Toni Tollman, Director of Design and Products for The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, has taken a hands-on approach in designing every detail of the newly opened Cederberg House at Bushmans Kloof. From the ceramic tile murals on the villa’s exterior to ingeniously hidden hi-tech appliances, each aspect of the exclusive venue has been carefully considered. Here, Toni shares her experience of the design process and how she allowed the extraordinary Cederberg landscape to lead the way.
Can you explain a bit more about the Cape Dutch architecture that inspired the design of Cederberg House?
“The house itself is a modern interpretation of Cape Dutch architecture. The grand scale of the great room with its white-washed walls and elevated ceilings creates a real sense of space. It’s a fabulous architectural design for all seasons, remaining cool in the summer months yet cosy in the winter period.”
How did you go about choosing materials that would complement the surrounding wilderness?
“The landscape and its ancient rock formations of burnt orange and browns contrast with the tapestry of colours found in the flowers and plants. This myriad of natural tones provided a huge inspiration for me. My passion for nature and staying true to the environment is evident throughout the house. It’s no secret that I love to use a muted palette as a base and then layer it with accents of colours through fabrics and art. Much of the art and antique furniture was collected over a period of two years, largely within South Africa from auctions and from private collections. We always try to use as many locally produced materials as possible, thus creating a subtle fusion of past and present and a sense of discovery in every room.”
What are some of your favourite pieces of artwork in the house?
“There are so many pieces that are extremely special and that we went to great effort to find. For me, one of the real highlights is the outstanding ceramic tile murals from the late South African ceramicist and artist, Esias Bosch. These incredible pieces seamlessly blend the exterior walls with the scenery. One of my favourite things about the reserve at Bushmans Kloof is the flora and fauna. The wildflowers carpet the vast and rugged landscape year-round, attracting a wealth of wildlife. These murals are reflective of this landscape and work beautifully as a real feature of the property.”
What is your favourite part of Cederberg House?
“For me, the sense of space and place is really felt on the terrace. This beautiful and secluded oasis allows one to experience the reserve in all its glory in a private and uninterrupted setting.”
How did you maintain the atmosphere of a secluded retreat while still incorporating state-of-the-art technology?
“This is something of a specialty for myself and my team, as we consistently strive to create spaces that do not allow technology to affect the aesthetic of the design. We do our best to incorporate hidden plugs sockets and work to ensure that wires and technical equipment are invisible to the eye, creating a relaxing and peaceful space for our guests to enjoy.”
Enjoy an unforgettable wilderness retreat at Cederberg House, a newly opened private villa at Red Carnation Hotels’ Bushmans Kloof.
Image credits: all images courtesy of Red Carnation Hotels.