Hanging out with Weylandts at Dutch Masters Launch

About a week and a half ago I was one of the very fortunate guests at an event hosted by Weylandts at their Green Point Store. Their mission was to celebrate their collaboration with Dutch Master contemporary furniture designer, Jan Linteloo.  And boy did they do it in total style.  From start to finish, it was entertaining, magical, mysterious, tantalizing and I could go on and on, eventually running out of adjectives with which to describe this fabulous evening.

What made the evening so spectacular for the guests was the food and the presentation of the food.  It was nothing short of a magical experience. Thanks to the talented Margot Janse from The Tasting Room fame.

I am no foodie and cannot even begin to go into any sort of explanation of the style of food etc, suffice to say that it was a celebration of fabulous food design. The theme of the food experience was ‘woody’ – that was my impression anyway, which makes such sense to me.  I found myself being exposed to food that I had no idea existed. Food presentation done in a way that blew my mind away, with the highlight of that food journey for me being the cheese table – behind it was a big plywood board, with toasted pieces of Ciabatta breads hanging from nail pins.  How awesome is that!!  All I had to do (when I got my breath back again) was unhook my toast and pile on the delicious cheeses and jams.  (OMG – I’m salivating here!)

One thing that became very evident during the speeches was that Jan Linteloo, Chris Weylandt and Margot Janse were very comfortable with each other.  In fact there was a depth to this collaboration that warranted this special celebration – these were good friends working using their respective talents to work in perfect synergy.  Bringing to the public products of outstanding design and manufacture quality. The collaboration between Weylandts and Jan Linteloo is not a new one.  What is encouraging is that the standard of our local manufacturers is good enough to meet Jan’s high expectation. The result is that he is extending his range of furniture with Weylandts.  And believe me, this furniture has been well designed, soundly fabricated, is aesthetically appealing and    very comfortable

Both Marica and I are huge Weylandts supporters and we would like to take this opportunity of thanking them for THE MOST OUTSTANDING celebration event. Long may this collaboration last – standing as an example for other collaborations between designers.

Fellow Blogger Vicki Sleet from I Want That has written a fabulous account of the event as well.  If you want to see more images of the amazing food experience, pop over and take a look

Weylandts (4)
The food “trough”
Weylandts Food Trough ǀ I Want That
Gorgeous images of what you could find nestled in the food “trough” | Image: Vicki Sleet
Weylandts (3)
In keeping with the foraging theme this tree was hung with all kinds of delicious delicate bites!
A little food nest…
Weylandts Bead Wall & Cheese Wheels ǀ I Want That
The bread wall and rustic cheese wheels | Image: Vicki Sleet
Weylandts (2)
What an unusual and amazing food experience
Weylandts Dessert Wall ǀ I Want That
The dessert wall – hundreds of spoons with sweet treats on them! | Image: Vicki Sleet

Colour-Coded Inspiration: Orange

By Marica

About.com has excellent descriptions of colour and the feelings and emotion specific colours invokes. This is what they had to say about Orange (I find it quite accurate):

“Orange is vibrant, flamboyant & energetic. It denotes energy, warmth, and the sun. But orange has a bit less intensity or aggression than red, calmed by the cheerfulness of yellow. As a warm color orange is a stimulant — stimulating the emotions and even the appetite. Orange can be found in nature in the changing leaves of fall, the setting sun, and the skin and meat of citrus fruit. It represents the changing seasons so in that sense it is a color on the edge, the color of change between the heat of summer and the cool of winter. Because orange is also a citrus color, it can conjure up thoughts of vitamin C and good health.”

A good colour to pair with orange is a nice cooling blue, like this turquoise-y blue we used below. Now the orange really pops. It can be really refreshing, don’t be afraid to use it. Here is some Orange beauties to inspire you…

Main Image via Pinterest / Scatter Cushions: Weylandts / Orange Fabric Swatches: Design Team / Chrysanthemum Vase: Anthropologie / Orange Pouffe: Fatsak / Orange & Blue Framed Print: Mengsel via Etsy / Alarm Clock: LIM / Ceramic Tiles: PaperCake / Orange Single Cup Bodem Plunger: Yuppiechef 

