In This South African Vacation Home, the Plywood Backsplash Doubles as Storage
“It’s our Swiss Army knife.”
Published Aug 11, 2022 1:01 AM
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If there’s one thing Wes Anderson does best, it’s finding beauty in the highly functional—who else can make binoculars so chic? So the filmmaker’s iconic perspective was naturally top of mind for Amy and Tal Kropman as they outfitted the kitchen in their South African vacation home, a permanent tented campsite. “We were so inspired by the Boy Scouts in Moonrise Kingdom, and the ideas matured from there,” Amy explains. Tapping local designers Rotem Shachar and Megan Bond of MR Design Studio, the Kropmans got to work on a wall of storage in the kitchen.
Plywood covers every inch of the kitchen wall, even under the windows. Yes, in the form of lower cabinets, but that’s where the traditional application ends. Instead, the Kropmans opted for something even more utilitarian: a pegboard backsplash. The entire wall was treated with a waterproof finish, ensuring no splash or splatter ruins their favorite feature.
Tableware and baking essentials sit on shelves, while mugs and cooking utensils dangle from hooks. Even a lightbulb has a place (its cord weaves through one of the holes to a plug). Most of the systems are completely modular, shifting and adapting to the setter’s whims, but the Kropmans’ pegs are locked in. “This way we don’t worry about a shelf slipping or a peg coming loose,” says Amy.
As for the empty notches under the window, those are for a future luggage rack or bench. But right now, the couple wants to keep the surface, which happens to coordinate with the tented ceiling, as streamlined as possible. “It’s our Swiss Army knife,” Amy says. “The wall can do anything.”