Makers | Upholstery & Design

The entrance to The Makers showroom in Centurion

 

MAKERS UPHOLSTERY & DESIGN

 

I’m super excited to be posting this week as I get to share with you the charming upholstery and interior design workshop of my bestie, Meagan Olivier. The Makers showroom in Centurion is such a sensory delight, you’ll be hard pressed to leave once you’ve stepped inside.

The MAKERS showroom on South Street in Centurion is brilliantly vibrant. As you enter you’re greeted by a whimsical sofa posing as a colour-clad crocodile. You’ll never guess that it’s actually an up-cycled corner-booth thrown out during a restaurant refurbishment. The beautiful displays of fabric samples, textures and patterns had me convinced that all of my furniture can do with a facelift.

 

Stills from The MAkers' showroom in Centurion

 

MAKERS source their fabrics from major fabric houses like U&G, Home Fabrics, Fabric Library, Black Fabrics, The design Team etc. so there’s no personality or style not catered for. Meagan also has an incredible knack for colour and can put patterns and hues together that are both surprising and captivating in their originality and impact. Plus with a BTech in textile design, she not only knows her way around colour, but has extensive knowledge about fabric and weaves. 

 

Fabric samples at The Makers' showroom in Centurion

 

Meagie founded her upholstery business MAKERS back in 2013 and along with her team and mum-cum-business partner Lena, she transforms sad old furniture into marvellous masterpieces. If you’re keen to see some of their creations, go have a look at their website; themakers.co.za. They also do custom made soft furnishings like Roman blinds and cushions.

 

The makers showroom in Centurion with fabric samples and fabric potters

Accessories for sale at The Makers' showroom in Centurion

 

Inside the showroom a brightly coloured partition of up-cycled pallets cleverly hides the workshop in the back from the showroom but still allows light to flow through to the space. I also love the vibrant prayer flags – a relic from Meagie’s wedding – used to soften the austere factory ceiling.

 

Upholstery underway at the Makers workshop in CenturionThe Makers Team

 

I’d definitely recommend a visit to the showroom. If you’re lucky you might even get to see the magic happen in the workshop, where the Makers team (Meagie, Lena, Raymond, Meisie, Rita and Justice) turn old fossils into wonderful gems. Meagie’s obsession with quality and attention to detail is evident in every single piece that leaves the showroom and her vibrant personality resonates in every corner of the space.

 

“MAKERS Upholstery & Design is a place where creativity comes alive through a process of collaboration.”

– Meagan Olivier

 

12-Makers-Upholstery-&-Design-showroom-in-CenturionMeagan and Lena from the Makers

 

Plastic free life .1

Plastic free Friday NO.1

Between two evils, choose the one that leaves no trace

 

I first posted “my plastic free life” suggestion on Facebook and people seemed really inspired by it. So I thought I’d create a page for it on my blog, so people can go back to it and pass it along. So if you haven’t seen the Facebook post, here is suggestion NO.1. Now you have an excuse to choose the cone!

Paper cups are often laminated with plastic in order to make it watertight and are therefore not valued as pure paper, making it tough to recycle. And that pretty pink spoon is exactly the stuff you see sticking out in beach sand. Rather choose the cone, you don’t have to eat it (it’s biodegradable).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philodendron xanadu

The philodendron xanadu
 

Philodendron xanadu

 

Add some latino flare to your home with the Philodendron xanadu. Native to Brazil this Araceae practically bounces with tropical delight. With it’s sleek long stems and heavy flared leaves it’s not hard to imagine this guy sambaing through your living room.

 

Close-up of philodendron xanadu on sitsitso.com
Philodendron Xanadu

 

The Philodendron xanadu belongs to one of three subgenera within the Philodendron genus named Meconostigma. As part of the Araceae family you might already know its brother; Monstera Deliciosa. Other than the Monstera, the xanadu is not a vine, but grows upright to form wide dense clumps of green foliage. They are very easy to care for and grow prettier with age.

