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ONE WATERFRONT MANSION, TWO SETS OF OWNERS, ONE DESIGNER

ONE WATERFRONT MANSION, TWO SETS OF OWNERS, ONE DESIGNER

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MARCO MENEGUZZI IS more than familiar with this particular iconic waterfront mansion. He has now been involved with its decoration and design not once, but twice, and for two very different sets of owners.

“It was a compliment really to be asked by the present owners to work on a re-design and re-decoration of the house with them,” he says. “This was based wholly on the fact that they really loved what I had created for the previous owners. It was a matter of keeping in mind these design aesthetics but individualising them to suit their tastes and needs.”

The first task at hand was to re-configure the space and Marco Meneguzzi worked hand in hand with architect Michael Suttor on the project.

“The house consisted of five bedrooms which didn’t really suit the present owners,” says Marco. “We decided to revise it to three increasing the floor space of the master bedroom and incorporating a bathroom and dressing room.”

With grandchildren now a very important part of their lives the owners were very keen to add a purpose built nursery and a guest bedroom. The re-configuring of the floor space now means that the master and guest bedroom now enjoy breath-taking harbour views.

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Perched on a platform of rock many metres above street level, the home boasts world-class harbour views — although this would later prove a serious challenge for the builders when an internal lift and garaging were added.

Besides providing seemingly effortless access to all levels the lift also gives the visitor quite a surreal experience as they are transported from street level in one smooth action to be deposited inside the vestibule of this quite unique and special home.

A state of the art gymnasium with golf simulator was also a welcome addition and is one of the homes most popular rooms. The owner able to play ‘virtual’ golf on one of 300 world famous courses.

In terms of finishings and furniture, Chocolate herringbone parquetry floors and off-white walls are the perfect warm, neutral canvas for a collection of classic furniture pieces. Many of the pieces have been custom-designed by Marco and compliment the owners antique pieces such as the exquisite gate-leg occasional table that sits in the vestibule under an original artwork painted by the lady of the house.

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“I wanted to give the house a comfortable relaxed feel,” Marco explains, “and this is why I have introduced lots of textures such as the grass cloth wall covering that lines the hallway and the Belgian linen used on the walls in the bedroom and study. I also love the look of mouldings on the walls as they add interest through their detail”.

A custom-made dining table with parquetry inlaid top was made by a master craftsman to Marco’s design and has been teamed with a set of dining chairs upholstered in a Venetian damask. An oversized wall mirror has been framed with a Dutch moulding and adds light and interest to the space.

“The owners love to entertain so the kitchen is a very important area — we actually equipped it with double of everything,” says Marco.

The generous island bench was finished with Calacutta marble which was used extensively throughout the work space. Three Hundi lights hang overhead bought by the owners while on holiday in South Africa and lovingly shipped home.

A butler’s pantry extends the work area and incorporates much needed storage and the laundry is also accessed from here whilst being tucked out of sight.

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Fresh blue and white patterned fabrics including tickings, florals and paisleys give the soft furnishings a crisp, contemporary look and have been used inside and outside on the terrace-another favourite area for entertaining or just relaxing with the weekend papers.

The study is decorated with a cherished collection of black and white family photos while the oak desk has been custom-made featuring barley-twist legs and paired with an upholstered high back chair.

A central courtyard framed with French doors links the home’s different precincts and adds natural light to the interior. Annie Wilkes of The Parterre Garden is responsible for the garden design  and has added a distinct European feel with over-sized planter boxes of dusty green, grey olive trees and sculptural succulents. A water feature made from a French urn is a hero element.

Marco admits that the project was truly enjoyable as the owners were a delight to work and the relationship continues as the home naturally evolves.

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KAREN COTTON

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Karen has produced features for many of the world's leading lifestyle publications -- including UK Instyle, UK Homes & Garden, US Interiors, Belle, Inside Out, Madison, Home Beautiful, Country Style, the Australian Womens Weekly and Harper Collins. Karen's styling expertise extends to both editorial features and advertising campaigns. Karen Cotton Stylist

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