CAPE COD Deconstructing Architecture and Design Styles

The White House - Shoot my House - Yserfontein
The White House - A gorgeous example of Cape Cod architecture.

We provide locations for film and stills shoots, and as such need to emulate many of the styles that are popular overseas or at least find essential elements of them within the houses that we represent in order to sell the style. A thorough understanding of the defining element of a style is therefore crucial. In this blog we deconstruct CAPE COD.

A quintessentially American style, developed by early English settlers in the 1600s. Partially inspired by the simple, thatched cottages common in Britain, the settlers adapted the style to keep out the harsh New England winter. These houses are essentially beach houses designed for the harsh New England climate.

Cape Cod architecture home

Originally quite simple and inexpensive starter homes, elements of the style have been copied to create more modern CAPE COD homes that are anything but inexpensive in areas such as Marthas Vineyard and The Hamptons and of course right here in Cape Town and surrounds.

Cape Cod style Home

Key defining elements are:
  • A large central chimney located directly behind the front door.
  • Steep roof. Cape Cods have steep roofs to quickly shed rain and snow.
  • Windows and dormers. A full Cape has two windows on each side of the door, and often has a dormer on each side of the chimney to open up the attic.
  • Captain's stairway. was accessed by a narrow stair, or 'captain's stairway,' which has incredibly steep risers and shallow treads to minimize the use of the first-floor space.
  • Shingle siding. Weathered gray shingles (what we call clapperboard) are one of the most recognizable elements of a classic Cape Cod, but newer homes are built of brick, stucco and stone.

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This example of Cape Cod architecture was immortalized by the hit movie SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, home of the playwright played by Diane Keaton, and is probably the example of CAPE COD that most of us think of when bringing the style to mind.

Cape Cod interiors have modernized enormously since the first homes were created in the 17th century - creating large open plan living areas and morphing into 2 and 3 storey homes with a much larger footprint. The classic Beach element of what we think of as essential Cape Cod remains and is beautifully illustrated in the following examples.

The components are:

  • The use of white or off white for interiors and cabinetry - creating a fresh and beach cottage type style.
  • Classic lines in kitchen, bedroom and living rooms furnishings with soft elements which create a coziness against the harsh winter environment
  • wrap around porches with day bed.
  • wooden shutters
  • wooden flooring
  • central fireplaces
  • wooden staircases
  • French doors
  • Use of blue as an accent colour to reinforce the beach theme. Often Duck egg and french blue in soft furnishings and even cabinetry.
  • use of stripes, delicate florals or nautical designs on upholstery.
  • Overstuffed sofas, loveseats and chairs and painted wicker and slip-covered furniture enhances the casual, laid-back vibe of a coastal, Cape Cod cottage.
  • Wood furniture painted in bright pastel colors or white or stained with a natural finish gives the home a welcoming feel. Early American furniture styles, such as ladder-back dining chairs with rush seats, Windsor chairs, farmhouse and trestle dining tables, and step-back cupboards, give the home a traditional look.
  • Traditional lantern lighting - wall, hanging, table or outdoor.

Thanks to :
Liz Gray - Cape Cod Architecture
Julia of Hooked on Houses
Twineinteriors.blogspot
Lacy Morris of ElleDecor


Your Own mini meadow in the city. Magnificent!

[houzz=https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/104014041/list/how-to-have-your-own-mini-wildflower-meadow-in-the-city w=300]

Inspired by all things English today thanks to another royal wedding - plus just love the idea of a meadow in the city. Gravel paths also such a great idea to keep our gardens waterwise and they have a certain romanticism about them that is just so gorgeous.


Simplicity

If one word could sum up the last few years i would say that word would be OVERWHELM.

