A Robertson farmhouse is home to delicious colours, sensual textures, a touch of drama and a creative family who dreamed it all up.
Chrislene Retief is a boutique owner, avid photographer and lover of all things glitzy and gorgeous. The last is clearly evident in her glamorous home, an extended farmhouse in the Robertson winelands where she and her husband Hennie – a viticulturalist and the eldest of the Four Cousins winemakers – have lived since they got married 19 years ago. The couple share their home with twin daughters Shani and Helene, 16, son Nico, 14, and a veritable farmyard of pets: Lappies, Lucky and Sushi, the resident border collies; Giorgio (after Armani), the happy-go-lucky schnauzer; and, finally, the cat contingent, Fluffy, Burma and Kind.
“I’m definitely a drama queen,” says Chrislene. And drama is the driving force behind the striking “photograph” feature wall in her bedroom. Below the picture rail it’s the deep blue of Plascon Cashmere Dusk of Day (B6-E1-2); above the rail it’s pure bling in Plascon Paint Metallics Silver Met 2. “The silver sparkles in the morning sun when we’re lying in bed, which we love,” says Chrislene. The rest of the bedroom was kept neutral in Plascon Cashmere Afternoon Shower (Y4-C2-3) but Chrislene has picked up on the silver in the feature wall in her choice of fabrics and accessories.
The glamour spills over into the en suite bathroom, which is a pampering paradise complete with oversized tub and a multitude of mirrors. For the feature wall behind the freestanding bath, Chrislene chose Earthcote Windswept in Skerp Skiet Piet. The matt, fine-glass-bead coating with a sand-blasted look has a wonderful texture that contrasts beautifully with the smooth finish of the bath, mirror and floor tiles.
Looking good is important to Chrislene, as evidenced by her towering shoe cupboards in the adjacent dressing room. Her make‑up and jewellery stop is a dressing table painted in Plascon Cashmere Wink (P7-D1-3). The colour brings an air of majesty to this part of the room. “This is where I come to make myself feel better,” says Chrislene. “I think everyone wants to feel like royalty every now and again.”
The passage from the master bedroom to the rest of the house takes you past old photographs, vintage hats and flowers. This is followed by a collection of mirrors above a posy of flowers handpicked by the Retief’s housekeeper and self-professed interior decorator, Lenie van Zyl. Lenie says she enjoys pairing the wall colours with flowers from the garden. With 280 rose bushes to choose from, she always finds her match – as here, where a mixed bunch sets off calming Plascon Cashmere Lightning (Y4-D2-2).
The 16-year-old girls, meanwhile, reside in a paradise of pink. Although the sportier of the twins, Helene has been obsessed with this girly shade since she was eight years old. Her bedroom is top-to-toe in shades of pink, with the wall below the picture rail painted in vibrant Plascon Cashmere Magenta Rose (P7-A1-1).
Shani, the “more cultural” of the twins, says that when she needs to think about her next violin recital or really unwind, she heads straight for a rose-scented bubble bath in the girls’ candy-striped shared bathroom. Chrislene painted the horizontal stripes on the wall and says choosing a neutral colour like white for the contrasting stripes allows the bright pink to “pop” even more.