It’s not often that buyers look at one house, and one house only, so sure are they that it’s the one. But for Tammy Tinker and her husband, Nicolò Pudel, a property in the desirable suburb of De Waterkant in Cape Town was the first and last option they looked at before deciding to buy it.

‘It was literally our dream home,’ says Tammy. The period house is situated in a quiet cul-de-sac in an area of cobbled streets, terrace houses and characterful cafés. ‘We love city living, walking to our local coffee shop, walking to work, and the culture in De Waterkant,’ says Tammy.
Tammy and Nicolò have lived in their home for just over two years. Since their first night in an empty house in early 2015, sleeping on a mattress, it’s gradually been filled with local artwork, books and trinkets bought on trips. There is a sense that the spaces reflect the couple’s story rather than a specific style strategy. From a DIY bookshelf on a wall to a charming carved tiger from Ghana, the pieces in this home are signposts in a journey. ‘We love beautiful things and unique pieces. We have a rule that we only buy things together, so everything in the house has been chosen by both of us, with a lot of thought. It’s taken a while, but we’re gradually making our house a home,’ Tammy explains.
Cleverly renovated over time, the home is compact, but feels spacious. An open-plan central living area is a modification that has made all the difference, while beautiful light-filled rooms and a verandah give it a holiday feel year-round.
It’s perfect for the couple who are avid travellers – they recently went on a road trip through the United States, staying at lighthouses and exploring redwood forests. But, when they’re at home, it’s all about simple pleasures – hosting friends, gardening, walking the dogs and long lie-ins. ‘We really enjoy going on adventures together, but if we are at home on the weekend we usually have a lazy breakfast on the verandah and then take the dogs for a walk on the mountain,’ says Tammy. Rosie the Jack Russell and Bruno the Vizsla are central to all activities, so much so that Nicolò’s mother commissioned a pair of pet portraits, something that comes across as cool rather than kitsch in this stylish couple’s home. A former fashion editor, Tammy now works for The Guild Group. Her great taste is evident in her home and a testament to the connections she’s made along the way.
Being consummate socialites, the couple have a penchant for regular dinner parties and the spacious, but intimate feel of the home is perfect for this. The outdoor spaces are particularly ideal for long lunches under the vines or drinking around the outdoor fire.

A lot of the couple’s downtime revolves around planning for long, festive meals. ‘We love to entertain, so on a Saturday we’ll usually make a trip to Oranjezicht city farm for the week’s ingredients, followed by a feast at home with friends,’ says Tammy. This usually rolls on to a big Sunday roast with the family. The wine is always excellent – Nicolò’s business, Port2Port, is a curated online wine store. The selection ranges from renowned South African and choice international wines to special releases and award-winning vintages, and even artisanal spirits – to encourage exploration and cater to an enthusiastic and discerning palette. No dinner party is ever the same as Tammy and Nicolò enjoy trying new things. ‘We usually cook together and serve together. But we don’t often repeat wine or dishes,’ explains Tammy.

For this couple, their mutual interest in new places and flavours will see their home evolving and growing along with their story.

Text: Julia Freemantle Photographs: Henrique Wilding/ Perfect Hideaways.