Throughout his home in Durban North, Theo Claassen has contrasted the modern and the traditional to achieve a perfect balance between neat and tidy, and warm and inviting.

The carpeted living room has the feeling of a London apartment.

Striped Designer’s Guild wallpaper, botanical prints and floral cushions keep the space neutral but cheerful, while a large glass coffee table and metallic objet over a Persian rug add a bit of glamour. As does a geometric divider, which Claassen had backed with a mirror.

An upholstered deep-buttoned ottoman with steel legs encapsulates the contrast.

The walls here are cognac cream while the curtains echo a trademark colour in the home, aluminium grey.

This room extends into a reading room with fireplace and extensive bookshelves. It then opens out to the pool in one direction and the black and white checked-floored veranda in the other.

In the dining room, upholstered chairs are pulled up to a grand mahogany table that has been custom-made. The white glass and ceramic that Claasen collects is on display here. The organic-looking wallpaper in this room is the absolute winner.

The adjoining TV room is functional, livened up by duck-egg blue. The charcoal rug and couch with a grey undertone are a great departure from conventional brown.

Upstairs in the guest bedroom, where there is a splendid view of the garden, Claassen echoed the purple flowers outside on the wallpaper within. The burst of colour is refreshing.

Very contemporary wall-mounted white duco furniture features in this room.

The master bedroom has a large bed with a headboard to match the grand scale. The pedestals are made from mirror. Throughout the house, curtains are a traditional pinch-pleat, but hung on a rod for a contemporary twist. In this room the curtain has three layers, voile, a coloured-lining and block-out to create the look and feel of volume and ensure that no light peeps in at night.

On large windows, he uses sheer-weave blinds that roll up. They are easy to open and have UV filters to protect furniture. On steel rods he suggests lubricant, Q10, to wipe the rod clean from time to time and ensure the curtain runs smoothly.

While wallpaper is not always ideal for a bathroom, Claassen has a gift for knowing where to use it. In one bathroom, he uses an image that adds depth to the room. He warns not to use wallpaper to hide a bad wall. If it is not smooth, wallpaper will show up imperfections. - The Mercury