Tres Chic

It's gotten to the point where i have to have 2 strong coffees before i have the courage to face my inbox. In the summer months upwards of 300 emails fly in there a day not to mention my personal inbox which is filled daily with online courses, ways of making money, ads, letters announcing the fortune i have received from long lost cousins and aunts, uncles and other family members - all mysteriously from the USA where we have no connection or family. you get the picture. our mailboxes are stuffed full with magazines we never read, neighberhood rags that trees are cut down for, special offers, broadsheets, estate agent pamphlets.

In our homes piles of things lie around that we are afraid to get rid of but never look at, clothing fills our cupboards that we may wear one day in the future even though we have never worn them before except in the change room in 1995 - and all the while our living spaces are getting smaller and smaller as the cost of living in big cities rises by the day.

I've just finished  Ellen DeGeneres' hilarious book entitled  "Seriously, I'm kidding"   in which she describes the various items that her mother packed up to move with in 2010 - they includes VHS tapes some unopened of various ab exercise programs, a set of cookie cutters from the late 1950's and other items that had me crying with laughter in my car because of the hilarity of it and because i have some of those items too.

The madness must end. Is the opposite of this a sparten existence? Should we be striving for that or can we settle on simplicity?  The idea that everything has a place and everything in its place and that everything that is in your space is purposely chosen to be there - its not there by happenstance. Living purposefully, mindfully and how it flows over into the choices we make within our most private spaces. that sounds a bit wierd but you know what i mean. Our homes environments. I like that idea and so was delighted to find a book on interior design by that name. Because if there is one thing i CANNOT bring myself to stop hording its books and magazines. its a sickness people!

The great joy of my job is seeing the cool spots that people call home but even better meeting the awesome people who have made those homes awesome. For example the talented Beate who calls BAREFOOT home. Beate is an interior designer (which you can see when you look at her home)

"the practise of subtraction" - using three components in a space instead of Ten requires that any of those three items are far more consequential in impact than any of the ten.

Barefoot
Barefoot has a paired down interior to give every element more weight and meaning.

 

Simplicity doesnt have to mean spartan spaces - What it does require is balance and a sense of order whether that is through repetition, duplication and proportion as in Country Life

In a completely different sort of space House Hugo - the same rules are applied - using repetition of colour to achieve extraordinary effect.

 

Silver Villa uses oversized light fittings to manipulate scale and proportion as well as repetition of wooden elements to tie the different seating together and the room as a whole together

Enigma Mansion uses texture and pattern to create an overall harmony of design. Check out the silk wallcoverings and the opulent velvet upholstery.

So to sum up - Simplicity- as it relates to interiors requires that you practise

  • The practise of subtraction - each element be carefully "curated"  NO Abritrary clutter allowed.
  • Repetition - repeting elements of colour, or texture, material , pattern or shape to create a cohesive whole (Not all these elements!!!)
  • Proportion - playing with oversized pieces in small spaces or vice versa to manipulate scale and proportion.

We are so inspired by our homeowners magnificent spaces and are intrigued by how they express themselves and their individuality in the homes that they inhabit. We love to share the beautiful ways that they live with you. We would love to hear what you think.

with love

Jeanne

 

 

 


New Year - New interior Inspiration!

I dont know about you, but in our world, things are ramping up for a big spring market!! So I thought I would share a few design tips and trends for the New Year…. Please remember, not all of this applies if you are selling a home. It is great to incorporate some things, especially […]

via Happy 2018!!! —


Creating an Inspiring Work Space

A home office can be one of the most important rooms in a house, but it often gets overlooked. As a place of work, home offices are often cold, bland and uninspired. Here’ are a few tips on how to make a more creative, inspiring and productive space. Lighting Getting adequate lighting is essential to […]

via How To Make Your Home Office More Inspiring — Eve Morgan Interiors


A Home What really matters - Flowers

A very very wise man once said that "After women, flowers are the most lovely thing that God has given the world" Well thank you Mr Dior, there is no doubt you are very astute and that we are very lovely indeed, but enough about us girls and more about flowers...
Flowers uplift any space and take it from drab and lifeless to beautiful without airs and graces - bunches of flowers can be simple or extremely sophisticated depending on the occassion and the personality of the floweree (new word meaning person who has the flowers in their space)  The current trends toward less structured arrangements and toward field flowers and arrangements in monotone or "dirty" colours, using flowers only locally grown are all exciting trends to look at. so lets look already and stop gabbing.
These are the top trends for 2017 according to Country Living

