Pics: a sweet little Sugar Shack
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By Bianca Coleman
Cape Town - Ian and Lise Manley own Manley Communications, a communications consultancy focusing on the luxury tourism, wine and travel sectors within Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.
Ian is also a director and shareholder of Vula Afrika, a bespoke representation agency that assists blue-chip brands to connect to the right people in Africa and beyond.
Their gorgeous home in Riebeek Kasteel graced the pages of HOME last year. Now they take us to Paternoster for a look inside their Sugar Shack. It’s an easy hour’s drive from Riebeek Kasteel, which is about as much as their children – and the parents – can manage, says Ian.
They bought the land on the West Coast in 2005, and building was completed a year later, making Sugar Shack a grand 10 years old.
“We had started spending weekends in Paternoster and fell in love with the village,” recalls Ian. “The land was a postage stamp of a property in terms of size but had a good position and fitted in our tight budget for a holiday home investment.”
The stand had a great view at the time but when they returned to inspect the building process, they found to their horror the neighbour in front of them had just finished his building and completely blocked their sea view.
“So, we halted our build and then built our foundation much higher than normal so we could look over the house in front of us,” says Ian.
A disused RDP-type home was on the site but it had to be pulled down as it was structurally unsound.
“We found a great local architect who understands the wild weather that ’Noster can get and also were very fortunate to find a builder who not only completed the project on time but also on budget!”
A couple of years ago, a sun deck was added that boasts some of the best views in Paternoster and, more recently, the outside shower was updated with stunning Moroccan-style tiles.
“Lise and I decorated the house ourselves, as with our home in Riebeek Kasteel. And I think we’ve made it quite special,” says Ian. “In Paternoster, all the houses have to be white with shutters. Lise decided she wanted to paint the shutters a light pink, which at the time caused quite a stir among the locals.
“We’ve hung original South African artworks and all the finishes are of a good quality, which our guests seem to appreciate. We tend to add elements that are bespoke, tapping into local artisans and artists from the West Coast.
“As the house is on the West Coast, we were mindful of the harsh weather conditions. The exterior is whitewashed with dusty pink shutters, while the interior décor is simply executed using practical elements, such as slip covers for the couches and bare cement floors. We have hammocks on the deck and the undercover veranda, which are perfect reading spots. The veranda is a wonderful place for us to be outdoors, even when the wind is howling or it’s raining.”
Lise is a stickler for good linen, so the house always has white linen and towels.
Sugar Shack has a seaside feel but with a bit of an arty edge. “Lise and I are both very much a team on the project. She is practical, while I tend to be attracted to the more quirky,” says Ian.
“Included in the décor is a clock which I found in Swaziland and we have great pottery vases from a local artist who has now moved to Pretoria. The art works are quite special to us. The indoor hearth is great for winter evenings and a morning breakfast on the sun deck is pretty spectacular.”
Unfortunately, their businesses keep the Manleys away from Sugar Shack these days.
“We find that when we’re here that our family is closer knit – most probably because it’s a small space and particularly chilled. It’s very much a space just for Lise and I and our sons Luke and Guy… a place and time to connect properly as a family, which is quite a commodity in the modern world.”
Sugar Shack is a special weekend home for the Manleys and Ian says they’re very lucky to have scooped up the property before prices went through the roof. “When we don’t use the house, we rent it out to city people looking for a proper break, so it’s a good investment for us.”