LIFESTYLE: Blue-sky living at Kim Stephen’s Cape Town home

LIFESTYLE: Blue-sky living

Huge folding glass doors turn interior designer Kim Stephen’s South African home into an extension of her garden. Add a pool, playground and a view of Table Mountain for outdoor living at its spectacular best

Kim and the family’s two golden retrievers, Buster and Bella, enjoy some shade in the ‘indoor-outdoor’ room. The folding glass doors can be fully opened or closed as required, and the area includes both a dining and lounging space. The swimming pool is on the other side of the railing

London-based interior designer Kim Stephen, whose accolades include being nominated for the Andrew Martin Interior Designer of the Year Award, splits her time upscaling houses for clients in London and – the setting for her own childhood – South Africa. Her recent projects range from a family home in Cobham, Surrey to a compact apartment in London’s Knightsbridge.

Jamie playing on the wooden jungle gym – which was custom-built by Cape Town company Jungle Mania – in the garden, with a backdrop of Table Mountain. The slide leads directly into the swimming pool

Her Cape Town home, which she shares with her husband Graham, who works in brand licensing, their children Jamie, 13, and Anna, three, plus dogs Buster and Bella, is a masterclass in contrasts. Sophisticated yet playful pieces are mixed with quirky finds and glamorous touches, all set against the majestic backdrop of Table Mountain and punctuated with jewel shades and bursts of pattern.

At the far end of the uncovered, narrow terrace that runs along the front of the house, a tepee acts as Jamie’s reading retreat. Visit for more tepee inspiration, and for striped outdoor rugs and cushions, try The terrace features four huge grey planters (one seen here) with lime trees in them

The house, originally a simple A-frame which took three years to renovate, gave Kim the opportunity to push her creative skills in a new direction. ‘When I’m working in London, I gravitate towards muted tones. This was a chance for me to be creative without having to work to a client brief,’ she says. ‘It allowed me to experiment with colour.’

For black and brass lighting, try, and for a similar wooden dining table, visit Find brightly coloured Eames chairs at

Instead of being intimidated by the acres of lush greenery and jaw-dropping scenery around her, Kim designed the house to work in harmony with its surroundings. ‘I used nature as an anchor for the bold colours I wanted to incorporate. The citrus shades became grounded when interspersed with the warm woods and lush greenery.’

The three-seater sofa is in the lounging section of the ‘indoor-outdoor’ room; for a similar sofa, see The cushions were made using fabric bought at the market in Saint-Tropez. The vintage botanical illustrations are from; for similar, try the ‘Leaf Photogram’ framed collection of prints at

Kim’s love of contrasts extends to the use of materials: terrazzo flooring is paired with raffia wallpaper in the entrance hall, and weaved furniture sits alongside bold patterned fabrics. ‘I wanted to use materials that complemented each other but that are different enough to create interesting focal points,’ says Kim.

Kim’s daughter Anna in the elegant entrance hall with its standout stairway. Key decor elements here include grey raffia wallpaper – Textures Végétales by the French wallpaper manufacturer – and terrazzo-tile floors, a tall potted palm tree and large-scale floral curtains. For a similar curtain fabric, try

The monochrome scheme continues upstairs with this freestanding pewter bath and patterned tiles. For a similar bath try and for tiles, visit

For more information on Kim’s designs, visit

Shop the look 

Mix sleek lines with bursts of colour

Chair, £370, Toulouse tile, £8.99, Pot, £6,

Cushion, £160, Outdoor rug (160cm x 230cm), £131, Wall chart, £18, Cushion, £75,

Side hustle

A good way to give your hall a warmer welcome? These wooden benches and tables will brighten up even the smallest of entrances (they’re practical, too) 

CLockwise from top left: Clock, £100, Oak and white-painted bench, £150, ‘Log’ side table (on top), £198, Mosaic side table (on top), £175, Mug, £3.99, Spoon, £129 for a 16-piece set, Faux plant, £68, Basket, £39, Handrail bench, £919, Glasses, £125, Wood and black-painted bench, £299, Cushion, £15, Dog bowl, £29, Trainers, £49.99, Acacia bench, £40, Throw, £50, Tiles, £45.37 per sq m, Wall painted in Shrimp Shell, £28 for 2.5 litres, 

Get minted 

Give your space a mojito-tinted update with the hue of the moment. Cool, calming and perfect for summer, use it as an accent shade or a wall-to-wall block colour 

This room has been painted in Soft Teal by For a similar pendant light, go to; sells bedding in shades of green

Vases, from £12.99 each, Diffuser, £99, Cabinet, £2,098,

Cushion, £179, Sofa, £2,095, Bed, £549, Rug, £249,

Side table, £945, Pendant light, £125, Desk lamp, £165,


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