Thursday, May 23

Wealth of creativity

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Selim Kagee sings, paints, draws and lives near the mountains and forests where he walks to clear his mind

Selim Kagee sings, paints, draws and lives near the mountains and forests where he walks to clear his mind.

As a musical artist, Cape Town born-and-bred Selim Kagee has been described as “part Bocelli, a smidgen of Groban, with a slice of Pavarotti and a bead of Bublé”. He also owns a design and advertising studio.

“I paint and draw, and of course sing and stage spectacular live concerts.

“My days are spent at the design studio planning, strategising and directing my team as well as in meetings – too many I think,” says Kagee, who lives in Diep River with his wife Cavina and their newborn son Kai.

“I plan my week to involve singing training or learning repertoire for my new show.

“I live close to my office and love going for walks just before sunset, which allows me to clear my mind.

“I also try to read as much as I can, usually late in the evenings when it’s quiet.”

Why Diep River?

I grew up in the southern suburbs and I love the fact the mountain and forests are nearby, filled with lots of greenery and open space.

What changes have you made?

It needed a lot of work. We stripped everything. We opened the wall to the kitchen from the living room to allow more light and free-flowing space, renovated the two bathrooms, installed new floors, skirting boards, cornices and doors, and redid the kitchen.

It was a painful process, but worth it. In fact, I’ve forgotten the pain.

Did you work with an interior designer or architect?

I received a lot of advice from my builder uncle, Shaheen Pansari. He’s done extensive work on many high-end properties in Cape Town and has a wealth of experience.

The renovations were contracted to Shahied Fredericks and the kitchen was done by cabinet maker Babu Parker. I met Babu two years ago. He’s an Indian flautist who played in my show, and then I discovered his other talent – building kitchens.

My wife and I spent a lot of time looking for ideas on Pinterest, and fortunately we have similar tastes.

One of Kagee’s artworks on display. Picture: Tracey Adams/ANA

What dictates your decor style?

I like the Cape vernacular architecture style, a modern country feel. I’d say my style is a mixture of classic foundations accented by modern elements.

My style includes things that inspire me, relax me, or convey a sense of elegance and attitude.

What beautiful things in your home please you most?

The warmth of the wooden floors, the design of the kitchen with its timeless brass handles, my paintings and drawings, and the classic leather cigar armchair. Fresh flowers always help lift the mood.

With what do you and Cavina like to surround yourselves?

Books, music, flowers and art as it relaxes us when we come home from work.

Is it a shared vision, or does one have more influence?

It’s generally a shared vision, but I always keep the receipts in case we need to return something that doesn’t quite work.

What’s best about your home?

I love that we have good light in the living room, and it’s close to my office, my family and nature.

Are you happy with how it is right now, or do you have plans to make more changes?

I’m happy with where it is now, considering what it looked like when we bought it.

The entertainment room needs to be done and then the garden needs to be properly landscaped, but we’re holding off on that for the time being.

I would like to create more artworks and explore using some wallpaper prints to accentuate certain areas of the house.

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