Liam and Jan Tomlin bought a Victorian semi-detached house on the slopes of Signal Hill. They spent a year inventing their dream. Now the double-storey is an elegant townhouse , recently featured in both House and Leisure and Visi magazines with a hi-tech kitchen that would be equally at home in a restaurant. Recent Chef of the Year award winner Liam Tomlin is a South African foodie icon. He runs four popular Chefs Warehouse restaurants in the Cape, and is due to open another, Jewells at Spice Route in Paarl end of May 2019. He also oversees the kitchens of Singita’s 13 game lodges, (we recently completed an installation of our steel products at Singita Castleton lodge).
The heart of this Cape Town home is a massive black standalone Italian stove that’s almost an artwork. It’s custom made in Florence, in bronze, copper, steel and iron. He has put a lot of thought into the kitchen layout, a place where friends can gather, chat and drink. The focus of these gatherings is the Gullo stove that acts as an island linking the kitchen with the living area. The previously dark kitchen of this revamped 105-year-old semi now has loads of natural light, which enters the room through a long expanse of steel-framed glass panels curving from the work area into the ceiling, custom designed by Larry using Forman Brand steel section exclusive to Metal Windows. It’s a brilliant solution that gives this unashamedly industrial space an appealing conservatory-like feel, the result is spectacular.
The space flows from the new steel & glass wine cellar (custom designed by Larry) tucked away under the stairs, near the front door – through large scale steel & glass French doors to a large outdoor entertaining area at the back. Here a collection of lovingly curated items alongside a fire pit, wide sofas, potted citrus trees and a long well scrubbed table reside cozily against a backdrop of Table Mountain and Lions’ Head.
In the living space on the ground floor, one wall is lined with shelves for their 40-year collection of books. Mostly cookery and travel, and coffee-table sized. Liam Tomlin e has written three cookbooks himself – and another is in the pipeline. Interior steel & glass French double doors, with fixed pane side lights, create a separate TV cum guest room.
The three compact bedrooms upstairs were converted into one large bedroom and bathroom area, all open plan and leading on to a new deck overlooking the entertaining area. At the top of the stairs, sliding Steel & Glass doors with a locking mechanism create a secure “safe room” space. Unfussy decor muted natural colours and clean-lined simplicity prevail in the bedroom area. The minimalist four-poster is made of blond wood, like the bedroom floor, which makes an inspired juxtaposition with the open-plan bathroom’s black and white floor tiles.
Custom designed black Steel & glass panels are configured to “enclose” various areas of the bathroom. An opaque steel framed glass panel separates the toilet area. The large double shower is enclosed on three sides by Steel & glass panels creating a clean industrial feel opposite the rich dark wood of the dressing room cupboards.
This house tells a story about the people who live in it, reflecting what the couple both enjoy. Food, wine, travel, books, art and entertaining are all apparent hobbies. What is clear though is their relationship as a priority. Beside the rich and inspiring spaces they have created areas of privacy, calm and luxury exclusively theirs.
Joinery & cabinetry by Cape Customs https://www.capecustoms.co.za/