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The Liz McGrath Collection unveils new-look interiors at The Plettenberg and The Marine.

The Liz McGrath Collection has unveiled new-look interiors at two of its three hotels. The summer lounges at both The Plettenberg and (Hermanus) have undergone a complete transformation, each boasting fresh and distinctly different interior design to reflect their uniquely individual settings.

Situated on a rocky headland in Plettenberg Bay, The Plettenberg is the ultimate seaside destination on the Garden Route and is widely known as the ‘best address in Plett’. Its sister-hotel, The Marine is an iconic landmark on the famous Hermanus cliff path, within walking distance to the many attractions of South Africa’s ‘whale watching capital’. Both hotels share the coveted characteristics of unimpeded seaviews, luxurious and comfortable accommodation, world-class cuisine and warm South African hospitality to welcome all guests who cross their thresholds.

Interior designer Sue Bond has created a new look for both hotels along a mutually shared theme to produce beautiful, inviting public spaces by using colour, textures, wallpaper, objet d'art, as well as original South African works of art. Working within the existing structures, she started with wallpaper to bring colour and interest, setting the scene for layers to come. ‘In The Plettenberg I used a vibrant English floral garden pattern to bring fresh greens indoors. The fun Andrew Martin fabric on the sofas sits comfortably with masses of cushions, layered rugs on the floors, and origional art. Oversized arm chairs and inviting sofas draw you in to take a closer look at the focal feature, a triptich of the artist Olivier’s Irises. Lighting in the space was paramount with organic floor lamps placed to contain the area. Carved wooden mirrors reflect the pattern-on-pattern and widens the space visually.’

The main attraction in the sea facing Summer Lounge at The Plettenberg, is a collection of vintage platters, boxed in perspex with a grass cloth backing to repeat the colour of the branches in the wallpaper. A fun addition are two massive oil paintings of blue and white plates providing an optical delight when sitting at the pool looking into the hotel.

‘Ottomans, grouped seating, bespoke painted furniture, greenery and practical hard surfaces to balance a glass of champagne, all come together to result in a very special aesthetic that lifts the spirits of everyone visting this iconic grande dame ‘, Bond says.

In Hermanus at The Marine’s Sun Lounge the same visually exciting design ethos was applied to bring comfort and conversational seating, combined with interesting art and vistas interrupted by fresh colours. ‘The start of my inspiration here was a very distinct play on the local fynbos. The Protea is the signature flower of the historical hotel, and commissions around this theme were given to three local artists. The collage of a giant King Protea by the artist Olivier, takes centre stage on fresh wallpaper adorned with a loose protea pattern. Adding further interest is Martin de Kock’s vibrant oil paintings of modern proteas with a twist. The art in the room takes it all up a notch. Eye catching, yet seamless with the many patterns used on the piles of cushions and striking armchairs at the fireplace.’

Rugs were repeated as opposed to The Plettenberg's individually sourced rugs. The centrepiece, an oversized, ornately carved antique table that was bleached for this installation, takes pride of place to display magnificent white King Proteas in a giant Chinese bowl. A pop of yellow and striking blues lighten up this space, echoing the sea and fynbos viewed through glorious arched doors.

Once again, a collection of platters, yet different to those at The Plettenberg, continues a theme. ‘I love the simple synergy, but keeping the individuality of the two different properties. Hung en masse around the beautiful fireplace, the platters create a unique art piece to pay tribute to the hotel's history, while not dominating the wall. Loads of cane, painted vintage tables and the most spectacular amoire have transformed this much loved space into the fabulously inviting place it should be’, Bond concluded.

More about Sue Bond

‘I have loved property and beautiful interiors for as long as I can remember. After 25 years in my trade as an interior designer, I am more than certain that more-is-more. Comfortable classic, layered spaces are my signature. I have developed my skill to visualise and transform spaces, making an ordinary interior come alive with textures, layers, wallpapers and beautiful fabrics, art and objet, of course the cherries on the top.

Mixing patterns to work together effortlessly is my way of inviting conversation while people sink into comfortable seating and squishy scatter cushions - always in abundance! Perhaps that describes my style best - living in a space that works and which you love, full of collections that all have a story to tell. Art is integral to my interiors and plays a major role in my design aesthetic to support new talent and local artists wherever I can. I always try to be authentic, never simply a follower of fashion, but current, making sure it works for the space and most importantly, for my clients.

Wherever possible my interiors are based on what can be seen outside from the inside and this often dictates my colour palette, patterns and overall scheme. Here, art plays a very important role as the design evolves around it keeping it as an interesting backdrop to the living spaces, rather than a lone feature. Attention to detail encourages me to use all of those 'precious' items to provide the layers which make a room interesting and inviting, and which we often store to use 'one day', its the jewellery of interiors.’


Tel: +27 (0)21 794 5535

Connect on Instagram: @mcgrathhotels


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