Friday, 30 November 2007

Save the Werdmuller

This beautiful Modernist building is the Werdmuller Centre , and it connects Claremont Station with Main Road in Cape Town.

In recent years, the Werdmuller Centre has not been well maintained, and now developers have their eyes on the valuable real estate it occupies. It looks likely to be demolished.

On Wednesday 5 December , there will be a public presentation of the Heritage Impact Assesment regarding the demolition of the Werdmuller Centre.

To show your support against its demolition, attend the meeting at 5pm. It will be held at 71 Hout Street, Cape Town, on the First floor of the Cape Institute.

If you’re unable to attend, you can add your signature to a petition. Send an email to to find out more.

All photos copyright Gaelen Pinnock. Click here to see more.

South of the Sahara

When you meet a French man living in South Africa, do you call him an “ex-Frenchman”? Of course not, but somehow, when people leave South Africa, they’re often called “ex-South Africans”, as if their homeland was just a map-shaped stain that faded the minute they left our shores.

But some people have their home tattooed on their heart, no matter how far away they live, and the author of South of the Sahara , is certainly one of these.

Although she's based in the US, she keeps right up-to-date with southern African design, and spreads the word through her blog. And now that she has a weekly guest spot at 2modern, the word keeps spreading.

Check out her latest post on Astrid Dahl at 2Modern, and bookmark South of the Sahara so that this far-away South African keeps you in touch with what’s going on right under your nose!

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Mia Cullin

Hmm, Christmas is almost around the corner, so despite the summery weather, perhaps a little snowflake or two is in order?

This beautiful Flake screen is made by Mia Cullin, and is available for sale at Woodnotes. You can see lots more of her beautiful work here.

Of course, every design-savvy South African laying eyes on these screens will immediately think of our own brilliant Heath Nash, but I'll save a nice long post about him for another day.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Le Souk

Danielle de Lange of the Style Files has opened a beautiful online shop called le Souk, selling beautiful home accessories. She’s selected each item herself, and if you’ve ever read the Style Files, you’ll know that Danielle’s taste is beyond reproach.

I’ve been wandering through le Souk this morning, and chosen some of my favourites. How about you?

Friday, 23 November 2007

Yanagihara clock

This black aluminium wall clock with black hands was designed by Teruhiro Yanagihara, and is part of the Deroll commission series. I love the off-round form of the clockface, which is derived from the shape of the gibbous moon, considered the most beautiful lunar phase in Japan. (Via grijs)

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Can't put a good trendjie down...

While Bronwyn was guest blogging for us, I was getting lots of feedback on the little house Trendjie I posted earlier this month.

It started when Angela Liguori very kindly sent me this pic of a Julia Rothman screenprint...

... and then when I saw these Julia Rothman mugs at Urban Outfitters (via Print&Pattern), I thought I just had to do a bit of a P.S. to this Trendjie.

Francesca of Mrs Eliot Books was also inspired and did her own version of the little house trend, where she posted about this Hus cushion from Swedish design site Village.

And to end on a fragrant note, how about this smoke house insence burner. It's made of solid beech, designed by Jan Harman, and available at Velocity Art & Design.
Next Trendjie coming up soon. Watch this space...

Monday, 19 November 2007

The Escape Issue

The Escape Issue of Elle Decoration SA is on the shelves all over South Africa today!

Escape is perfectly titled, not only because this issue is jammed with great holiday destinations, but also because for the first time, we're breaking the boundaries of the glossy page and leaping into the virtual world - right here on this blog!

On the Deco blog, we'll tell you more about what we’ve featured in the mag, broadening the content with extra pics and interesting links. We also want to hear from you, so tell us what you think by leaving a comment (just click on the “comments” button below each blog post).

Indulge yourself and escape with Elle Decoration – both in print and online!

PS: Keep checking into the blog between now and the next issue. We keep it updated and full of the freshest trends and hot ideas, just for you!

PICA of the crop

Ooh, look! Good news in the top right hand corner!

Elle Decoration is very proud to have won two prestigious PICA Awards this year. We have shiny trophies for both D├ęcor Magazine of the Year and Best Magazine of the Year.

Go Deco!


The beautiful cover pic of the Escape issue is by photographer extrordinaire, Craig Fraser, who championed local style in the hit sellers Shack Chic and Mud Chic.

Craig's new book, The New Safari is a lavish photographic study of safari chic throughout Africa.
Lucky Deco readers get a preview in this issue. Turn to page 98 for an extract.

Test your luck some more and put yourself in line to win one of five copies of The New Safari by emailing with your contact details. Remember to put "The New Safari" in the subject line. Good luck!

Design wonders of the world (page 35)

If you're a design junkie like me, you'll love the feature on pages 35 - 38, where Deco has written up a wish list of their design travel destinations.

The internet's an ideal place to check out some of these places, so take some time out and escape to some of my favourites, like Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and the Eames House. And of course, don't miss the Aalto family home in Helsinki.

