Wednesday, November 30, 2011

House Beautiful has Done It Again

I just got the Dec/Jan 2012 issue of House Beautiful and they have yet another house featured that is just up my street. The gorgeous West Hollywood house of Mark D Sikes is meant to have the breezy elegance of a house in St Barts - and for me its just so inviting and beautiful! Serene white with punches of black. Stripes! Florals! Chinoiserie, chandeliers and seashells! Bamboo, caning and wallpaper. Masculine and feminine. I'd like to move there now.

There are not too many images online yet, so I've done some scanning. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I'll be checking out the Mark D Sikes blog regularly from now on, I think.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cape Town Design City 2014

I've just had the most glorious day - a lot of good friends over for brunch: lots of food, laughter and running around with everyone's kids. This is what this time of year is for! And I am so blessed, with good friends like the one who knows me well enough to bring me the most magnificent flowers (easiest way to make me happy), the other one who knows me well enough to know I am overwhelmed with getting food ready so she puts them in water for me, and yet another one who quietly does some washing up while no one is looking so that clean-up time goes quickly when everyone has left.

The perfect ending to our 2011 Thanksgiving weekend.

Weekends aside, there is something I've been meaning to look into for a while now, and that is that Cape Town has been chosen as the World Design Capital for 2014.

Of course my first reaction on hearing this was woohoo! And then, a second later, what does this mean?

I did some checking on the Cape Town 2014 website. Here's some info (all from the website, but put together by moi):

The World Design Capital title is awarded bi-annually by the International Council for Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) to give global prominence to cities that use design for their social, economic and cultural development. The World Design Capital title is awarded in advance, allowing winning cities sufficient time to plan, develop and promote a year-long programme of World Design Capital-themed events for their designated year.

Cape Town’s World Design Capital 2014 bid concept, “Live Design, Transform Life”, focuses strongly on socially responsive design.

The year 2014 represents a significant milestone for Cape Town and South Africa, marking 20 years since we embraced freedom in 1994. For this reason, 2014 will be a momentous year, as we take stock of the challenges and gains of our transformation, and celebrate the achievements of the past two decades, both as a City and as a country.

Our bid recognizes and mobilises Cape Town’s considerable design resources towards addressing the legacies of our City’s apartheid past. It is aimed specifically at dealing with the vast imbalances that exist in our society and is organized into three broad themes: Rebuild Cape Town through community cohesion; Reconnect Cape Town through infrastructural enhancement, and Reposition Cape Town for the knowledge economy.

The global landscape has changed irrevocably in recent years. Devastating economic and natural disasters have had a sobering effect on all aspects of life, including design. There is a growing need for practical design thinking, participatory methods and people-centred solutions to real problems. In this context, Cape Town has much to inspire the world. Ours is a proudly African bid, with the ultimate goal of achieving a sustainable, inclusive and more liveable African city, rooted in the strengths of our people and communities – to ‘Live Design. Transform Life.’

It just blows me away - its all that I love about design, and it seems to address a lot of the needs that South Africa has at this point (you can read more info on this page). Right now there doesn't seem to be too much info on the year-long programme of events in/for the city, but the website itself is already showcasing some inspiring stuff.

Just in one competition - Design Indaba's Your Street - three great ideas were considered, and I believe these are the kind of projects that will get more traction because Cape Town is 2014 World Design Capital.

Acre Road in Kensington, Cape Town, won the R100 000, which means a community that needs uplifting will get a new soccer field, and dance area, using recycled rubbish.

Your Street CT winners - Acre Road, Kensington from Design Indaba on Vimeo.

Growing and greening the city was a proposal to deal with urbanisation and feeding the city.

And a simple idea of painting fire retardant paint that could prevent fires in squatter camps and save lives also was one of the finalists.