  1. Dahlias - with so many varieties Dahlias can be very versatle and are hugely popular right now. The most popular colours this year being dusty pinks, peaches and cream and creamy colours. Here they are mixed with Peonies my absolute favourite flowers.

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2. Hanging Arrangements - to be seen EVERYWHERE these are so magnificent - everything from hanging hoops to elaborate rectanglar constructions, deconstructed hanging air plants - these are such big news and lift the eye creating so much space. To be seen in the magnificent Babylonstoren wedding venues - they are a super hot trend and hopefully will be for a long time to come.


3. Farm Fresh Flowers - Like the food to table trend in fresh produce we're seeing the same trend in flowers, with local varietes that do not have to travel great distances being the preferred blooms.  It seems illogical to trade a massive carbon footprint for cut flowers that are already 5 days old at least when you buy them. This means we're looking at locally sourced varieties that are seasonal. A refreshing and earth friendly trend!
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4. Red Wine Hues  - Lots of deep wine tones to be seen in arrangements from cabernet to pinot noir and burgendy which all couple nicely with more delicate jewelled tones and softer pastels.

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5. Tropical Plants and Green Arrangements - we have seen a huge increase this year in stills companies requesting tropical plant locations and everywhere we're seeing enormous vases filled entirely and to great effect with Elephant Ears or delicious monster leaves. Tall architectural fronds of Arumlilies are also magnificent in oversized simple glass vases. Simple, and yet they create such a statement AND they last for weeks with minimal requirements except water and to be kept out of direct sunlight.
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6. Green arrangements - following on from this is the trend toward arrangements made solely of foliage. keeping costs down substantially you can make stuning arranagement with plants such a slaender, rosemary, olive branches as well as lots of wonderful varieties of fynbos if you're lucky enough to live in the Cape.


7. Muddy Colours - Arrangements in toned down muddy, " dirty" colours continue to be popular and counter balance with the softer buttery hues that are also big news this year as well as the stunning Dusty rose which is a toned down version of the soft pastel pink.Magnificent in roses and peonies.

8. Combining Sculptural vegetable elements with flowers and foliage - Beautiful artichoke heads, Turnips, red cabage, Kale combined with more traditional flowers and foliage make a remarkable arrangement.


A Home -What Really Matters - Part One

I have long been a fan of Lucia van der Post, daugher of our own Laurens Van der Post. Regarded as one of the most stylish women in England and a doyene of good taste, I have always agreed with her that the things that matter in a house, apart from it being filled with people that you love, (which is really the only important thing) are books, flowers, music, food and wine. In all of these catagories you dont have to be a millionaire to acquire them - the fridge does not need to be stocked exclusively with Crystal and caviar - the books not required to be first editions, the flowers can be field flowers - what matters is that they speak to you - to what you love and hold dear.


