Interior Greenery

By Marica

I while back I stumbled across a little decorating mantra that suggest you put something “living” in each room of your home – be that a vase of flowers, plant, or goldfish. I can understand this sentiment as plants do give an increased sense of well-being – probably their air-filtering, oxygen-emitting qualities!

I don’t know if you can recall but a decade or so ago somebody decided that interior plants are less than desirable. Why I do not know – maybe the greenery clashed with the chosen colour scheme, or the organic plants did not sit well with the harsh minimalist contemporary interiors that was so trendy at the time… Well, I just think that’s absolute poppycock!

The sad part is – I had not even notice this absence of  house plants until Rose mentioned it last week whilst we were discussing the current lovely hanging planter trend. Luckily, a couple of years ago, some nature-loving, green-fingered plant enthusiasts (like Rose and myself) insured the reintroduction of plants in the interior space. Seems it only takes a few individuals to fan the flames of a trend we were subconsciously craving for. Now? – plants everywhere – and I’m loving it!

What I most appreciate about this pot-plant revival is the unusual and interesting ways you can incorporate greenery into your home. The variety of indoor planters today is remarkable. They come in all shapes, sizes and styles – anything from recycled tins to beautifully painted ceramic pots.

Look up… no really, look up – the least used space in your home will inevitably be the ceiling. Wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted planters are both great quirky ways to add plant life into your home without having to sacrifice floor space – a rare commodity in today’s urban environment.

Need something low maintenance? Why not cultivate a terrarium or two – it looks amazing and if you select the correct plant and vessel it will pretty much take care of itself!

And then my absolute favourite, however very unconventional… using furniture to house you beloved plants! An old dresser with a plant sticking out of every other drawer, a glass-fronted armoire that serves as a mini greenhouse, or a rickety chair with orchids where the seat used to be – it’s ideas like these that really excites me! It is a guaranteed conversation starter.

{So, what do you think of this awesome and unusual planter revolution? Do you have plants in your space?}

Plants & Planters ǀ The Design Tabloid (9)

I simply adore how Grace Light of Poetic Home repurposed this vintage library card catalogue into botanical cabinet filled with a dozen of air plants!

Plants & Planters ǀ The Design Tabloid (8)

This stunning geodesic terrarium with its  triangular glass panes used to be an antique chandelier – lovingly transformed by Restoration Hardware.

Plants & Planters ǀ The Design Tabloid (6)

Glass bell jars can make for excellent terrariums! Don’t you just love this interesting vignette created when using glass vases of different shapes and sizes as planters?! Image: Better Homes and Gardens

Kyoto Garden Sushi – Cape Town

By Marica Fick

Okay, so The Design Tabloid just moved into our new office, an adorable Victorian building in Gardens, Cape Town.

On exploring our new backyard we made an awesome discovery – a little Japanese restaurant, beautifully designed. Determined not to let this opportunity pass us by we dropped in on our new neighbours to ask a few questions & take a couple of photos.

We popped into Kyoto Garden Sushi one cold, miserable Friday evening and were amazed to find ourselves in a little Zen Sanctuary.Stepping into the restaurant, leaving the bustling Kloof Street and noisy Rafiki’s behind, we were immediately enveloped by the restaurant’s warmth & tranquillity.We sat down and had a chat with owner & restaurateur Scott Lee Wood, an American and world traveller. He said his goal was to create a space with an atmosphere that speaks to your soul; calms you from the stresses of life and helps you recharge.

We were quite surprised to learn that Scott designed the interior himself, finding inspiration in his travels to Asia – particularly the Zen Gardens of Japan.

The restaurant interior is designed in a Japanese orient style with the use of natural elements and materials. It is a perfect balance of organic texture and the simple elegance of minimalistic design. The style can be described as “Wabi Sabi”, directly translated from Japanese means – Wabi: roughness, quietness or rustic simplicity & Sabi: beauty or serenity that comes from age. Wabi Sabi – Rustic Beauty.

The restaurants main focal point is the beautiful Sushi Bar, which glows shades of greens from a glass feature wall behind, and is crowned with a dropped bulkhead wallpapered in a textured finish reminiscent of the patterns of a Zen garden. Woven pendants lights hung from the ceiling casts a warm blush over the sushi prep area where you can watch the chef prepare your food.The main eating area has beautiful solid beech tables that have been high pressure hosed to appear more rustic, the resulting grooves in the timber serves as a constant reminder of the restaurants Zen Garden roots. Rattan woven dining chairs complement the beautiful tables and comfortable bench seating, in natural cream cotton upholstery, hug the inside walls. Shoji screens bridging the gap between the low wall and the ceiling emit a green glow.

As strange as this may sound, the restrooms deserve special mention.  The restroom lobby is a little indoor Japanese Garden complete with stone path and a small cascading water feature with bamboo saplings and bonsai trees. Beautiful natural finishes; simplistic palm leaf wallpaper; and dark timber floating vanity units insures your trip to the oasis loo to be rather memorable.

Scott’s amazing eye for detail, balance and quest for perfection has truly made this restaurant a magnificent example of serenity in design. If he ever gets tired of the restaurant business I’m sure he could quite easily become a very successful designer! Not to forget Scott himself is there most nights to meet and greet the customers adding a personal touch to what he does. What a character!

Kyoto Garden Sushi is truly a must visit – go sit down, have some awesome food, drink one of their heavenly cocktails and just enjoy the ambiance!

P.S. Try the “Ecstasy”…it is a dish well named.

Kyoto Garden Sushi, 11 Kloof Nek Road, Gardens, Cape Town.  Give them a ring: 021 422 2001


Life In The City Bowl

Photo: “Cape Town Pano – Night” by Aquila on Flickr
Photo: Photonogrady on Flickr

By Rose McClement

At the beginning of this month we relocated our offices to the Cape Town City Bowl district – Gardens to be exact.  Oh wow – what have we been missing all this time in the “burbs”.

At one time it was the thing to work in the burbs – who wants to take on that traffic into town everyday.  Well being back here where the general vibe is electric and where there is just so much happening in terms of design of any kind – I am quite happy to take on the traffic.  Although don’t get me wrong – it is really taking a bit of getting used that traffic story. But as they say – make it work for you – take it on and make the most of the time in the car.  (Ok – I’ve yet to get totally creative around this, but I will!)

Because after having endured the traffic – I get into the Bowl district and I am inspired. (I can now fully understand the inspiration for SEX IN THE CITY).

Inspired by what – by the architectural design all around us – in all shapes and forms.

By the history to be found in that architectural design – taking the shape of Victorian houses, Art Deco buildings and apartment blocks of the 40’s and 50’s. And then of course the fab modern buildings.  And the PEOPLE – of course!

Tamboerskloof Victorian Architecture

And Oh – the absolute glut of such cool retail interior outlets – in the Gardens, in the City, in De Waterkant etc etc.

There is just so much here – so much to draw new and fresh inspiration from each and every day – something new that catches my eye.

“Hey look – have you seen this shop or that supplier or how about those cool restaurants, coffee shops and cafes”    Yada Yada Yada – I could go on and on. No wonder my friend Miranda cannot be budged from living around here.

So, bear with us, as we take you on REGULAR fresh excursion of what is happening in THE CITY…