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Oceans of comfort

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The sea off Camp’s Bay was John Sarrimanolis’s inspiration for the decor and design of his inviting villa

A businessman with family roots on the Greek island of Crete, John Sarrimanolis has lived mostly in Joburg, and describes himself as a people’s person with a passion for owning property.
“Cape Town, often voted the most beautiful city in the world, was the perfect property investment choice,” he says.

“The resounding need for tourists and holiday makers requiring that something special – private and luxurious – cemented my decision to own and operate a villa in Camps Bay.”

Why Camps Bay?

I was transferred from Joburg and opened a branch for the company I worked for in Green Point 25 years ago, and while there I fell in love with Cape Town, especially Camps Bay. I decided one day I would like to own a property and live in Cape Town. When the time arrived, when I could see my vision manifesting, my wife Sonja and I began house hunting. We also wanted to make our investment work for us so the location was of great importance.

Camps Bay is a world-renowned holiday destination and that’s what we were looking for.

When we saw the villa, we fell in love with the architecture as well as the perfect position – and of course the amazing view. 

The pool in front of the villa. Picture: Supplied

Did you work with an architect and/or interior designer?

It was a mammoth task trying to orchestrate the renovation from Joburg and very time consuming, as we had to fly down regularly to check on progress. We had a project manager, but as you can well imagine photographs don’t always help; one really needs to see the progress. 

What things of beauty please you?

Nature, like the vast magnificent Atlantic seaboard and the strength of Table Mountain. Every time we come over Kloof Nek and catch that first glimpse of the ocean and its beaches, it is always an inspiration. When it’s stormy, the colours of the ocean are amazing.

What is your inspiration for the decor style and design?

My wife and I really enjoy bouncing ideas off each other and creating beautiful spaces in which people feel comfortable enough to relax. 

We named the house Villa Galazzio – Galazzio in Greek means “light sea blue” – and decided to use the colours of the ocean as the backdrop, with the sage greens and the white froth off the waves being such a relaxing and beautiful mix.

We took a fresh look to bring the architecture back to its former glory. 

The kitchen and dining room open up to an outdoor eating area. Picture: Supplied

What dictates your decor style?

The colours we like always reflect a sense of well-being and we do enjoy showcasing nature in our interiors. Most importantly, we like to surround ourselves with comfort.

What are your favourite items about the property?

The strength of our property is the villa itself and the magnificent uninterrupted view of the Camps Bay seaboard and Table Mountain, as well as Lion’s Head. The fact that Victoria Road with all the restaurants and shops, and the blue flag Camps Bay beach, are within walking distance gives it even more appeal. 

What tips or advice would you offer readers?

When creating a space for people to enjoy, it’s important to make sure they have a good night’s rest. So quality beds and linen are of the utmost importance. Ensure your personality isn’t in anyone’s face; there is nothing worse than knick-knacks everywhere shouting “I love cats” or “pigs are my thing” or “I’m passionate about orange and pink”. Keep the space simple and allow your guests to inject their personality into the space for the time they are there.

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