Pablo House Melville

The building that became Pablo House was originally a small cottage, which changed and grew significantly over the years as rooms and extensions were added.

Owner-operators Louis and Leigh Roux found this gem of a property, previously known as “Yarramundi”. The couple reimagined the concept of a traditional guest-house, focusing on experiential and tactile elements, creating a modern and elegant experience for today’s traveller.

“What captivated us was the breath-taking views the property has,” explains Louis. “You don’t expect it… and then you step inside. Having a view in Johannesburg is a luxury in its own right – it gave us the feeling that anything is possible. We designed the spaces to heighten the experience.”

Louis and Leigh opened up the communal space to improve the flow and transformed the floors and bathrooms to make them both modern and homey.

Design and inspiration

What really brings Pablo House to life is the art, lovingly selected by the owners over the years. Featuring mainly Southern African artists, the collection boasts work by renowned artists including Norman Catherine and the Parisian Patrick Willock. Leigh and Louis believe some of their finest pieces are those by up-and-coming newer artists such as Pauline Gutter and Gary Stevens.

Pablo House’s communal areas and suites are punctuated with brightly coloured artefacts, defying the traditional guest-house mainstay of monochrome chic.

“The design inspiration for Pablo House is a mash up of things we’ve collected on our travels, paired with local favourites,” says Leigh. “The idea was to begin with a neutral palate, add a few feature walls and then populate the space with pops of colour using the artwork and furniture, combining textures such as leather, suede and velvet; timber, canvas, glass and bamboo.”

The wealth of living plants throughout the guest-house and restaurant area contributes to the “treehouse” aesthetic as one looks out across the treetops that surround Pablo House. 

The garden is made up primarily of indigenous plants and trees that grow up along the rock face of the property and into the garden beneath. Highlights include a cycad; olive, banana and fig trees; as well as indigenous shrubs and flowers.