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.