 

Close-up of philodendron xanadu on sitsitso.com

 

The Philodendron Xandu are said to tolerate low light conditions but the plant will be much less dens with long stems and smaller and sadder leaves. So if you want it to really dance, place it an area with lots of bright natural light (preferably diffused or it may develop leaf burn or Chlorosis ). Enough sun will also keep the stem from rotting, given that you water it at moderate intervals. 

 

Top view of Philodendron Xanadu on sitsitso.com
A leaf from the Philodendron Xanadu on sitsitso.com

 

Location: Bright area with lots of indirect or diffused sunlight

WaterGive it a good soak when watering and wait until the soil is completely dry to the touch before watering again. The number of days will depend on the temperature and location of the plant in your home but usually it’s no more than once a week.

Propagation: A happy Philodendron xandu will grow fairly quickly, forming many new stems and eventually becoming too big or top heavy for it’s pot. This allows you to propagate by division. To do this, remove the entire plant from its pot and gently divide the root cluster into sections using your hands or a small shovel. Then you can repot each section in its own container in well draining potting soil.

 

Sitting between the leaves on sitsitso.com
Sitting between the leaves on sitsitso.com

Plant corner with Philodendron xanadu on Sitsitos.com

 

Joburg couples’ minimalist Art Deco home

Designer Couple's minimalist art-deco apartment on sitsitso

 

A peak into a designer couples’
minimalist Art Deco home

 

On a previous visit to South Africa I had the awesome pleasure of visiting my good friend Kelda and her fiancé Christian, at their delightful minimalist Art Deco home in Johannesburg.

 

The couple lives in a sunny north-facing apartment in Daventry Court; a beautiful Art Deco style building built during the 1930’s in the tree-lined suburb of Killarney–Johannesburg’s mini-Manhatten and home to several of the city’s early movie stars. (As it happens, South Africa’s first film studio used to be just down the road, occupying the premises where the Killarney Mall now stands.) The apartment building has also recently achieved heritage status. Kelda spent nearly two years looking for the perfect flat before finding the bright corner-unit with bay windows and parquet floors. Christian moved in soon after having met her (he proposed 3 weeks after meeting Kelda!) but as luck would have it the couple have very similar taste and a shared minimalist approach to interiors, so combining their homes turned out very well. 

 

Bay window dining room in minimalist Art Deco dining room

Monochrome minimalist Interior of sunny Art Deco Joburg flat

 

The apartment mirrors Kelda and Christian’s impeccable taste. Both have a keen eye for detail and every corner of the space seems perfectly curated, every piece carefully chosen for it’s integrity and aesthetic quality. Kelda inherited her visual sensibility from her artist mother Margaret Nel. Exposure to her mother’s creative production has instilled in her the importance of detail and the fine nuances that define a noteworthy sense of style. Her attraction to spatial design, whether architectural or interior, is reflected not only in her choice of apartment, but in the delicate approach to the design of their home.

 

Minimalist Art Deco flat with mid-century couch

Bay Window dining room of minimalist Art Deco home

 

Christian’s taste and appreciation for honesty, humanity and simplicity is manifested in the monochromatic minimalism of the interior design. Ironically, the only pieces he did not favour from Kelda’s existing furniture collection was one of her must-keep items; a set of low-profile mid-Century tables bought by her father during the 60’s on diplomatic duties to Brazil. But the two compromised by sourcing black marble slabs to replace the table tops and they now serve as a dramatic centre piece alongside the original mid-century couch (which serendipitously happens to accommodate Christian’s full length! He is 1.95 metres tall). The black wire chairs are a mid-Century Knoll originals, purchased for a steal by Kelda’s mother from the director of the Arts Association in Pretoria.

 

Original Mid-Century Knoll designer chairs in minimalist Art Deco apartment

 

Design details like the neatly styled vinyl storage unit plays tribute to Christians primary passion for music. This second-hand find is home to the vintage LP player inherited from Christian’s father and the couple’s shared collection of records. The artwork next to it is by Avant Car Guard while the Joe Paine picture rail displays artwork along with the record sleeve of whatever is currently on rotation. Christian, who grew up in an environment heavily dominated by music and trained in Jazz guitar, has produced two EP’s under his previous moniker Vampire9000, and is currently co-creating a project with Givan Lötz.

