David Collins Studio has designed two new accommodation concepts for The Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch, marrying African palettes and textures with European touches.

When famed English jeweller, Laurence Graff, first visited the estate – then, a modest vineyard – back in 2003, he felt an instantaneous connection. Six years later, Laurence unveiled a world-class hospitality destination befitting the glorious natural beauty of the Stellenbosch valley. 

Designed in the Cape Dutch architectural style, the estate offers a state-of-the-art winery, two flagship restaurants, elegant accommodation, boutiques and a destination spa.

Constituting its biggest transformation since opening, six new Superior Lodges and a breathtaking Owner’s Villa have been designed by acclaimed London interior architecture practice, David Collins Studio. 

Luxurious and opulent on a grand scale, the four-bedroom Owner’s Villa offers an impressive 660m² footprint across two floors. With views over the local mountain ranges, its sophisticated interior spans an entrance and lobby, living room, dining room, kitchen, pool and jacuzzi terrace, a family room, fully-equipped gym, master suite and three further guest rooms. 

The main entrance and lobby is accessed via a dramatic timber front door with dark bronze ironmongery. The space doubles as a gallery, with expansive walls displaying an evolving selection of of artwork curated by Laurence Graff.

Dark fumed oak timber fooring features throughought, while the walls boast a chic, textured wallcovering with a horizontal stripe pattern running around the room. A custom bronze mirror hangs above a console by a local artisan, flanked by curved alabaster wall lights.

The 6.6m double height living and dining spaces are entered through large timber double doors trimmed in bronze, and separated by an open double-sided bronze-clad fireplace. 

The timber ceiling here is lined in a slatted 200-year-old French oak with solid oak trusses, and adorned with a pair of white plaster chandeliers commissioned for the Villa by Alexander Loge.

Textured ivory linens grace the walls, complemented by curtains in oyster linen with linen sheers and a contrasting hand woven fabric with an African chevron motif.

The striking furniture is by Vladimir Kagan, and includes a large organic serpentine three metre long sofa, upholstered in a burnt Orange Lora Piano fabric. Other pieces include two Kagan barrel armchairs in an ivory boucle, a coffee table in dark timber and Nero Marquina by Charlotte Perriand, and custom side tables created by artist Atang Tshikare.

The dining room is equally well appointed, complete with verdant green leather upholstered dining chairs by Holly Hunt, a Christian Liaigre dining table, and a Jean Michel Frank console – all of which are anchored by a hand knotted woollen silk rug in shades of ivory, taupe and fern green ochre in an African fern-chevron motif. 

The dark fumed oak timber flooring continues into the master bedroom, where the bedroom walls are lined in a woven linen wallcovering. A two-metre-wide bed is upholstered in a handwoven dusky pink ombre fabric, with a Christian Liaigre bench upholstered in ox-blood leather at its foot. Nearby, a pair of Kagan armchairs in dusky-pink flank the fireplace with marble-topped side tables by Alexander Loge.

All bedrooms have a neutral palette, and  feature a fireplace and upholstered bed, along with their own private balcony with dining table and chairs.

Bathrooms are finished in honed Crema Marfil marble and polished Imperial Marron, with custom vanity wall lights in milk glass and matt nickel. 

The six elegant new Lodges, meanwhile, stand at 76m². Situated at the heart of the Estate, each incorporates a grand entrance and lobby, living room, terrace, master bedroom, bathroom and dressing room.

“I love the colours and patterns we are bringing into these lodges, which add a new dimension to the estate aesthetic, alongside our really special finds from across Africa, which bring each lodge a real sense of place”

“Each lodge features interiors that have been carefully finished with textures and tones to create modern, timeless and detailed interiors,” explains Simon.

“The finishes have been carefully selected to work with the estate aesthetic and to sit harmoniously within the landscape. Personally selected pieces, artwork and objects ensure the lodges exceed guest expectations, and feel uniquely Delaire.”

Entering through a dark timber front door with dark bronze ironmongery, the lobby’s walls are lined in dark timber, with statement curved alabaster wall lights. Crema Marfil marble features throughout in skirtings and architraves that lead from the entrance, as well as in the guest wet bar.

Within the living room, David Collins Studio has opted for carefully-selected and refined finishes. The soft colour palette of silver-blues and navy references the majestic African sky, while a delicately coloured and textured woven silver-blue grass-cloth wallcovering creates the perfect backdrop for the selection of arwork.

Oyster pure linen curtains with linen sheers gently diffuse the light and bring the landscape into view, while dark timber furniture has been selected in generous and comfortable proportions.

Floor-to-ceiling glass doors celebrate the landscape and lead onto the private pool terrace. This outdoor dining space and sun deck features teak sun loungers with grey canvas cushioning, a breakfast table and two dining chairs with rope detailing. 

Within the bedroom, there is a softer palette of light, neutral colours, with ox-blood accents.  The dark fumed oak floor is overlaid with a hand knotted rug in an African chevron pattern, echoing the upholstery of the armchair.

The furniture here includes a tan leather upholstered bed, claret leather wrapped side table and leather upholstered ox-blood desk chair, desk, and bronze wall lights with soft linen shades and cast bronze sculptural table lamps. 

The bathroom is accessed via the dressing room, which incorporates a wardrobe system by Poliform with dark timber, smoked glass doors and beautifully detailed toning-leather lined shelves.

For David Collins Studio, the project was an opportunity to evolve its original concept for The Delaire Graff Estate, created back in 2010. With the team’s thoughtful injection of texture and pattern, the accommodation brings new life to a much-loved property.

“Returning to Delaire has been such a joy,” affirms David Collins Studio’s Creative Director, Simon Rawlings. “Building on The Studio’s original design-vocabulary, and the success of the Estate has been very exciting.

“I love the colours and patterns we are bringing into these lodges, which add a new dimension to the estate aesthetic, alongside our really special finds from across Africa, which bring each lodge a real sense of place.”