Main Image via Desire To Inspire / Orange & Grey Rug: Anthropologie / Glass Tea Candle Holders: Weylandts / Retro Pendant Lights: Mid-Century Modern / Orange Stackable Stools: Tolix / Africa Scatter Cushion: Mr. Price Home / Red & Orange Scatter Cushions: Yda Walt/ Pug Print: MonsterGallery via Etsy / Orange Refrigerator: Smeg

10 Living Room Accessories Under R250

By Marica

Your lounge / living room is the central hub of your home. It’s where we entertain, watch a bit of telly, snuggle down with a good book, or just having a lekker chat. We spend a lot of time in our living rooms (hence the name I suppose), so we might as well doll it up. Decorating your living room does not necessarily have to be an expensive exercise. Here is 10 key items that can immediately add a little character to a boring lounge…and all for under 250 bucks each…

Scatter cushions add instant colour to room - these cushions are from Mr. Price Home. The beautiful embroidered cushion (left) is R129.99; the purple R59.99; the floral print R99.99 and the green one is R59.99
Add a bit of atmosphere with candles and dainty candle holders (love the crochet effect - like Rose mentioned in her trends post - crochet has the "it" factor right now). These lovely items are from @Home. The ceramic holders range from R35 to R69 and the beautiful purple rose candle is R55.
This gorgeous sunny ginger jar is available from Farrier's for R250 on the dot. (It's an absolute steal!)

Create a feature with frames of varying shapes and sizes. Nothing adds live like displaying your loved ones proudly! From left: Wooden cut-out frame from @Home - R139; Mother-of-pearl frame from Mr. Price Home - R59.99; and the gorgeous white rose frame and antique silver frame are both from Farrier's - R200 and R160
Throws are a must-have for a little winter couch cuddling. A throw can also add texture, colour and a bit of glam to your lounge - take these faux fur throws from Sheet Street for example (R199.99 each) and the colourful throws from Mr. Price Home (the purple is R199.99 and the green R159.99)
For a cosy atmosphere, switch on a table / floor lamp rather than your main ceiling light (Eskom will be thankful too). This natural beauty is from Sheet Street (only R79.99). You can always interchange shades and bases when you get tired of them.

No matter what the decor style of your lounge is, art is a fantastic way to truly communicate it. You don’t necessarily have to rob a bank to afford it - try buying smaller pieces and prints to create a “gallery” wall. Typography is very trendy so these pieces from @Home would look stunning (the left is R250 and the right R125) or maybe a little vintage glam with this funky two-tone Marilyn Monroe print (R179)
You might remember these Ed Suter coasters from the Design Indaba - they're funky and colourful and sure to keep those nasty coffee cup rings off your table. They are also Proudly South African and sure to get one or two laughs! You can order a set of 4 for 80 bucks from Ed's website.
Clocks have become serious fashion items. The square black clock is from Mr. Price Home at R89.99 and the white "word" clock is from @Home (R169). What an absolutely funky way to keep time!

Glass vases and objects make beautiful features (flowers or no flowers). I was quite stunned to find these gorgeous recycled glass items from Weylandts and all below the R250 bracket! They range from R45 to R79 - amazing.

And there you have it! 10 accessories to instantly spruce up your living room – and I didn’t even have to

look hard! Happy shopping everyone!

Check out these products on the supplier’s various websites:

@HomeMr. Price HomeWeylandtsSheet StreetFarrier’sEd Suter

Decorex 2011: Talking Trends With Dave Nemeth

Dave Nemeth’s Trend Talk at Decorex CT 2011

One of the interesting features of the recent Decorex Cape Town Expo was the Trend Talk given by Trend Forecast guru, Dave Nemeth.  Here in our office, we seem to inadvertently watch the trends by being avid bloggers. Nevertheless, it was fascinating to listen to Dave open them up like the expert that he is.  He has been a player in the interiors trade for many years and it seems that the last few years have seen him trotting around the globe, trend watching.  I like that we have our own proudly South African Trend gurus.

This beautiful Salvatore Ferragamo crochet number can easily influence future Interior trends, for example, this gorgeous chair for Casamento

How is a trend established?   I guess most of us are aware of the fact that Fashion and Interiors walk side by side, in terms of pattern, texture and colour trends, particularly the Cat Walk.  However, trends are not just established willy-nilly.  Other factors that influence the establishing of a trend are:  What is the consumer experiencing; how are global politics and economics impacting consumers and then of course what impact is technology having on the consumer?  Research Information coming out of these influences is collated by Trend Forecasting Agencies for the benefit and application by Interior Designers, Retailers and Manufacturers who develop it further.