 

Vintage LP player from a designer couples minimalist Art Deco home on sitsitso.com.jpg

Vintage LP player and record stand from designer couple's Art Deco apartment

 

The character of the building speaks for itself, with all the features of Art Deco apartment living, like geometric profile door handles, high ceilings, a built-in picture-rail in the entrance foyer, old-style privacy glass in the bathroom, Oregon pine doors, and off course the most prominent feature of the apartment: red teak herringbone parquet. Most of the furniture are mid-century finds, either restored by Kelda’s mom or dealers in the Johannesburg area. Calm blue hues are offset by charcoal feature walls and quirky spot-colour pieces like the bright orange display of Penguin paperbacks add life to the otherwise monochromatic interior.

 

Art Deco apartment on sitsitso.com

Mid century diningroom of designer couple's minimalist Art Deco homeClever design details in minimalist Art Deco homeMid century diningroom of designer couple's minimalist art deco apartment

 

Kelda and Christian are planning a full-scale bathroom and kitchen renovation next year. In the meantime the rooms were temporarily overhauled by painting over the existing beige tiles and floor with white ceramic paint and standard black “stoep” enamel. This clever facelift adds a surprisingly modern quality to the space. The visible relief from the white painted tiles creates a pleasant visual texture to the stark white walls. With dark floors set against contrasting light tiles, the once dated bathrooms now have a very contemporary feel.

 

Monochrome bathroom in minimalist Art Deco Joburg apartment

Monochrome kitchen & bathroom from designer couple's minimalist home

Monochrome bedroom of minimalist Art Deco flat

Monochromatic dreams from a designer couple's minimalist Art Deoc home

 

About the owners:

Kelda van Heerden is a Johannesburg based Information designer. Together with two friends form university she now co-owns the specialist design studio UNKNOWN, working with businesses and clients like Tonic and Joe Paine to establish, adapt and transform their real-world and digital presence.

 

Christian Henn is the business director at Henn+Honeyball, a small Johannesburg-based design studio,with a focus on cultural and social institutions such as the Constitutional Court Art Collection, the Visual Arts Network of South Africa, and Library Special Projects.

 

Pothos, Golden Pothos or Epipremnum Aureaus

01_Pothos_Epipremnum Aureus on sitsitso.com

• Houseplant Hour: Golden Pothos or Epipremnum Aureus •

Pothos sounds rather more like a character by Dumas than a long leafy vine. And perhaps in direct opposition to its actual mythological greek counterpart, this easy growing houseplant doesn’t symbolise yearning or longing but can and often does, grow really really long.

This ever growing characteristic of Pothos explains one of it’s more dubious names. Also known as the Devils Ivy, Golden Pothos belongs to the Araceae family and have been naturalised in many parts of the world due to it’s resilience. Their enthusiasm for growing means Epipremnum Aureus make truly fantastic houseplants. They just have a knack for staying alive. I have one in a bathroom with zero windows. It happily lives on. Perhaps it doesn’t grow as quickly as it’s window-sill-bound buddies, but it lives, and it looks pretty happy too.

Golden Pothos or Epipremnum-Aureus on sitsitso.com

Common names: golden pothos, hunter’s robe, ivy arum, money plant, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy, taro vine and devil’s vine.

IdentificationAn evergreen vine with smooth and shiny heart shaped leaves that are bottle greens and spectacled in mustardy yellows and white hues. The sturdy stems can climb by attaching their aerial roots to surfaces. This trailing quality mean they work very well as hanging plants too.

Golden Pothos: Epipremnum-Aureus on sitsitso.com

Care: Pothos grow well in any good draining potting soil. They can survive in varied lighting conditions, from low light to bright light, but preferably not in direct sun. Plant’s that live in low light conditions won’t grow as quickly and abundantly as others but they’ll stay green and pretty.

