Char­ac­ter BUILD­ING

South African Garden and Home - - Contents -

While trends and fash­ions are what make dec­o­rat­ing fun, there are cer­tain clas­sic styles and fur­ni­ture items that stand the test of time, as they say. This month’s cover features the quin­tes­sen­tial South African stoep. But, if you look closely, you’ll no­tice that the fur­ni­ture, although modern, is a 20th-cen­tury take on the tra­di­tional rocker and Mor­ris chairs that we re­mem­ber from our grand­par­ents’ ve­ran­das.

I re­cently stayed with two de­sign­ers whose homes have been fea­tured in Gar­den and Home over the past 20 years. While they sold many of these houses with the cur­tains and some of the fur­nish­ings, they’ve al­ways kept their good an­tiques and art. Used in dif­fer­ent ways and in dif­fer­ent rooms, these time­less pieces of fur­ni­ture looked new and fresh off­set by new wall­pa­per and uphol­stery. “No mat­ter where we live, the pieces we love and have had for years, al­ways make us feel at home,” they ex­plain.

An­other cou­ple whose homes we’ve fea­tured over the past decade are Anne and Robert Hart­mann. Their present clus­ter (on page 24) is a fab­u­lous ex­am­ple of rein­vent­ing their clas­sics. But, while there are many trea­sured sen­ti­men­tal pieces in­clud­ing an­tiques, the over­all im­pres­sion is of a modern fam­ily home.

De­signer An­drea Lind­say-Bow­man, who down­sized to the Cape town­house fea­tured on page 32, says, “What I have dis­cov­ered, and what I tell my clients, is that a cou­ple of key in­vest­ment pieces are all you need in a small in­te­rior, rather than hold­ing onto a lot of pieces that en­cour­age clut­ter.”

If you have fam­ily heir­looms or vintage fur­ni­ture that you’ve col­lected (and who hasn’t?), on page 54 we’ve put to­gether some stylish ideas for in­cor­po­rat­ing them into new schemes. You’ll be sur­prised at the rich­ness and char­ac­ter they add.

If you haven’t yet got a copy of our in­valu­able 12-month Gar­den­ing Guide, now is the time to buy one while it’s still on the shelves.

Hout­lander’s Carver bench is a won­der­ful ex­am­ple of a clas­sic with a modern edge. You’ll find other ex­am­ples on page 58. Bulbs are a sta­ple of the spring gar­den and now is the time to plant them. For some lesser known bulbs in­clud­ing some indige­nous ones, turn to page 78. I love the jux­ta­po­si­tion of the modern cof­fee ta­ble and the an­tique bu­reau in Anne Hart­mann’s house fea­tured on page 24. Talk about a feast for the eyes. Have a look at the new va­ri­eties of straw­ber­ries on page 98 that can be grown for their flow­ers as well as their fruit. The pop­u­lar­ity of wall­pa­per shows no sign of abat­ing. You’ll find some of the newest and lat­est de­signs on page 50.

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