Scatter Cushions by Henry Road Fabrics
Pink & Berry Colours

FACT – Two types of trends – micro trends and macro trends. Micro-trends are those that fleetingly come and go.  Naturally, that would make a macro trend the stayer- for a good few years, much like the few I am about to highlight.

Colour – the impact of the recession in our global economy was reflected in the muted colour palette of grey and neutral tones.  (Mood influences colour).  Now that the movement in the economy is more optimistic, the inclusion of strong pinks and berries colours are evident.  We are feeling upbeat and even if you aren’t at that place yet, indulge these colours and you soon will.

Industrial Cabinet via Weylandts
Upcycled & Industrial Cabinet from Weylandts

Furniture:  Dave highlighted the fact that coming out of the recession, the consumer has become a cautious and conscious buyer.  As such quality is a strong determinant in the furniture we buy, with the resurgence of solid woods.  Solid woods in the form of recycled furniture, or up-cycled furniture (vintage, heritage or retro second-hand pieces, that get the conversion treatment to a snazzy modern furniture item).  Handcrafted furniture is also very big, as is the industrialised look and feel.

It seems that tactile is the buzz word – we are experiencing a great deal of texture in our furniture, with open grain tables being more the rage. (I personally love this trend, as authenticity is one of my values in life).

Have you noticed that there is a lot of deep buttoned upholstered furniture to be had? And listen, don’t let you mom or aunt throw out that old suitcase or trunk, or even the crate she stored the cool drink bottles in. (there are still a few of those cool drink vendors that drive around the suburbs – they have loads of those crates – convince them to part with it).

Open bulbs or bulb-shaped lighting

Lighting:  The shapes we find in table and standing lamps are both organic and angular.  That was seen in the products on display by Newport Lighting, a local-is-lekker company. Expect to see more lighting that feature exposed bulbs (frosted bulbs – not your standard bulb).  Wire caging surrounding the bulb is apparently also the way to go.  Nice.

Accessories:  Now this is the exciting part – it’s affordable.  Textured scatter cushions – embroidered, felt, cable knit, plenty of bright colours.

Handcrafted is so big.

Then Typography – words, letters, phrases all available to you to display in your favourite rooms.   Add into this collective mix, Anglophilia – all things Brit.

Green: There is however one distinct characteristic that runs through all categories – sustainability.  Green is here to stay!!!

Dave presented a bucket load of information and I could go on and on.

However, from my observation, Decorex actually nailed the theme of the show – basic and beauty.  We are living in a time where the superfluous has been and gone.  We want to get back to our roots, our heritage and in doing so, find that grounded, safe and secure place again.

So, we turn to the past and the heritage that is connected to that.  We surround ourselves in colours, crafts and textures that add optimist depth to our being, bringing hope and meaning to our lives.

What the future holds – we will allow the trend gurus to unfold that with each passing season.

Spice Up Your Interior With Some Quirky Stools

By Marica

We generally underestimate the effect a couple of funky ottomans or stools can have on the overall appearance of an interior or room. Stools are excellent feature pieces – they do for a room what a beautiful necklace does for an outfit. You can instantly convey a certain style or feel by plopping a few quirky stools or ottomans into an otherwise bland interior. I found a handful brilliant off-beat stools for your perusal…

The Bucket Stool by Pedersen & Lennard

The Bucket Stool by Pedersen & Lennard caused quite a stir at last year’s Design Indaba. In some way, this out-of-the-box concept ushered in a season of South African design free from traditional constraints of what design should look like and what construction materials should be. Pedersen & Lennard recently released a refined version of this sleek signature piece – now in even more trendy colours. The stool also doubles up as a storage unit or ice bucket once the upholstered seat is removed.

