There’s no secret to the allure of the cosmopolis of the Atlantic Seaboard, particularly within the charming coalescent communities of Green Point and Sea Point. Like the markings on a map of some intrepid traveller’s memoir, the suburbs reveal their heritage alongside its burgeoning culture with distinction. Cafés here, churches there. Bookstores here, boutiques there. Tailors, talismans, butchers, bakers and beauty parlours scattered amongst the convenience stores and shopping malls. You name it, it all exists along the tributaries of roads and side streets that all stream down to the promenade and that magnificent stretch of shoreline.
The tiny locality of Three Anchor Bay disperses itself down leafy lanes and across cobbled courtyards, leading to the calming welcome of Onse Rust’s moss green door. Set on two levels of refined urban living, this hideaway does what the name implores you to do – take rest – whilst simultaneously tickling your fancy with relentless inspiration. A sympathetic restoration of 120 years of architectural history has been lovingly retained and brought back to life. With – dare we say it – dignity. No obvious signs of a face-lift here or a nip ’n tuck there, this old lady is entirely reminiscent of her early days.
Three bedrooms – two of which are upstairs, with the other being accessed by the courtyard – skirt the living, dining, reclining and entertaining spaces, where there is a palpable sense of finesse. A recherché of art, sculpture, books, furniture, lighting – some bespoke and some sourced – cabinetry and collectables has been consciously curated to honour the ongoing narrative that’s palpable from pillar to post. A narrative that really can only be read in the mind of the beholder. Onse Rust is more than just a place of our rest. It is a tribute to a time when the construct of a home, made sense.
When the creative connoisseur that is Greg Mcfarlane first discovered this little old lady, he pledged his devotion to bringing her back to life. He gently took the palm of her hand and whisked her into a ballroom dance – with a subtle nod to its contemporary interpretation – and let her corridors sing with light, her kitchen flow with feasting and festivity, her bathrooms invigorate up to the skies and her bedrooms to be of rest.
So, as you enter beneath the reception garden’s silver birches, down the hallway past the tall French doors of the living room, into the kitchen and dining space and out into the courtyard… where wisteria creeps the walls, fiddle bushes scent the air and swirly gardenias sway, there are a few things that can be said about the home that Greg built: there’s light, there’s space and there’s grace. There’s history, there’s style and for decades to come, there’ll certainly be dancing!
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie