Last year we introduced a new blog series, Creative SA. In this series we will regularly feature South African makers.
by Marica Fick
The South African creatives we want to share with you today are very special indeed. Block & Chisel is celebrating an extraordinary milestone this year. 2017 marks the furniture and homeware company’s 30th anniversary – which is no small achievement for any business. They are one of the few local creatives who have built their business into a powerful, recognised local brand. One might even call them a furniture and decor dynasty.
We here at Design Monarchy hold Block & Chisel and their founders, Lynn & Sibley McAdam, in very high regard. The way in which they have developed and grown their product range over the decades is admirable.
The husband and wife team first began this journey after Lynn sold Biggie Best. With Lynn’s eye for beautiful pieces together with Sibley’s passion for restoring antiques and crafting fine furniture, Block & Chisel was born. The past 15 years has seen Block & Chisel welcome the McAdams’s son and daughter into the fold.
I, as a relatively “green” designer, love when Rose, who has been in the South African decorating industry for decades, enlightens me on the history of certain creatives and local design-related businesses. Block & Chisel is such a business – Rose can distinctly remember when they first opened their doors in 1987. Now 30 years later they own multiple successful shops.
Block & Chisel fills a very distinctive niche in the furniture and decorative accessories market. Their flavour is distinctly upmarket. They manage to create this delicious mix of eclectic, luxury, traditional but also contemporary, trendy yet timeless, oh-so-chic elements.
While Block & Chisel has their fingers firmly on the global interior trend pulse, they stay rooted in the company’s slightly colonial foundation which is evident in their classic French and English Country ranges.
Sibley first introduced these designs in the early years and to this day, it still forms the backbone of the Block & Chisel product range. In recent years more contemporary designs have been added. Lynn expertly accents these locally manufactured pieces with carefully chosen treasures to create an overall eclectic flair.
It is always such a treat and sensory experience to visit Block & Chisel in Diep River where we often shop and source for our clients. Not only does the showroom smell amazing, it is also filled with layer upon layer of the most beautiful furniture and decorative accessories. The showroom layout and various room settings tell such a wonderful decorative “story”.
We believe the key to Block & Chisel’s success (other than their visionary and talented owners) is longevity. Longevity, not only in their product ranges, but also in their business model. They keep evolving and reinventing to cater to their chosen market. And that is what we appreciate most about Block & Chisel.
Be sure to check out the Block & Chisel to see their full range of furniture & decorative accessories.
You can also follow Block & Chisel on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.
When you walk into a retail decorating outlet such as Block & Chisel (in our case Cape Town) or any other shop that sells quality furniture, I have to wonder how many of us stop to appreciate the “behind the scenes” activities that has gone into each piece of furniture on that shop floor.
Generally, we only deal with what we see in front of us and mostly we remain unaware of the journey that some pieces have taken, from conception of the design, through production, to what you see in front of you. I guess shopping for anything rarely requires such awareness, be it a fashion item, household item or anything for that matter. We may well be more appreciative of price points, if we did in fact shop with more awareness.
Today however, I want to share with you via this video of Block & Chisel – what happens behind the scenes in a furniture manufacturing company. Over the course of my long career in this trade, while working for furniture manufacturers, I have often been privileged to spend time on the factory floor. There is a scene in the video of a craftsman running his hands over the wooden piece. It took me right back to my short lived term of working for Pierre Cronje. I recall standing watching him and those craftsmen ply their trade with such tender passion for wood, and the craft. I hope you pick up on the beauty of these craftsman’s applied skills – all respect to those who work their craft behind the scenes.
“Live Life Beautifully” – add something special into your space.
P.S. Just a quick FYI… This is not a sponsored post. In fact none of our posts are sponsored. We share this and others because they add value to our appreciation of interior elements.