Decorating Dictionary: Define Semainier

Decorating Dictionary: Semainier

LEFT: A handsome fruitwood and walnut veneer French semainier with holly inlay and marble top, circa 1880. RIGHT: A super cool contemporary semainier by Rougier in teal high gloss lacquer.

What is the definition of Semainier?

Have you ever heard someone mention the term Semainier and wondered what on earth it meant? Well, now you have to wonder no longer – we will define Semainier for you! Here is the latest addition to our Decorating Dictionary

Semainier:   is a tall, narrow chest with seven drawers – one drawer for each day of the week. Popularised in 18th-century, the name derives from the French term, “semaine”, meaning “week” and was designed for storing lingerie, personal linen and other unmentionables. 

[Image sources: 12, 3]
Bookends by Quirky Me

8 Awesome South African Bookends

No longer simply functional, bookends can add instant pizazz to any boring bookcase or shelf. Keep those books, CDs and DVDs organised whilst adding a touch of style that speaks of you and your home. So today we’re taking a look at cool locally designed bookends. From quirky and playful, to vintage or  beautifully-designed – unique bookends for every flavour and taste. Here are some of our favorites. Let us know which you like best!
Bookends by Quirky Me

A perfect fit for a soft feminine room or boudoir, this dainty Doily Bookend adds a bit of lacy whimsy. Or you can say it like it is with this trendy “BOOK” bookend. Both bookends are made from laser-cut metal and available from Quirky Me.
Cape Gable Bookends by Chandler House

Add a touch of Cape Dutch architectural elegance to you bookcase with a pair of Cape Gable Bookends from Chandler House.Bookends by TinTown

Love the playful A-Z Bookends from TinTown – just be sure to alphabetize those books! Another pretty design from TinTown is the Heart Tree Bookendlove the double silhouette created by fold-out tree… it looks super cool.Vinyl LP Record Bookends by Freshly Found

I bit of re-purposed vintage décor – I’m sure the artist won’t mind! These funky bookends made from old vinyl LP records are available from Freshly Found.Barcode Bookends by Love Jozi

Don’t you think these Barcode Bookends, designed by Johannesburg T-Shirt company Love Jozi, are just awesome?! It features a bit of the Jozi skyline. Hey, who’s going to design a Cape Town skyline bookend?! I would love one of those…Kewpie Doll Bookends by NEST

And lastly a bit of nostalgia with these super cute and quirky Kewpie Doll Bookends by Nest Homegrown. You can purchase these from!

Beautiful Framed Tea Towels

Quick Tip #17: Tea Towel Décor

Beautiful Framed Tea Towels
John Jones London framed 9 gorgeous limited edition tea towels for an article featured in Livingetc. Magazine.
Tea Towels as Tablecloths or Runners
LEFT: Martha Stewart’s crafts editor Blake Ramsey came up with the idea of sewing tea towels together to make table runners. RIGHT: A gorgeous stripy patchwork tablecloth made from tea towels via HousetoHome.

Yesterday’s post on terrific South African designer tea towels just made me realise that some tea towels are just too beautiful to dry dishes with. It would be an utter design sin to subject these lovelies to the wear-and-tear associated with household cleaning and entertaining… and I’m sure the same is true for pretty napkins! So today’s Décor Quick Tip aims to illustrate how you can preserve those handsome tea towels…

#17   Turn too-beautiful-to-use tea towels into quirky yet affordable works of art by having them framed. If you have basic needle-and-thread skills, you can also sew pretty tea towels together to transform them into playful, one-of-a-kind tablecloths or runners.

[Image sources: 12 & 3]
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Terrific Tea Towels

I’ve been stumbling across so many gorgeous tea towels recently. It seems that unique and designer tea towels are all the rage, you see them everywhere – tea towels so stupendously pretty or quirky that is would be a crime to use them to dry dishes with! The tea towel is now more than ever, a desirable designer item – a blank canvas for creatives to express themselves on… tiny pieces of art that every home needs. I thought I would share a few local lovelies with you…

Vanilla Concrete who is maybe best known for their stunning feminine ceramics ranges recently released a beautiful textile range. The Notebook Collection consist of various sketch-like designs – products include gorgeous scatter cushions and table linen. The quirky tea towel designs features sweet phrases and cute doodles… love the bunny design!

I simply adore these whimsical floral tea towels by Naqiyah Mayat of niQi. The aptly named handmade design is called “Alice in Wonderland” and the gorgeous spring-coloured scheme of corals & aquas is simply delicious… love the lace and button detail!

Emma Wyngaard, the creative brain behind YumYum Handmade Textiles, designed the awesome vintage cutlery and kitchen scale tea towels above. Don’t you think they would look stunning if framed… far too funky to dry dishes with!

I was just waiting for the right post to feature the drop-dead gorgeous products of Tatum Lataste of Knysna-based company, Wild Rhubarb. She has a stunning range of products featuring beautiful sketchy nature-inspired designs screen printed onto striking bold-coloured cloth. These beautiful tea towels with vintage cutlery design is right up my alley! 

These awesome tea towels reminded me of the children’s classic, the Town Musicians of Bremen – a stacked farm animals… or do you prefer the other tea towel with a African twist featuring a cheeky baboon and meerkat? These gorgeous beauties are from Nest and available via Meekel.

