DESIGN: Cape Grace and the art of Tiziana Giardini’s walls
MIDAS Earthcote was proud to have been chosen as a coatings supplier in the refashioning of Cape Town’s grandest five star hotel at the edge of the ocean – the Cape Grace hotel.
The Cape Grace combines modern luxury with traditional Cape culture. Every room was custom-designed using eclectic, handcrafted décor to reflect the tradition and elegance of the Cape.
The refashioning project, led by interior design company Weixelbaumer Design, represents an amalgamation of the best artisan talent in the Cape. Extreme care was invested in creating beautiful, tactile finishes, from the Giardini coloured walls to the hand-painted silk window dressings and soft furnishings to artisan-made leather and glass items.
Tiziana Giardini and the Cape Grace Hotel
The Cape Grace Challenge
Kathi Weixelbaumer is known for her skill in juxtaposing the modern with the period and the rare with the humble – tying it all together with spontaneity.
The challenge was to provide finishes that added to the layering of texture, in a look that is both contemporary and reminiscent of the elegance and history of the Cape. All wall finishes needed to be low maintenance and, from an aesthetic perspective, needed to “pull the elements together.”
The exterior required a finish that would wear well next to the ocean, offer weather resistance and, like the interior, deliver an aesthetic that straddles the historic and the contemporary.
The Art of Tiziana Giardini’s Walls
For the interior, Weixelbaumer Design commissioned paint artist and colourist Tiziana Giardini to recommend a restful, unobtrusive palette of textured colour.
“Kathi Weixelbaumer has a great eye for colour and it was a privilege to work alongside her, providing interpretations to her interior approach”, said Tiziana Giardini. “It was an organic creative process. I was given fabrics and other interior pieces as inspiration and from those I developed a customised paint colour palette for each room.”
“Nothing came straight out of a tin. I used special pigments and made up my own recipes, using Midas 240 acrylics as a base, and my own special tinted ageing scumble glaze to take the edge off. This gave the walls a broken, lived-in look that is subtle and visually restful, as it has a lot of movement”
– Tiziana Giardini.
The use of a washable ageing glaze over Midas 240 acrylic delivers durability. The slightly worn, broken look creates a seamlessness between the walls and other interior elements, like washed timber and hand-painted fabrics.
For the exterior, Tiziana custom mixed a warm, earthy shade of ochre in Midas Fresco. This statement colour gives real personality to the classic architecture and it somehow also harks back to the flamboyance of the Huguenots.
“We used Midas Fresco for practical and aesthetic reasons,” said Giardini. “Fresco is a robust, gritty coating that very efficiently conceals hairline cracks and will last well in all-weather conditions at the coast. The ultra-matt graded texture adds a softness to the look, which gives the building elegance.”
The work of Kathi Weixelbaumer and Tiziana Giardini on the Cape Grace hotel is still representative of modern luxury mixed with traditional Cape culture.