Louis is our ‘design guru’. He has a wonderful eye for the latest in décor trends but is also painstakingly discriminating with regard to quality and style. He is responsible for the décor of the Villa and choice of unique items for our gift shop. Here are his latest thoughts: Guests often ask me where I find inspiration for a sophisticated African decor mood so I have devised a mornings walk (or longer, depending on how serious you are about searching for great African curios and decor items!) which will take you along a route passing by my favourite suppliers of African goods and local artists wares.
Design Indaba Conference
Since 1995, the Design Indaba Conference has invited the world’s top creative minds to address professionals from the creative, corporate and educational sectors alike. Championing creativity that enhances every aspect of the world around us, Design Indaba recognises graphic design, advertising, film, music, fashion design, industrial design, architecture, craft, visual art, new media, publishing, broadcasting and performing arts shoulder-to-shoulder. This year it took place from Wednesday 27 February to Friday 1 March 2013 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. I visited for a day and was most impressed with the level of creative input by our local artists and craftsmen.
DÉCOR ROUTE (starting from AN AFRICAN VILLA)
For the style-minded, here’s walking tour to give you African inspiration!
Walk down Kloof Street until you reach Wale, here turn right and then left into Burg St. where you will see (on the corner of Church and Burg)….
AFRICAN IMAGE (cnr. Burg and Church) – www.african-image.co.za A riot of colour and funky creativity for the voguish. Further on along Burg St. You will reach the ever popular….
THE PAN AFRICAN MARKET (27 Long – www.panafrican.co.za
More of the same but inside a building with several floors – cheap (often flawed) curios. As you exit the P.A. Market look to your left to find….
TRIBAL TRENDS (27 Long – 021423 8008)
Very stylish use of Africa in décor here, making the art accessible to the Eurocentric eye. One of my favourite shops. If you walk back up Long Street you will find Church Street which has many street vendors selling their wares – not necessarily African but interesting none the less. Then continue up this road towards Signal Hill until you reach Bree Street – take a detour here – turning right along Bree past Christian Barnard Hospital to the corner of Longmarket to find….
AVOOVA INTERIORS (97 Bree Street) www.avoova.com/
This is extremely sophisticated decor ware made of shattered ostrich egg splinters embossed onto objects. I like!
Now you will need to cross Bree and cut back to Church street and the hed further up Church. Cross Buitengracht Street which is very busy – take care here! Having made it across the road, continue up to the corner of Church and Rose Streets…..
THE HAAS COLLECTIVE (Corner Church and Rose) www.haascollective.com/
A wonderful space – much more ‘relaxed’ in style from your previous visit! You could stop for a coffee here and then wander around to learn from how the owners creative minds have though laterally to create interesting objects from ordinary things. Then continue down Rose Street until you see….
MONKEY BIZ (43 Rose) - www.monkeybiz.co.za
Which specializes in beaded objects made of wire. (Actially, my favoured source of such goods is just around the corner (see ‘Street Wires’ below). But before leaving Monkey Biz, ask to be given access through their back entrance and up some stairs to Carrol Boyes’ warehouse (www.carrolboyes.com/ )
where you will find pewter work for the home. Come down the grander stairs of Carrol Boyes’ shop and out of the front entrance and turn immediately Right into Shortmarket Street to find….
STREET WIRES (on Shortmarket) www.streetwires.co.za
This is a non-profit organisation which has some amazing beaded objects. Continue down Shortmarket Street and turn left into Buitengracht. Carefully cross this busy road and walk down the further side where you will reach Heritage Square which although not a decor mecca, has some excellent restaurants which you may wish to return to (The Africa Cafe www.africacafe.co.za//The Savoy Cabbage www.savoycabbage.co.za/ and Bizerca www.bizerca.com/).
Walk on down the main road and cross Strand (see the Gold Museum on your right) until you reach a pedestrian bridge (our ‘Fan Walk’ during the wonderful World Cup Soccer season). You can cross beneath the bridge if you wait for the lights and you will be in Waterkant Street heading towards the fun area called the De Waterkant Precinct (arty and alternative – actually ‘the gay area’). Look out for ….
AFRICA NOVA (74 Waterkant) – www.africanova.co.za
Filled with contemporary local African art objects. Much inspiration here! After this you will definitely need lunch and our all time favourite for it is…
LE PETIT TARTE
After your lunch, cross over to the new Cape Quarter Pizza to visit an couple of galleries. Ask them to call a taxi for you because by now you will be exhausted!
MEANWHILE, BACK HOME AT THE VILLA …. TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THESE ITEMS ON DISPLAY
BASKETS and EGGS
“I was also wondering if it is possible for me to purchase some ostrich eggs and baskets that you have available at the villa. At the last minute, we were rushed to obtain our rental car, so I did not have the chance to purchase any at the time.” Judy Sarvas
This is the often-time tale of woe that we receive from guests who either left in a rush or did not have space for packing purchases and to them I say …. “Never fear Judy, Louis is near! These can be mailed to you on request.”
The bird flu has claimed may ostriches this year and do I am guessing that eggs are going to be in short supply – the farmers in any case only cleanout and sell the eggs which are not fertile because they obviously want as many birds as possible to hatch. I do have some in stock, however (a few natural eggs and then lacquered in orange, red or black and with ‘retro’ patterns – wavy or dotted.) They vary in price from R100 (natural) to R300 (retro). There are also some with maps of Africa on them and some with San Painting images which range in price from R320-R340
The baskets which Judy refers to are the lovely and intricate read woven variety which we have on display on tables and as wall hangings at the Villa. They come in Large approx. 50cm dia. (R80), Medium 40cm dia. (R60) and Small 30cm dia. (R50):
I find that a group if similar objects grouped together on a frame make a great statement (perhaps behind a three-seater couch or above a hearth). We have these basket grouped symmetrically on a dining room wall – you may not be able to find enough African artefacts but just about anything which has character – and ideally artistic merit – will do. I’d keep the colours neutral or at least in the same tones.
PAPER MACHE ANIMAL HEAD WALL LAMPS
SADLY NO LONGER AVAILABLE AS OUR WONDERFUL ARTIST – MELVIN – HAS DESERTED US AND GONE TO STAY IN JOHANNESBURG TO WORK FULLTIME FOR AN EVENTS COMPANY WHICH COMPLETELY USES UP HIS TIME AND TALENTS!
I chose to hang several identical mirrors, arranged in a group which contribute to a calm and orderly ambiance at the hotel – referred to by a journalist as ‘Zen African’ – (allowing guests to leave their more bustling holiday activities behind on arriving ‘home’ after a day’s revelling.) Just take care to measure VERY carefully – the slightest uneven gap or out-of-plum angle will be glaringly obvious!