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Understated glory

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Mountain views and a comfortable sense of history draw visitors to Breede Valley restaurant and guest house.

At the foot of the Waaihoek Mountain in the Breede Valley, Bosjes Kombuis has been amazing visitors with its mixture of historic and contemporary architecture and design since it opened in March.

On a farm which has been in the Stofberg family for more than 100 years, the contemporary, light-filled Bosjes Kombuis was designed by Coetzee Steyn of Steyn Studio. With exposed trusses, the warmth of timber and brass and skylights revealing deep-blue skies etched above mountain peaks, the restaurant is understated, perfectly in keeping with its rural surroundings.

Contemporary interiors were created by interior designer Liam Mooney, who also decorated the guest house. Custom-made timber furniture, Lee Broom-designed chandeliers and mature trees in enormous pots bring the outdoors in. The overall effect enhances rather than competes with the magnificent views. 

The restaurant has high ceilings, glass walls and a wooden terrace for outside dining. The outside wall features a Delft-inspired mural designed by Cape Town-based artists Lucie de Moyencourt and Michael Chandler. The Bosjes Tree of Life is made up of 366 tiles and depicts the fauna and flora of the farm and its surroundings.

Mooney answered these questions for HOME.

What was your inspiration for the décor, style and design?

The development of the design style for the farm was something that evolved organically from conversations about the uniqueness of the area.

The mountain range behind the farm became the central inspiration for most of the design choices, from colours and materials to form and shape.

What dictates the decor style?

Relaxed, comfortable and inspired living were the driving factors for most of the decor decisions, from the fabrics used to the mix of old and new furniture.

It was also important for us that the design tell a story and communicate to our guests a bit of the narrative of the area as well as the history of the farm.

What things of beauty please you?

Well-made pieces that use honest materials. Finishes that are true to the materials. Patina and history.

What are the things you like to fill your space with?

Over consumption is a real problem and antithetical to the Bosjes experience. So editing the selection of products that we live with becomes more important, not just to an interior design, but also to a life well lived.

That said, using antiques and products that have had a life before you owned them is a wonderful way to continue with history and display reverence for what it takes to make and use products.

It’s important that what you fill your space with is well made, beautiful, thought-provoking and, hopefully, local.

How do you think your guests relate to the surroundings you have created?

The response has been overwhelming. One can’t help but be inspired by the Bosjes built environment.

I think visitors to Bosjes are most struck by a sense of calmness that resonates through most of the design decisions.

What are your favourite things about the property?

As you turn into the main gates your view is directly up into the craggy mountains. Their scale stops you in your tracks.

Coetzee Steyn’s chapel is a marvel of structural engineering and architecture and the experience of being inside it is truly unique.

What tips or advice would you offer readers who would like to recreate your gorgeous style in their own homes?

Take inspiration from what is around you – colours, forms, materials and so on. After that, when putting a space together, consider a layered space that mixes contrasting elements.

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