Inside the home of South African designer Jenni Button

by Lori Cohen on Jan 18, 2016 in Interiors
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Image by Warren Heath

Image by Warren Heath

A hand-built studio-like space, tucked into a tree-filled mountain, proved to be the perfect home for South African fashion and interior designer Jenni Button to rediscover her passion for painting

"My ultimate dream was to have a New York loft in a wild forest setting and I never thought it would be possible. It's like a big art studio," says Jenni Button of the incredible loft-like space she discovered, and made her home, on mountain slopes in Hout Bay, Cape Town.


While the bottom floor is essentially one large, open space, surprise features such as this fireplace — which is found in the middle of the room — separate it into different living zones. Image by Warren Heath

When house hunting, the well-known South African fashion and interior designer was looking for a refuge where she could paint — Button studied fine art and has recently rekindled her romance with oil paint. She found it in this unique house with its immense proportions, hand-built by the previous owner a decade ago. "As I walked up that driveway I knew this is where I wanted to live," she recalls.

The gate, incidentally, sports a sign that warns visitors '4x4s only' — and reaching the house requires you to hike up 40 coarsely-cut stone steps. With its dominating reclaimed factory windows and simple silhouette, the home doesn't reveal much of what you can expect inside when you arrive.

The copper bowl and taps in the bathroom rest on a thick plank of natural wood. Set against the neutral studio-like space of the home, elements like these add texture and interest

The copper bowl and taps in the bathroom rest on a thick plank of natural wood. Set against the neutral studio-like space of the home, elements like these add texture and interest. Image by Warren Heath

It's hard to capture the sheer volume of the space, but the word 'cavernous' comes to mind — partly because of the fact that it is secreted into the side of a mountain, and partly because the building is enriched with stone features, exposed brick walls, and rough wooden floors.

This is an excerpt from the “A Life Aloft" article from the January/February 2016 issue of Perspective magazine.

To continue reading, get your copy of Perspective.

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