Stumbled across this quirky purple cabbage tea towel on Hello Pretty. Designed by super talented illustrator Euodia, of Touchee Feelee (LOVE the name btw), the cabbage tea towel also comes in pink. Watch this lady… 

Another illustrator blessing the world with her whimsical designs. Kathy Mellor designed the three quirky tea towels above. My favourite is the Eggbeater tea towel, how about you?Hadeda is a treasure trove of awesome awesome product – they import most of it from Central and South America. I simply loved this striking Aztec print tea towel, it’s a total riot of colour and South American inspired patterns are super trendy at the moment! You can also buy this bright beauty for a limited time at a discounted price from CityMob (hurry, go check it out)! Online Art Gallery

Recently I was approached by Jennifer Reynolds from StateoftheArt online art gallery with the view of a meeting. I must say at that point I had never heard of this business venture and my interest was piqued. We met for a coffee and to say that she managed to catch my attention is an understatement. She markets her business with a strong passion for Art, bringing a somewhat unique flavour along with it.

Jennifer Reynolds of
Perseverance by Mila Posthumus

Q: Tell us more about the concept of…

A: I’m passionate about art and believe that art is an important and fundamental part of our society. Living with art and engaging with artists should be accessible to everyone, no matter what their budget. Physical gallery spaces incur overheads which mean that genuinely talented but undiscovered artists are rarely given a voice. I wanted to create a launch pad for these artists and provide them with a platform from which to earn a living while pursuing their creative vision. We showcase and sell works by fine arts graduates and emerging contemporary artists from around South Africa.  I see StateoftheArt as adding a new dimension to the current art-buying experience, opening the art world to people who in the past may have had limited opportunity to purchase and collect art – and because of our low commission rate, we are able to offer customers the opportunity to buy contemporary art – rather than commercial artwork from decor shops – at affordable prices.

Last year we launched Collectors Resale, an online secondary art market for art enthusiasts wishing to divest works from their private collections.

Conversations With My Dog by Sue Kaplan

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself – how did you get involved in the art scene?

A: Having spent 18 years working for the number one financial news and information vendor in both South Africa and Europe, I was ready for a new challenge outside of the financial markets, and decided to use my savings to start my own business. Living in London I’d been used to shopping online for all kinds of products, including art.  Research showed that while there are many online art buying sites out there, few have strict quality controls, and none focused on South African fine arts graduates. I saw a gap between consumers’ desire to own affordable contemporary art and the need of local artists to make a living.

Bianca’s Hands III by Mila Posthumus

Q: Explain to us the StateoftheArt selection process and Curatorial Panel…

A: StateoftheArt is the only online gallery in South Africa to have a curatorial panel. The Curatorial Panel comprises six art professionals from around the country. We have a democratic selection process – the panel review the submitted applications then vote for the artists they would like to see represented in the gallery.  The panel carefully research each artist prior to inclusion to maintain a consistently high level of quality. They look for a combination of technical skill and unique style – and of course commitment – that they’re an artist by birth, not by choice.

Carousel of Extinction I by Danelle Malan

Q: What support do you offer the represented fledgling artists?

A: StateoftheArt’s commitment to it’s artists goes beyond simply posting their work online. We promote their work through a service called Art Specifier – an art discovery tool for the hospitality and design industry, as well as the corporate world (we recently completed an artwork refurbishment project for Pricewaterhouse Coopers at Century City placing over 130 works by our artists). We also spend a great deal of time marketing our artists to collectors, as well as through the media. Our recently introduced ‘Guest Curator’ series is an exciting promotional opportunity for the artists whose works are chosen for the curated collection. The series aims to help our customers build and shape their own art collections by exposing them to the insights of top tastemakers; people who have influenced culture through their ideas, words, art or business.

Untitled XIV Sea Point Promenade by Tarjei Langeland

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?

A: Nothing beats the excitement of placing an artwork with a novice collector and receiving emails of appreciation from our customers. You CAN buy an original contemporary artwork for less than the cost of a visit to the hairdresser!

Q: What inspires you?

A: The creativity and design coming out of South Africa and local contemporary art – it’s incredibly exciting, it’s intellectual and it’s relevant to our generation.

Q: And your personal taste in Art – is there a certain style or artist you are drawn to?

A: I have a very eclectic taste in art but I like to focus on young talent and emerging local artists. And I’m drawn to the whole graffiti/street art movement – Faith 47 and Freddy Sam – we have an amazing public ‘gallery’ on the streets of Cape Town.

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Q: Share with us, in your opinion, a few names of emerging South African artists we should be watching…

A: Adolf Tega, land artist Janet Botes (her nature-inspired Nuances works are sublime), Sophie Peters, Floris van Zyl, recent Michaelis graduate Liffey Speller, Jimmy Law, art photographer Yolanda van der Mescht, the list could go on and on…

Q: What do you have on your bedside table at the moment?

A: A book on the Okovango Delta (Okovango Journey by Robyn Keene-Young) as my partner and I are embarking on a long anticipated holiday to Botswana next month

Wilde Bergroos by Lizelle Kruger

Q:  What is your vision for StateoftheArt going forward?  Kinda like the proverbial ‘5 year plan’!

A: To include a physical space – a working building with a gallery, office space and artist’s studios. To continue to provide an online platform for artists to earn a living and pursue their artistic vision and creative careers without needing to supplement their income via other non-creative avenues. I expect to see a lot more growth on the web and through Tablets and Smartphones from people, especially younger collectors, who historically haven’t purchased from galleries in the past. Today’s collectors can learn about an artwork online or through a social network, see it and then buy it – all with a few flicks of the wrist. I see StateoftheArt Online Gallery becoming a key resource for an art collector beyond the usual venues such as galleries, auctions and art fairs.