I'm excited to see what else this means for innovative design that works for Cape Town, and hopefully for South Africa as a whole. I'll keep a watch on the World Design Capital Bid 2014 website but if you see anything interesting, let me know!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Kalahari Night

I'm home, feeling icky, so hopefully I'll feel better soon and write a real post. Until then, enjoy this.

Kalahari night - TEST from Joe Louw on Vimeo.

Thanks to the hubby for forwarding! From Joe Louw

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Gosh, where did the week go? Christmas shopping, visa applications (anyone else travelling for Christmas?), crawling into bed early one night, making dinner, walking the dogs in the rain in the dark... and not getting to blog. But here's something I need to share - I picked up my November issue of House Beautiful tonight, which I haven't had time to get through and had a good look at the Vermont home of Deidre Heekin and Caleb Barber. I'd like to live in their house!

I love the mix of modern and traditional, the saturated colours, the wood, the gold, the white... it just seems homey and beautiful.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Finds

Things I want to share this week.

These guys on Rose and Hudson

This little guy from here and originally found here

The cover design of this book (and I bet I'd enjoy reading it, too!)

This awesome cushion from Mingo Lamberti (click to see all the lovely detail).

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Russell Smith

So you know how at the end of the year you have plans to take time off but that means you have to work extra hard before you leave and extra hard when you get back to get all the work done (and all the Christmas shopping, and get the dogs organized for the kennel, and, and, and)? I'm there right now.

So I haven't been too inspired lately, and when it came to today's post I was at a loss. Until I saw Russell Smith's work on desire to inspire (so it works! that blog does inspire!). And, can I just say, it's great to recognize some of those pics from posts I've written about Frank Features (check it out here).

Oh, heavens the patterns and colour in that last image!

So anyway, I just spent way too much time on the Russell Smith website, pouring over his portfolio. Full of some of my favourite South African personalities, beautiful interiors, wonderfully lit travel scenes, perfectly styled stills, beautiful shots of beautiful children... oh, I should stop gushing now and just share (I did have to restrain myself and not show you everything I screenshotted).

And guess who else is inspired by Tretchikoff?

Monday, November 7, 2011


I came across this beautiful image in the most recent issue of Vogue.

The patterns, colour and movement just caught my eye. Turns out these guys are Suno - Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty (seen here with model Yaya DaCosta). And no wonder their work attracted me because it's based in Kenya! This is from their website.

... launched in Spring 2009 after post-election violence threatened to damage the economy and industry in Kenya, a long time second home to Osterweis... Using vintage Kenyan textiles that Osterweis had been collecting for years, they created their first small collection, produced predominantly in Kenya... Since its inception, SUNO has evolved its business to include production in Kenya, India, Peru and its home base of New York. Via a combination of traditional, local techniques and high-end tailoring, as well as an emphasis on fit and fabric, SUNO is able to offer a global, unique view of the luxury world in an accessible way.

I've pulled a few of my favourite things from their website for you to enjoy - and you can buy it all too, from Barneys, or a few other retailers, if you have a $100 for a sun hat (on sale) or $800 for a dress (not on sale). Which is somewhat beyond my means, but a girl can dream, right?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Snow in October

While we are on the subject of fall, I thought I'd post this image from one of my favourite blogs, For the Love of a House (must add it to my blogroll!).

They live in the next state over from me (New Hampshire) and got more snow than we did in the bizarre storm we got last weekend. Beautiful photo. And strange! You can see more lovely pics on this post.

The Light in Fall

There's something funny about this time of year. I know in the southern hemisphere I'd be feeling awake, and ready to take on the world right now. Up here in the north, things are more quiet. I'm more into getting cozy than taking on the world.

You look at the light differently. Well, maybe because the light is different. I get a little more contemplative. I read two blogs regularly that are filled with beautiful images, lots of great style and sometimes interesting sayings or quotes. Put up by real people, things that make you stop the on-going rhythm of every day life, and think about something for a minute or two.

They're perfect indications of the mood.

Images from A Well Traveled Woman and My Salmaundi