Friday, 30 January 2009

No trees were harmed

"Wood" you like to take a seat, madam?

Actually, this tree stump by designers Ilona Huvenaars and Alissia Melka-Teichroew is not what it appears at all! It's made of soft foam, and comes in colours certainly never seen in nature!

And unlike a real wood stump, these are light, soft and waterproof, so you can take them outside without making the trees in your garden feel nervous.

Available at Kikkerland (with sooo many other cool things!)

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Eley Kishimoto

This Red Flash wallpaper (above) is the design that first woke me up to the amazing work of design duo Eley Kishimoto, and when I spotted their Red Damask design (below), I became a dedicated lifelong fan, prepared to save a wall in my home for the day when I could afford to paper it in an Eley Kishimoto print.

While I'm saving up for my wallpaper, I thought I'd share some of the fab new furnishing fabrics from Eley Kishimoto:

See more of this talented duo's work at the Eley Kishimoto website.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Issue 59: Painted Love

I love what the owner of this home featured in the Revamp Issue, Etienne Hanekom, has to say about watching paint dry: "I don't understand why that's code for boring. Paint transforms things, it plays with light and has so much potential".

If you have a copy of this issue, you'll see that Etienne's home on pages 100 - 107 attests to his fascination with paint, light and colour too. But our pics were so good that we used them all up, and all we have left to share with our blog readers are these few colour-bright vignettes:

To see more images of this and other amazing homes, why not take out a subscription to ELLE DECORATION SA, and get your own copy delivered to your door 6 times a year? See the left hand sidebar for details of our special, and then pop an email to us to find out more.

Production: Tracy Lynch
Photographs: Micky Hoyle

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Issue 59: Constant Gardener

Our deputy editor, Lauren Shantall, travelled to the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands - and back in time - to visit a formal 18C-style English garden designed by the late Sir David Hicks.

Here we have a couple more pictures of the Riversfield Farm garden, where Sir David decreed an architectural garden, a formal potager, a dovecote, as well as a Gothic-style pool pavilion, all in the manner of an 18thC English garden.

Find out more about Sir David Hicks by visiting his webpage, where you can see a collection of his furniture, carpets and fabrics, as well as images of his interior design work.

Production: Lauren Shantall
Photographs: Angie Buckland

Monday, 26 January 2009

Issue 59 - Father Figure

To read about a truly grand hotel revamp, check out pages 35 - 37 of the Revamp! issue.

After slumping into scandal and closure, the ertswhile Metropole Hotel on Long Street now has new owners and a whole new look: The Grand Daddy has opened its arms, flashing elegant bling, and it seems that Cape Town has fallen wholeheartedly into this luxurious embrace.

Make a Grand Daddy of a booking, and find out more about the Daddy Long Legs group by visiting the Daddy Longlegs website.

Production: Tracy Lynch
Photographs: Justin Patrick

Friday, 23 January 2009

Issue 59 - Africa Remixed

The Singita Pamushana Lodge in southeast Zimbabwe, has just had a revamp by Cecile and Boyd's, taking inspiration from wonderfully vibrant regional Shangaan colours, patterns and forms.

Production: Tracy Lynch
Photographs: Mark Williams

Thursday, 22 January 2009

New Issue on Shelf - Revamp

It's on the shelves, folks - the Revamp issue! Check out those 75 pages of beautifully updated homes, and check back in here tomorrow for a peek inside those glossy pages.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Report from NYC: Redecorating the White House

What do you think: could this French Hawaiian Hibiscus chair encapsulate the look of the new White House?

Domino blogger Nick Olsen thinks it marries the traditional sophistication befitting the new First Family with the tropical flavour of their favourite vacation destination.

Here's a radically different intepretation: a sophisticated but fun modernist look for the Oval Office by Jonathan Adler at

Adler has used tone-on-tone walls and drapery, his signature Montmartre table and Horse lamps, and a repeat pattern of the presidential seal on the rug.

Designer Amy Mellen at Calvin Klein Home has taken a more minimalist approach:

She's envisioned Jasper Johns’s Gray Flag (1957) above the mantel, large sofas and armchairs in neutral shades, and lots of textures like parchment leather and natural linen.