Water: Golden Pothos can thrive with sporadic watering. Once a week to two weeks in moderate temperature and during winter months even less. As you get to know your plants you’ll learn how frequent or infrequent to water them. Always test the soil with your finger, and only water once the soil is dry. I usually give mine a good shower of water in the bath every 10 days or so, but I recently came across this neat drip-free trick for watering hanging plants. Drop a couple of ice cubes into your pot and let the water slowly melt away into the soil.

Propagation: Pothos are extremely easy to propagate. Simply cut a stem just above a leaf node (where a leaf attaches to the stem). Remove a couple of leaves closest to your cutting, and place the stem in water. You should see roots shooting out in a couple of days. You can also just remove the leaves and stick them directly into wet soil. eHow has a great video explaining exactly how to do this here.

Propagating Golden Pothos on sitsitso.com

A great way to display your Pothos is to hang it up, allowing it’s branches to drape down and soften your walls like a type of tapestry. Or for an even more dramatic effect place a pot at the top of the stairs (or if you have a mezzanine or entresol) let it drape down to the lower level for a curtain of greenery.

Hanging golden pothos on sitsitso.com

Coffee & cozy at FreiRaum cafe

Freiraum cafe on Katzbachstraße

 

Coffee & cozy at FreiRaum cafe

 

Without the anticipation of Christmas and thrill of Sylvester, Berlin can be pretty grey and gloomy in January. So if you need some motivation to leave the house, head over to FreiRaum on Katzbachstraße. With their two wood burning stoves and logs to last all winter you’ll be hard pressed to find a cafe more cozy. Owners Oguz and his wife Nihal, have done an amazing job at creating an atmosphere so inviting that you just won’t want to leave.

 

Lovely fireplace at FreiRaum Cafe

 

But if you can’t be coaxed on looks alone, come for their amazing coffee and delectable edibles. Everything is home-made and freshly baked by Nihal and Oguz, whom you’re certain to meet on your visit. Originally from Turkey, Oguz moved to Berlin 6 years ago. He studied economy and was a diving instructor before practising gastronomy here in Berlin. Nihal, who grew up in Berlin, is an art therapist, and initially used the space as her studio.

 

cookies-in-a-jar

 

The idea for FreiRaum came about when Nihal fell pregant. The family found an apartment above her studio, and because she was about to stop working they decided the turn it into a coffee shop. Oguz and Nihal did the interiors themselves, with an effort to maintain an eco friendly approach. It took 8 months.

The resulting design is simple and understated with a focus on earthy colours and natural materials like bare clay walls and wood panelling. Coupled with old wooden floors, wild flowers and woolly throws, the space is reminiscent of a mountain cabin in Scandinavia. It’s down-to-earth aura is even more enhanced by the child friendly elements like tiny chairs and wooden horse. It’s no surprise that the owners themselves have two kids, Eftalya, now two and a half and her 15 year old brother, Tanyel.

 

pillows

Outside

 

For me FreiRaum makes the best coffee in Kreuzberg and I simply love hanging out here. For Oguz and Nihal it’s become a true Kiezcafe. A place where families gather, wonderful exchanges occur and friendships begin. Do come and have a look for yourself, on Katzbachstraße 24, Kreuzberg.

 

 

 

STORY + PHOTOS BY BARBARA CILLIERS

Very tetchy Echeveria

echeveria close-up

Houseplant Hour: Echevaria

Counter to what the name might suggest our next succulent is not as prickly as its thorny peers, but just as chubby and charming.

The Echeveria, a rosette forming succulent, belongs to the Crassulaceae family and is native to the arid areas of Central America. Echeverias are closely related to Graptopetalum, and have been hybridized to form the Graptoveria. They’re so similar in fact that you’ll have a hard time telling the difference. In any event, these fat fingered succulents make very popular houseplants, due to their hardiness and beautiful colours.

Bunch of echeverias

Care: Echeverias like dry air and plenty of sun, so position them in spots where they get loads of sunlight for most of the day. They require well draining potting soil in containers that drain thoroughly.

