The best advice a writer ever got is to write what you know, and designer and renovator Tammy Holmes took a leaf out of that book in launching her own interiors business five years ago. Her latest project is her new home.

Like many designers, Tammy’s journey began at a young age when she was exposed to her mother’s work.

“My mom was a designer, and I’ve always been influenced by the job she’s been on and helped her a little bit with those jobs,” she explains.

“I’ve always been very interested in interiors and it just felt like a natural progression from the business that I had before, which was a creative agency.”

Having previously been based in Johannesburg, Tammy and her husband decided that it would be best to raise their daughters in Cape Town.

“We are very nature loving, want to sort of hike on the weekends and be surrounded by beautiful places, and that was quite difficult in Jo’burg,” says Tammy.

The family then decided to visit the state and were instantly drawn to the house by the impeccable view of the lake. Despite the view, the house was a bit of an ugly duckling in need of a reface and Tammy decided that it was a project she was ready to tackle on. 

“My usual style is super bold, bright, lots of pops of color, but in this space I have gone for far more neutrals, lots of texture, so that it feels calming and peaceful.”

Repurposing furniture is a love of Tammys and is evident within her new home.

“I used our outdoor table and gave it a light and painted the legs and have now used it as our dining room table,” she explains.

“It’s really important to use those pieces that mean something to you in new, innovative ways.”

The entire renovation was done in five weeks, with a lot of time spent on the kitchen, Tammy’’s second home. 

“This kitchen had really good bones, we just needed to add some finesse and character and we did that through paneling every single cupboard in the whole kitchen, adding new backsplash tiles and the results are really beautiful.” 

From fine, herringbone detail downstairs, upstairs is the realm of a giant two and a half metre octopus.

“I’ve always loved this print and needed to find a spot for it somewhere in this home so I decided to make it a feature on the landing, it’s also a great reference to water, and it just shows that the house isn’t taking itself too seriously.”

It’s interesting to see what it is like designing your own home as an interior designer. 

“Decorating and designing my own home is so different to decorating a client’s home because the opportunities are endless, and there’s a lot of pressure to create the ultimate home,” she says, “because it becomes your showpiece and people come in and they know you’re a decorator, and so you almost want to throw everything into that one home and space.”

For Tammy and Alistair Holmes, moving here was the gift of a free childhood to their girls. And we are sure that the family will make wonderful memories in this home for years to come.


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