Books Filling a home with the books on subjects that you love and that interest you speaks volumes about who you are and what is important to you. They are easier than ever to come upon thanks to Amazon, whose endless selection of coffee table books is extraordinary.   Just scanning through whats on offer on amazon.com can be a little overwhelming. Of course Kindle is now an option too which is handy when you're on the go constantly and dont have a place to keep an extensive collection of books but there is something so special about the weight , the smell and the tangibility of a real coffee table book that Kindle can never match.  Closer to home and if you can't handle the wait Exclusive Books and Wordsworth Books always offer a very exciting array of must have books. Lately they have had the most fabulous coffee table books featuring the great contemporary designers. Markets and second hand book stores are a wonderful source of preloved treasures that you wouldn't necessarily find anywhere else and should not be overlooked. I have found some absoute beauties in the strangest of places - In Plett recently - the most wonderful 2nd hand book shop or Hermanus, stanford, down the road. You just need some time and patience. Specialty stores now also stock books that are within the same genre and often these are very interesting finds that chain bookstores would not keep. Latsly i have found some real beauties at trade fairs like Decorex and the annual Home expos. I spend every available cent, and even some that are not available tragically, on books. My current absolute favourites (some old some new in my own collection are:
Annie Leibovitz- Photographs (a collection of her iconic photographs of celebrities and game changers) This extraordinary photographer belongs in any art lovers collection as far as i am concerned. She has taken portrait photography to a new level. Beloved by Vogue and all the top fashion magazines Annie's work just keeps stretching and astonishing her audience.
Leading Ladies (Don MacPherson and Louise Brody) is a book I've had for years but will always be one of my all time favourites. Filled with black and white photos of starlets from the very beginning of cinema - The Silent Era's Theda Bara and Evelyn Brent all the way through to the 1980's Meryl Streep, Michelle Pfeiffer and Greta Scacchi's - this book gives me endless inspiration.
In Detail - Inspiring Ideas for Creative Interiors (Hans Blomquist) is a new purchase of mine that I am loving. A designer with a keen sense of the little details that are often overlooked, this book is filled with the most wonderful close up images and deals with nature, texture, colour, textiles, collections and display. Its artisanal eye candy!!
Botanicum - (curated by Katie Scott and Kathy Wills) I am obsessed with old fashioned botanical prints. Obsessed! So this books with its extraordinary artistic renderings just does my business. Enough said.
Parisiennes - (Flammarion) is another coffee table book of images of Parisiennes living life from 1914 to the early 1980's. From socialites, the Coco Chanels' of the world through to anonymous ladies in the park walking with parambulators. The book is entirely in French - I bought it while in Paris and its all about the images for me rather than improving my French comprehension which remains marginal. I drove my partner mad because by the time we got to the airport I was so weighed down with enormous books in arms I could barely drag by suitcase behind me. What you gonna do? I also bought a beautiful book on that same trip in Amsterdam called The Big book for Little Gardens - (John Brookes) well it means that but its all in Dutch. Dont care! Its all about the pictures.
There are a million more I would love to mention. Loving Style icons - a book on the south african style icons of the early 21st century. Perfect Hideaways (Paul Duncan) first coffee table book with extraordinary images of some of the magnificent homes that are available locally for short term holiday lets. Looking forward to Volume 2 - hint hint is anyone from PH is reading this! Henri Cartier Bresson's coffee table books make me want to weep with their beauty, Sebastiao Salgado's Migrations, One2One, Anything on Gaudi, Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Interiors (the shabby chic bible)

Cookery books are also a passion of mine. No collection is complete without Delia Smith's How to Cook. I am also a fan of Secrets of a French Cooking Class by Marlene Van Der Westhuizen. Filled with the most sumptious photographs of both her food and the magnificent French Village of Charroux that she takes her students to for their education. Marlene is a Capetonian whose heart belongs somewhere between home and the cobble stones of the french countryside. Even Gwyneth Paltrow's book - It's All Good has the most wonderful and healthy recipes and beautiful photographs as has The Fresh Vegan Kitchen (David and Charlotte Bailey)  and Fresh India (Meera Sodha)
Initially I had intended this blog to cover books in total. Ha ha!!Rather ambitious of me but its such a vast topic that I can only begin to chat about Coffee Table books really and mostly the ones that get my juices flowing - and only a tiny fraction of those!!. I would love to hear about books that move you. As always I would Love to hear from you and hope that this has been a fun read. let me know!! In the follwing blogs we'll look at the other must haves - Music, Flowers, food, wine. See you soon.
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Pump up the Jam!!

