State of Grace: A Cape Town Retreat

Upon relocating to the suburbs of Cape Town from Johannesburg, Caline Williams-Wynn and her husband Tim were looking for a place close to their young daughter's school. What they ended up with was less about convenience; falling in love with a decaying schoolhouse and embarking on a two year renovation. As featured in House and Leisure, see how the family transformed the unusual space into a well-conceived interior, filling it with French antiques and creating an air casual sophistication. Look Beyond What's There: When the couple came across a rundown school, with little light and even less style, they put in a bid.  "It was north facing and had great views," Tim says. Understanding the potential of a sound structure, they embarked on renovations. "By opening up the internal spaces we maximized the light and the house could breathe," Caline explains. Keep An Eye On Construction: The William-Winns took on-sight supervision to a whole new level. During the two year renovation, the couple remained completely unfazed. "We just moved to different areas of the house during each phase," she says. While we don't recommend living with construction, it is important to check in on the progress of your renovation. Problems are bound to come up and if you're not there to articulate your preference, you may end up living with someone else's decision. Introduce Contrast: Adding large windows, the house quickly became a light filled oasis. But Caline decided to have the French doors and floors stained a dark ebony. "Black floors and doors disappear in a large space and almost become a see-through void," she says. "It actually accentuates the furniture rather than overpowering it." The contrast between natural light and darker features highlights a home's structural lines, making the rooms feel bigger. shop-look
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African Antelope Antlers, $150, Second Shout Out York Farmhouse Table, $1390, Charlotte & Ivy  Noodle Overeyed Rosette Pillow, $69, Urban Outfitters
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Azusa Light, $109, Schoolhouse Electric French Walnut Armoire, $10500, 1st Dibs  Lydia Bed, From $1998, Anthropologie 
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Stonewashed Natural Linen Duvet Cover, From $435, Nineteen Mercier Alma Quilt $420, Furbish Studio Armillary Wrought Iron Chandelier, $1036, Kathy Kuo Home
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 Clawfoot Soaking Tub, From $1374, Faucet Direct Marseilles Chalkboard From $350, Restoration Hardware Mahogany Farmhouse Arm Chair $289, Charlotte & Ivy
Interview courtesy of Julia Stadler for House and Leisure Photographs Courtesy of House and Leisure