Patterned pillow: Mingo Lamberti
  • Turquoise chest of drawers: custom made
  • Curtains: custom made by Hayley Mazzullo
  • Bedside lamps: Woolworths
  • Bedside units: retro one was custom made, the other bought at a second hand shop
  • (Image credit: Lana Kenney)


  • Dotty Strip wallpaper: WallPaper Decor
  • Pink desk: custom made
  • White swivel chair: Chair crazy
  • Chest of drawers: bought at an antique shop that has since closed down
  • Chandelier: Weylandts
  • (Image credit: Lana Kenney)


  • Hanging light cluster : done by the electrician!
  • Bed & drawers: bed bought at a bed city and the drawers custom made
  • Sitting Lamp: Graeme Bettles
  • Desk: the melamine top was cut to fit on top of the trestle legs
  • Red swivel chair: chair crazy
  • Paintings: all hand painted by Jonah!

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    Thanks, Tamara!

  • Chest of drawers: bought at an antique shop that has since closed down
  • Chest of drawers: bought at an antique shop that has since closed down
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