Beautiful locations and extraordinary places are not only about visual aesthetics, the fact that they are unforgettable requires that they fulfil another prerequisite -  they need to uplift us - to transport us from the humdrum to a new fronteir of possibility, elation, joy, peace. To truly do this there needs to be a layering of experience. Sound, smell, touch, taste - or any possible combination of the senses. We travel, we go to art exhibitions, we do wine tasting, go to rock concerts, see theatre and movies, explore architecture to be transported from our daily grind to a sublime new experience that takes us out of ourselves and presents us with a new way of looking at the world.  This time of the year can be a little slow, a little cold and a little dark in the Southern hemisphere. That is doubly true of Cape Town this year.  For many fortunate souls, these months are spent in balmy Europe soaking up "the season" in Italy, France, Greece, Croatia, England and other beautiful sunsplashed locations- but dont worry we dont hate you for your constant instagramming of the most magnificent places you are travelling  through right now. For those of us who have been left behind popping our vitamin D pills there is another transportive way to temporarily fly the shackles of a cold winter - even if only in the living room, car, stock room at the office? or anywhere else that you feel you can really get down without completely blowing your street cred. Im talking tracks that will take you from zero to hero in 30 seconds straight. I'm talking air guitar, Risky Business sock sliding across the  floor in undies and a tie. We're not messing around here. We're moshing, head banging, singing into hair brushes and miming guns as we dream of an alternate reality where we are 007, Rocky Balboa, The Sisters or any other fabulous construct of our imagination.
So we (The girls at Shoot My House) have very kindly decided to share our TOP 10 Songs - respectively - that get us from 68 - 150bpm in 2,54 seconds flat. These are the tunes that remind us that all you need is a song in your heart, a swagger in your step and a shake in your tail feathers.Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 4.06.40 PM
LIZZY'S TOP TEN (In no particular order):

  1. DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT - Toploader
  2. DREAMS - Fleetwood Mac
  3. YOU CANT HURRY LOVE - Phil Collins
  4. GOLDEN BABY - Coeur de Pirate
  5. DANCING IN THE STREET - David Bowie and Mick Jagger
  6. 1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
  7. VIRTUAL INSANITY - Jamiroquai
  8. BRASS IN MY POCKET - The Pretenders
  9. HEY YA!! - Outkast
  10. YOU GET WHAT YOU LIVE - New Radicals

SHARLEEN'S TOP TEN

  1. BLURRED LINES – Robin Thicke
  2. SHAKE IT OFF– Taylor swift
  3. GOT THAT FEELING – Black eyed peas
  4. SON OF A PREACHER MAN – Dusty springfield
  5. DONT FEEL LIKE DANCING – scissor sisters
  6. I WILL SURVIVE – Gloria Gaynor
  7. HERE COMES THE SUN – Beatles
  8. I'M STILL STANDING – Elton John
  9. PUMPED UP KICKS – foster the people
  10. WALKING ON SUNSHINE – Katrina and the waves

RED'S TOP TEN

  1. STAYING ALIVE - The Bee Gees
  2. SONG 2 - Blur
  3. THE REFLEX - Duran Duran
  4. EYE OF THE TIGER - Survivor
  5. SAVE TONIGHT - Eagle Eye Cherry
  6. IN A BIG COUNTRY - Big Country
  7. INTO THE GROOVE - Madonna
  8. RIPTIDE - Vance Joy
  9. I WANNA BE A COWBOY - Boys Dont Cry
  10. SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES - Tina Turner & Eurythmics

We need to hear what yours are. There is a lot of winter left we need to rock out to some other tunes. cant wait to see your suggestions!!
This is how we think we look when we dance  
or Like this... Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 4.22.55 PM.png
This is what we really look like..... Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 4.24.28 PM.png
 


Project - Little Girl's Room Renovation

The brief was tricky. Turn a tiny, dark room into a fun kids Bedroom and play area that is warm and light on a shoe string budget - oh and the colour scheme must be pink and purple (Oy!!) The room had a poo brown carpet and bright yellow walls with large imposing (if useful) cupboard space. The only source of light a south facing window - which in the southern hemisphere means cold and dark.

