Design that'll stand the test of time in a characterful Cape home

Tour a restored, renovated and much-loved family home in Cape Town's City Bowl


Walking through her cleverly updated Victorian cottage towards the glass doors that lead onto the pool deck, Marianna Furman says: "We've owned this house forever." She laughs. "In other words, since the early 1990s."
Around that time, almost 25 years ago, 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 by the mature trees on one side of the property - and was newly responsible for running his family's business, Klooftique.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.
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.No surprise, then, that the Furmans' dedication to carefully crafted items is immediately evident in their home as well. 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.
The now-ubiquitous mantra "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" has been part of the ethos at Klooftique since Jarome first took over. Everything gets used or reused, so that we can be as sustainable as possible," says Marianna."I'm the mom who always has all the kids in her house," says Marianna. Her sons' bedrooms are on the first floor, which was added two years ago, and their "lair" includes their spacious bedrooms, both of which have lovely views up towards Table Mountain, plus a bathroom and a casual living area where Gregory's musical equipment is permanently set up for practice. He's a talented musician, says his obviously proud mother. The furnishings in the lounge space can be easily moved around so that the boys' friends can sleep over on mattresses.
So there's no question that there was a need for some extra space in the form of that additional floor. "Back [in the 1990s] it was a tiny Victorian cottage, and we've since added on to the rear of the house and, most recently, built on the extra first floor," says Marianna. "We've had such great help with all of it from our architect, Tamem Richa, who helped us make changes in a way that was sensitive to the heritage of the house and met with council approval."
The Victorian facade has been kept intact.
The renovations and additions have also included ensuring that there is plenty of storage space. Marianna "loves order", she says, and takes care that this much-loved home is not "overwhelmed by stuff". And what "stuff" there is also needs to be easily accessible, because "all the precious things we love - serving platters and cutlery and so on - are in constant use", she says.
As architect Richa 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."
Styling credit: Sven Alberding/

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