Recycled Tyre Stool by Tyred

These awesome stools, made from old and used tyres, are seriously brilliant. The brainchild of Sean Smith, Tyred not only cleans up the environment by recycling discarded tyres, but also plays a part in job creation as Sean employs local men and families. Pictured above, is the custom designed range, featuring the designs of local designers and artists. What makes it all the more amazing – almost half of the profits go to their chosen charity, Men on the Side of the Road, and the rest to the designers and production.

iSITho Wire Stool Collection by Indalo Project

Indalo, a non-profit organization that connects professional designers with local craft producers hopes to change lives through original and sophisticated design. Nicci Drzewicki’s iSITho collection inspired by traditional African furniture, such as headrests and seats, now beautifully crafted from wire with timber seats, will look smashing in any contemporary interior.

Hatbox and Suitcase Ottomans by Recreate

By now, you all must be familiar with Katie Thompson from Recreate who takes unwanted junk and turn them into quirky treasures. I just love these hatbox and retro suitcase ottomans – adorable!

Bucket Stools & Tub Ottoman by Recreate

Also featured on Recreate’s website, these wacky stools made from old buckets and a deep-buttoned ottoman made from a rusty galvanized tub.

Isabella Stool by Ryan Frank

Isabella is a totem style stacking designed by South African born, Ryan Frank. Drawing inspiration from traditional hand carved African seating the stools are made from layers of Strawboard. Avoiding the use of exotic hardwood the stools are made from a solid section of Strawboard or Spruce Ply and then wrapped in 100% wool felt. Made form sustainable materials the stools come in a range of bold colours and finishes.

Wire Stool by Willard Musarurwa

Willard Musarurwa started making his wire furniture in the township where he lived, making a meagre income. With the help of Stephen Burks from Aid to Artisans (through Cape Crafts and Design Institute) they designed the celebrated wire stool and table which is now available from Weylandts and Willard’s company, African Feeling.

I have to say, what I appreciate about all these products is that all of them, in some way or another, promote sustainable design and job creation, which is genuinely commendable.

Images & Info via designer’s websites.

Nature Inspired Design

By Marica

I wanted to write a post on Organic Design, a movement, or rather a motivation in design, which really inspires me and most designers.

Organic Design is a very broad term that encompasses anything from environment sensitive architecture and engineering, to nature inspired design, structure, materials and pattern. It also plays a big part in the development of sustainability, science and future technology.

So why do we have this great fascination with nature and why is it worth emulating? I would say Nature is the embodiment of perfect design. There is a certain grace, balance and beauty found in Nature that all designers, artists and craftsmen strive to attain. Nature is ultimate “form follows function” standard. Every leaf, colour, branch, exoskeleton, right down to the smallest cell was designed and evolved to perform a specific function in the most sufficient way. It is this ingenuity of Nature’s tested patterns and strategies that we attempt to imitate or draw inspiration from.

The Museum of Modern Art curator, Paola Antonelli, introduces the exhibition “Design and the Elastic Mind” and explains Organic Design.

I truly appreciate designers who mimic Nature’s working designs and evolve it to fit a new function whilst still retaining its aesthetically pleasing appearance whether it is in the way a structure is put together, a slight organic curve in a furniture piece, or an intricate pattern on a fabric. Designs inspired by nature has an elegant quality, maybe we recognize some subconscious symmetry in the organic.

Check out these beautiful nature inspired designs…

The Pod Hanging Chair & The Bloom Chair - Weylandts

The Pod Hanging Chair is reminiscent of a weaver’s nest and the Blossom Chair designed by Kenneth Cobonpue resembles a flower, both available from Weylandts.

Merino Bubble Cushions from Peta-Lee

I adore these cushions from Peta-Lee. They are made from Merino Wool Felt and remind me of alveoli and sea grass, beautiful.

Images: http://www.industrialdesignserved.com
The Chrysanthemum Centrepiece by Michaella Janse Van Vuuren

The Chrysanthemum Centrepiece by Michaella Janse Van Vuuren is a reversible design that can function as either a bowl or a candle holder. The piece was the winner of the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa at the Design Indaba Expo 2009.

Beautiful Ceramic Vessels by Astrid Dahl Images: http://amaridianusa.com/index2.htm

And these organic form ceramic pieces from Astrid Dahl are truly awe-inspiring. They look so delicate and feminine. Isn’t it absolutely breathtaking!

Scientist, Janine Benyus, in her book on Biomimicry suggests looking to Nature as a “Model, Measure, and Mentor”. We truly live on an amazing planet, take care of it!  May Nature continue to inspire us!