Do you have an ideal design travel destination? Leave a comment on this post, and we'll follow it up later, publishing our readers' dream escapes.

Escape to Old Romance (page 82)

You've already spent 8 whole pages escaping to the old-world charm of Cobus van Niekerk's converted post office in Stanford, and you still want more?

Perfect. We've got lots more to show you. Please take a seat...
...and enjoy these bonus pics from our shoot:

This quirky collection of jellymoulds is my personal favourite. Tell us what you liked best about Cobus' house by leaving a comment.


Wouldn't you love to escape from it all by spending a lazy afternoon under this Shadylace Parasol by Chris Kabel?

Subscribe to Elle Decoration SA now, and you could be one of six lucky readers to win one of your own parasol (in white), valued at R4000 from the Modern Garden Company.

Call the Deco subscriptions hotline on 0860 123 300, or email

Friday, 16 November 2007

Be our guest!

All this week, Bronwyn Nesbitt of Smoke and Ochre is writing as our guest blogger here at Elle Decoration SA. Thanks, Bronwyn!

Update: Many, many thanks from the Deco team for all your hard work, Bronwyn! We've loved having you, and we're now devoted followers of your blog!

PS: On Monday, the brand new issue of Elle Decoration SA hits the shelves!

Francisca Pieto

I like these stylish bookends by Chilean born designer Francisca Prieto. She launched her design company in 2006 and is currently based in London. She produces small ranges of home accessories and graphic art.

Well that's it for me. I've enjoyed guest blogging this week, thanks again to Heather for inviting me, and have a fabulous weekend!


Very cute collages from Katrines Kratt. I like the way she incorporates wallpaper patterns and items of modern furniture.

Ikuko Iwamoto

Right now I'm having a love affair with Japanese design which the recent Tokyo Design Week brought to my attention. These ceramic vessels are by Ikuko Iwamoto. She says "I make exquisite cups and other objects for a bizarre tea ceremony. They suggest the everyday, the ordinary, but are in fact extra-ordinary. They are the vehicle to make visible an invisible, microscopic world. A world of intricacy and detail, of mathematical pattern and organic chaos, of beauty and repulsion."


I like these illustrations by Japanese artist Yosuke Ueno. Cute and characterful, but somehow slightly sad at the same time. I discovered his work at One Small Seed, a South African pop culture mag. The content includes art, architecture, design and fashion. The magazine layout and graphic design is superb, super hip and edgy, and the best thing of all is that the first issue is online, over a 100 pages of delicious eye candy.

Thursday, 15 November 2007


Who said hangers had to be boring? The problem with this one, called the Cityscape coat hanger, from Sixixis, is that it's far too nice to hide away in your cupboard. I'd have to put it somewhere it could be seen - maybe hanging from my wooden coat and hat stand. Sixixis also has a fabulous range of furniture, some interesting and unusual designs, like the rocking chair below, made from steam bent ash wood.

People will always need plates

I like this range of ceramic mugs and plates from People will always need plates in the UK. The small but successful company is run by two designers who say that "...they aim to use high quality, low volume batch production to create witty, thoughtful and stylish products as a direct antithesis to the current proliferation of cheap, throwaway design." Well, I definately think they've achieved that aim....and in case you just happened to be wondering, they do a stylish range of pet bowls too.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Jaime Hayon

These very elegant and sophisticated pieces are by Spanish artist and designer Jaime Hayon. They're made of plastic, and in the case of the chairs, leather as well. I also think they have a slightly camp, humourous feel about them which I love. That might just be my slightly strange opinion - but this range is influenced by the big Classic MGM musicals. It's called the Showtime Collection and was designed for BD Barcelona.

Winnie Liu

I'm absolutely loving this chandelier by Winnie Liu for Innermost in the UK. I like the intricate detail, and the objects she has chosen to include in her design. The design is made from unique pieces sourced to create a limited edition of 50 white chandeliers and 50 black chandeliers.

Photo copyright Curtis Christophersen

Winnie Liu is a jewellery designer turned lighting designer, and I have to say, I love her personal style as well, which is why I included the bottom photograph by Curtis Christophersen.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Retro style

I'm a complete pushover for retro fabric designs, so I love these bags and cushions from Design House Stockholm. They're made from re-issued fabrics by famous Swedish Designers from the 1950's and there are about five designs to choose from. The range also includes placemats, table runners and cosmetic bags - or you can purchase the fabric and make whatever you want.

Re-interpreting the classics

I'm delighted to be guest blogging on the Elle Decoration SA blog, thanks so much Heather for your warm welcome. I hope Elle blog readers will enjoy my posts and from my side will certainly be enjoying contributing this week. I'm starting off with some of the unusual furniture designs from Colcha, a store in Venice, California. I'm particularly loving their orange and brown lounge chair with it's strong mid century feel, and these clever metal interpretations of classic, antique chair designs.