 

The only way to create more space was to demolish one of the walls that led onto the passage way and swallow up the passage into the room, which was doable as the passage served no purpose anyway. We gained a meter or so there.IMG_9948

 

Next - to allow more light into the dark and tiny little room and also create the illusion of more space, we swapped out the window for a french door opening up onto a shared courtyard.

 

The poo brown carpet regrettably had to go and we decided that a screed concrete floor would be a lot more versatile and also easier to clean for a litttle munchkin. We went with a white concrete screed to allow maximum light into the space. Also because of the tiny bedroom we decided that the cupboards had to go. Though useful they were just too imposing so we invested in a versatile bunkbed that would allow for sleepovers but also provide much needed cupboard space in the form of drawers in the stairs and a large pullout draw under the bottom bunk. We decided on a wardrobe rail for hanging clothes. Love the fact that you can wheel it out, turn it around. Has great versatility.

 

We also replaced the solid bedroom door with a door with a large glass pane in it (reinforced glass of course) to allow light in from another angle and so that the grown ups can keep an eye when the door is closed.IMG_0327

We wanted to create a bedroom that inspired creativity and play despite its minuscule size and so added a magnetic blackboard on one area of wall.IMG_0353

Finally the colours. How to incorporate pink and purple without creating a room that would be unbearable to live with. My Answer  - subtlety and a slightly sneaky substitution of purple with purply grey. I found great inspiration and a way to conquer the unlikely colour scheme in this beautiful blankie.IMG_9968

Finally just add kids and voila!!

Angels room with Hunter - 1

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 4.54.24 PM

If you'd like to see more of our little cottage- a work very much in progress check it out here.     

 


Project - Little Girl's Room Renovation

The brief was tricky. Turn a tiny, dark room into a fun kids Bedroom and play area that is warm and light on a shoe string budget - oh and the colour scheme must be pink and purple (Oy!!) The room had a poo brown carpet and bright yellow walls with large imposing (if useful) cupboard space. The only source of light a south facing window - which in the southern hemisphere means cold and dark.
 


The only way to create more space was to demolish one of the walls that led onto the passage way and swallow up the passage into the room, which was doable as the passage served no purpose anyway. We gained a meter or so there.IMG_9948
 
Next - to allow more light into the dark and tiny little room and also create the illusion of more space, we swapped out the window for a french door opening up onto a shared courtyard.
 

The poo brown carpet regrettably had to go and we decided that a screed concrete floor would be a lot more versatile and also easier to clean for a litttle munchkin. We went with a white concrete screed to allow maximum light into the space. Also because of the tiny bedroom we decided that the cupboards had to go. Though useful they were just too imposing so we invested in a versatile bunkbed that would allow for sleepovers but also provide much needed cupboard space in the form of drawers in the stairs and a large pullout draw under the bottom bunk. We decided on a wardrobe rail for hanging clothes. Love the fact that you can wheel it out, turn it around. Has great versatility.
 

We also replaced the solid bedroom door with a door with a large glass pane in it (reinforced glass of course) to allow light in from another angle and so that the grown ups can keep an eye when the door is closed.IMG_0327
We wanted to create a bedroom that inspired creativity and play despite its minuscule size and so added a magnetic blackboard on one area of wall.IMG_0353
Finally the colours. How to incorporate pink and purple without creating a room that would be unbearable to live with. My Answer  - subtlety and a slightly sneaky substitution of purple with purply grey. I found great inspiration and a way to conquer the unlikely colour scheme in this beautiful blankie.IMG_9968

Finally just add kids and voila!!
Angels room with Hunter - 1
Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 4.54.24 PM
If you'd like to see more of our little cottage- a work very much in progress check it out here.