Water: Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering. This will depend on the location of your plant and the conditions of your home so stick your finger in the soil to make sure it’s bone dry before you give it a good watering. During the winter months they require even less water. As with most succulents overwatering will cause your plants to rot.

Propagation: Echeveria’s produce offsets or baby plants that you’ll see popping up around the parent. Carefully pull these out and replant them. You can also propagate them by laying leaf cuttings on top of the soil. Sometimes plants can grow heavy and break off when you handle the pot. Simply stick them back in some soil and they should take again.

Wonderful green hues from BHG
Wonderful green hues from BHG

This large genus of succulents produce a myriad of colour varieties that can range from turquoise to a light lime or mint. These cool hues are perfect for creating a calm and tranquil atmosphere in your home. Some species have magical gradients like light green to pink or purple. Use these tones together for a surprising colour scheme that’s a perfect balance of serenity and zeal.triptych of echeveria

_B1R5195b_2_1200
Fiery pink works surprisingly well alongside cool tranquil greens on beppebrancato.com

pink echeverias

Add a sense of luxury with green velvets alongside light orangey pinks.
Add a sense of luxury with green velvets alongside light orangey pinks.

Venice | A trip to the Biennale (All the world’s futures)

Close-up of Venice Canal

 

la Biennale di Venezia

 

Cobblestoned footpaths down dimly lit alleys, crossing quaint little bridges of opaque teal water … Few cliches more aptly describe their subjects than the ones depicting the ancient city of Venice.

 

Late night stroll to the fruit market in Venice
Captivating beauty of Venice at night

 

And the water-bus from the airport only adds to the allure once you finally set foot on the historic island. A trip to the Biennale (All the world’s futures) allowed me this magical visit, and so I was doubly delighted, first by the romance and splendour of the city, and second, by the spectacular displays at the la Biennale di Venezia.

 

Old school lamp in Venice

 

The Biennale

Like Alice I wandered into a land of wonder, of pearls and dragons and critical expressions of our current world state. Karo Akpokiere’s “Zwischen Lagos und Berlin made me humble and homesick through his themes of social inequalities and cultural juxtapositions. The “dead” flags in Ivan Grubanov’s United Dead nations for the Serbian pavilion delivered a beautifully dismal display of the notion of nations. On a brighter–much yellower–note; Great Britain’s Sarah Lucas had me itching for wanting to touch her oh-so-smooth er … could it be penises?

 

Experiencing Antonio Manuel's Occupations/Discoveries at the Venice Bienale
Experiencing Antonio Manuel's Occupations/Discoveries
yellow
Deep Cream Maradona by Sarah Lucas
flags
Ivan Grubanov’s UNITED DEAD NATIONS, Installation at Venice Art Biennale 2015

 

The city

The World Heritage site dating back to the 10th century BC, is actually a group of small islands (118) connected by footbridges. It’s enjoyed wealth through most of it’s history due to it’s maritime power and commerce. The resulting grand and majestic architecture (Venetian Gothic architecture) effectively obscures the fact that their foundations are wooden piles of alder trees, that have been submerged in the ocean for centuries.

 

Venice in the day time
The teal colours of the Venice canal

 

There’s just so much to say about Venice that I’m thinking of doing a follow up post later. But here’s a quick round-up of my experience so you have something to go on should you decide to visit:

Sleeping: I can really recommend the airbnb apartment hosted by Silva Farina. The immaculate and elegantly decorated apartment in Castello is perfectly located, only 5 mins away from the Biennale, but central enough to the rest of the islands so we could do all our exploring on foot.

Eating: Suggested to us by Marie from Stil in Berlin, the Osteria il paradiso perduto at Fondamenta della Misericordia, 2540 – 30100, did not fail to deliver on its promise. Here you’ll experience culinary delight in both their seafood and vegetarian dishes.

Drinking: Vino Vero is a charming wine bar we stumbled across in Cannagerio 2497, that draws you in with its cheerful character and keeps you there with its impeccable selection of wines.

 

1 2 3 4