Beauty spot: this bold Victorian home in Cape Town is a triumph of confidence in colour, peppered with nostalgic references

Photographs Greg Cox
Text Lori Cohen
Production Sven Alberding

“One of the reasons I decided to move was that I had run out of walls to put art on,” confesses Jocelyn Hellig. A new beginning deserved a new perspective. So the busy doctor asked her friend, interior specialist, and founder of design firm Establishment, Dawid Augustyn, to help her transform the faded centenarian from its role as a practical guest house into a home that would highlight its heritage while inviting in a sophisticated palette of energising colours and contemporary artwork.

“Having lived in an apartment previously, I was overwhelmed by how large the house was when I first bought it. But Dawid transformed it into a light, warm space with my beautiful things around me – I couldn’t be happier,” says Jocelyn.

The house is one of a series of semi-detached homes below the slopes of Lions Head Mountain in Cape Town. Jocelyn’s house was one of three operated together as a guest house. To free the property from its neighbours, she opted to paint it with a combination of charcoal and pink – a hint at the dramatic use of colour to be found inside. The timberwork was kept plain. “I felt the use of natural wood outside symbolised Jocelyn’s strength, which contrasts with her femininity represented by the pink and blue,” Dawid says.

The walls and ceilings of the entry hall are dipped in a deep rose shade, giving it a quick but dramatic makeover. The monochromatic colour palette draws one into the heart of the home – the living and dining areas.
Cabinet, Cote and Wrench; artwork, Weylandts; collection of artwork, all by Lucie de Moyencourt.
The first room next to the passage (which previously served as a bedroom) was converted into a study for Jocelyn. The traditional fireplace in this room was celebrated with an arch of white paint, while the rest of the room was cocooned with emerald green, covering walls, ceilings, and custom shelves in a verdant shade.
Sofa, Superbalist; the brass coffee table, Weylants; rug, Superbalist; sculpture (horse), Maxim; fluffy stool, Weylandts; office table and chair, Louw Roets.
The cool, collected atmosphere of the living and dining room combines vintage finds, modernist lighting, and lashings of South African art and furniture. This unique blend of old and new creates a space that is both contemporary and steeped in tradition.
Molecular Atom chandelier, by Aromas Del Campo; Miniforms Ozz lamp, Establishment; wooden pendant lamps, Establishment; table and bench chair, Pedersen + Lennard; chrome and leather chairs, vintage; sofa, Menu; the coffee table, Menu; cabinet, Jacobs Collection; drinks trolley, Gorgeous by Olivia.
The checked tiles of the entry hall and living room are echoed in the kitchen, creating continuity. “Jocelyn is a wonderful cook, so we wanted to create an in-dining kitchen that her guests could be part of the experience if they want to and could spill outside when the weather was nice,” Dawid says.
Table and chairs, James Mudge Furniture Studio.
The outdoor space takes a break from the Victorian style inside and playfully combines pink hues, flamingos, shell murals, and retro-inspired outside furniture by South African designer Haldane Martin.
Papa Sun Collection sofa, chairs, stools, and table, Haldane by Haldane Martin
In the entryway of the master bedroom is a layered mounted sideboard by designer James Mudge. “The bedroom is very simple, and this practical but sculptural piece fits Jocelyn’s love of art and her fun approach to life,” says David.
Sideboard, James Mudge Furniture Studio; Chubby chair, Establishment; Rosa sofa, Sofa Company
The Shaker-style bed, made of raw wood, is the focal point of this room and rests on the original unfinished wood floor. The quirky lamps offset the clean lines and simple bed design, which add personality and charm to the room without overcomplicating it.
Bed and bench, Houtlander; Chubby chair, Establishment; Rosa sofa, Sofa Company; rug, Hertex; side table, Lemon; lamps, Kitto lamps by Aromas Del Campo.
An elegant skirted bath sits symmetrically between the frosted doors, giving Jocelyn views over her balcony on the treetops when she soaks.
Freestanding bath and tapware, Victorian Bathrooms
Paintings, Claire Menck; bath and tap ware, Victorian Bathrooms.


The ensuite bathrooms were kept to a monochrome palette with a custom-made steel frame shower partition giving it a contemporary edge. Walls were kept in creamy tones to connect to the bedroom and ensure the space feels warm and nurturing.
Bathroom fittings and tapware, Victorian Bathrooms; pendant light, Establishment.
“I wanted the guest bathroom to be a slightly more masculine version of Jocelyn’s bathroom,” says Dawid. He installed a crittall-style shower screen with black subway tiles to make it feel modern, architectural, geometric, timeless and traditional.
Bathroom fittings and tapware, Victorian Bathrooms; mirror, Victorian Bathrooms.