I, for one, never thought this day would come. I'm referring to the day on which a contemporary, stylish First Couple takes a good hard look at those groaning chandeliers and festooned pelmets in the White House and proclaims, "Yes, we can... redecorate!"

According to Domino magazine, none other than Los Angeles interior designer Michael Smith (above) has been selected as the Obamas' designer-in-residence. "The family's casual style, their interest in featuring 20th century American artists and utilizing affordable brands and products will serve as our guiding principles as we make the residence feel like their home," Smith says on Domino's website.

Smith's trademark style definitely veers towards plush tradition, as you can see in the above photos of other rooms he has decorated, but he creates a feeling of casual comfort by varying subtle shades of colour and mixing different textures and patterns.

In this video tour you can take a sneak peek at his house, which is grand and homey at the same time.

Domino has many other fun features on its site: a room-by-room historical tour of the White House, cast your vote on which administration did it best, and a very amusing and informative First Lady Decorating Smackdown between Nancy Reagan and Jackie Kennedy by Nick Olsen.

In the meantime, we'll have to wait to see just how the Obama family manages to put their stamp on America's most famous house.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Shine Shine

Earlier today, I visited the studio of Tracy Rushmere's new fabric venture, Shine Shine. And today of all days, I simply had to post about her new cloth commemorating Barack Obama.

Tracy is well known for having started the marvellous African Image in central Cape Town, and also for her work with the Afro brand. Now, with Shine Shine, she's indulging her passion for African commemorative cloths, and putting a super-contemporary spin on them.

There's no Shine Shine website yet, but take a look at what Shine Shine has come up with so far, and get in touch with Tracy to find out more:

Monday, 19 January 2009

Mirror mirror

Sanell Aggenbach has been having fun making mirrors lately, using some iconic pop imagery.

These are very limited edition (only 5 available!), and are available from African Image in Cape Town.

Sacred from the profane

The ethereal objects and jewellery made by designer Gülnur özdağlar are a perfect alchemy of the sacred from the profane. These exquisite objects, like insubstantial glowing jellyfish, are implausibly made from discarded PET plastic water bottles.

See more work by Gülnur özdağlar at her blog and get some for yourself at her Etsy shop too.

via Design Sponge

Friday, 16 January 2009

Love your office

The idea of a company specialising in office furniture could elicit groans of an apprehension of dullness, but Bulo puts a post-Memphis pop into their desks, tables and office chairs for the ‘AND/AND’ generation, so bravo for Bulo!

It’s wonderful to see their collaboration with art photographer Fien Muller to create these arresting still-life images of their new collections:

The Kei collection

The Mtoo collection

Bulo is smart to highlight the emotional component involved in work, as well as the need for functionality and ergonomics - and so they want their pieces to stimulate and encourage creativity.

Take a look at the rest of the collection, and let us know if, as Bulo intends, they make you love your office?

All images by Fien Muller

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Woodsmen need wallets

My Japanese not being what it used to be (ahem), I don't know much more about these gorgeous faux bois accessories than that they're available from Japanese design store Cibone. Whatever else there is to know about them, I reckon they're definitely worth an eyeballing.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Report from NYC: Ork Posters

It's great to be back to my weekly posts from NYC! I'm starting the year out by showing you a graphic approach to my adopted city.
xx Kelly

Jenny Beorkrem, designer and founder of Ork Posters in Chicago, has come up with a fresh approach to map design.

She breaks up each city into its named sections, varying the size of the typeface to communicate the jumble of distinct neighbourhoods. It's a bold, modernist take on mapmaking, unlike anything I've seen before. Something about packing all those letters into tight spaces conveys the sense of how densely populated and so very large these metropolitan areas are.

Besides New York City and Brooklyn, my obvious favourites, Ork Posters now offers maps of Chicago, Manhattan, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, the Great Lakes, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington DC.
Beorkrem descided to design the typographical maps after a fruitless search for a Chicago neighborhood poster that would look good on her wall. "The project became quite cumbersome with 91 Chicago neighbourhoods in all," she said. Of all the cities that she has mapped, her hometown has the highest number of neighbourhoods.

Her new project has done so well, that even big name brands like Nike have begun imitating her.