Philodendron Rojo Congo

Philodendron Rojo Congo

Philodendron Rojo Congo

Say hello to my new friend Philodendron Rojo Congo. We met a couple of weeks ago, when this curiously coloured character found its way onto my desk. It took me several google attempts to ascertain it’s species, but I wasn’t completely surprised to discovered it to be yet another Philodendron – the Araceae family does after all, have close to 500 different species.

Philodendron Rojo Congo
Philodendron Rojo Congo

Philodendron Rojo Congo

The Philodendron Rojo Congo can be identified by the bright red colour of young foliage. As the plant ages, the lance shape leafs turn a deeper darker green while the leaf stems retain their deep Auburn hue.

Philodendron Rojo Congo
Philodendron Rojo Congo

From the ancient Greek “philos” which means “love” and “dendron”, meaning “tree”, the name philodendron describes the species’ propensity for winding around trees. But unlike it’s brother Monstera, the Rojo does not share this climbing character. Instead, like the Xanadu, this philodendron is self-heading, which means it grows upwards and outwards.

Philodendron Rojo Congo

Philodendron Rojo Congo
Philodendron Rojo Congo

Native to South America, the Rojo Congo prefers partial to shady areas but does not tolerate cold temperatures. This low maintenance perennial makes an excellent houseplant thanks to its sculptural appearance and good looks, plus it keeps the air clean while doing so.

Names: Philodendron Rojo Congo
Family: Araceae, native to South America
Water: At regular intervals – keeping the soil moist but never soggy
Location: Diffused natural or indirect sunlight like a northern exposure
Soil: Fast draining acidic to neutral soil
Toxicity: Toxic to pets and children

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Brussels apartment of design blog creators Matthieu & Bénédicte

View of Saint Gilles | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

CREATIVE DOMAIN: BRUSSELS

A visit to Matthieu and Bénédicte, the creators of the Belgian design blog Auguste&Claire

My next story on creatives features the young Franco-Belgian couple and authors of the french interior and design blog Auguste&Claire. The creative duo Matthieu and Bénédicte live in the vibrant district of Saint-Gilles. Early spring, I visited them in their beautifully renovated Belgium apartment, to learn more about their blog and about what keeps them occupied in the dynamic city of Brussels.

View of Saint Gilles | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Vintage meets modern | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.comVintage meets modern | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Their home is a beautifully renovated multi-story structure with large windows and high ceilings. Matthieu – an independent architect at pl.rigaux – did a great job at renovating and restoring the space, with careful consideration of the historic character and sensitivity to the original features of the building.

Chicque and simple vintage meets modern dining room | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Chicque and simple vintage meets modern dining room | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.comChicque and simple vintage meets modern dining room | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Bénédicte and Matthieu sought items that would compliment the character of their new space. So they started revamping some ikea pieces and vintage or second-hand finds. Soon they moved on to designing and building pieces of their own. Their blog; Auguste&Claire followed as a means to share these creations. Here they could show others how possible it is to make your own quality, personalised furniture & decorative elements, that’s not only cost-effective but durable and timeless. The TARVA dresser hack is one of my favourites. These days the blog also includes their discoveries on design, photography, architecture as well as other daily inspirations.

Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com
Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

The couple, who met in Barcelona when Bénédicte was doing an internship and Matthieu an Erasmus exchange, makes a fine team. With his architectural understanding of both structure and shape as well as the integrity of raw materials, Matthieu manages to create DIY pieces that transcends your usual DIY feel. Bénédicte, who runs her own marketing & communications consultancy, translates Matthieu’s creations into beautifully styled and easy to follow content for the blog.

Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com
Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

As independent business owners I was curious about their approach to doing their own thing and about the obstacles they faced. Apart from the initial administrative barriers, financial security was their foremost concern although both were optimistic and not at all troubled by the notion. Bénédicte pointed to the importance of having a clear vision and sticking to your goal and to make sure that you build up a solid network of support and leads before you go solo.

Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.comBright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Bright and sunny Brussels apartment | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

It’s apparent that these two aren’t ones to follow standard conventions. There’s a saying in Belgium; “de belg heeft een baksteen in de maag”. Meaning, all Belgians have a brick in their stomach. The maxim bears witness to the inexplicable need for every young Belgian to buy a piece of land and build their own house. It’s therefore rather unique for Bénédicte and Matthieu to have settled in the city. But walking down the lively streets of St Saint-Gilles, you get an instant sense of diversity and creativity of the place so it’s with little wonder why the two decided to live here.

All white kitchen | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Beautiful wall storage | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com
 TARVA dresser hack

I asked Matthieu and Bénédicte what attracted them most about Brussels in general. They unanimously agreed to the city’s cultural diversity. When they’re not out exploring the many vintage and antique markets for forgotten treasures, the cosmopolitain community and it’s rich artistic and creative offerings keep them more than inspired and entertained.

All white kitchen with a view| Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

All white kitchen with a view| Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com
All white kitchen with a view| Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

You can read more about the pair and their favourite things to do in the city in the Top Five Tips sections below. This is a new feature to the blog so keep a look out for some cool city tips, advice and inspiration in my future creative domains blog posts. For more DIY, home and design stories, go check out their blog: Auguste&Claire

Bright, light & tranquil renovated bathroom | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Bright, light & tranquil renovated bathroom | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com
Bright, light & tranquil renovated bathroom | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

Top Five Tips

#1 One piece of advice you could give to someone who’d like to be their own boss:

To envision the life that he/she most want and write down how it would look like. It always helps to clarify our main goals and make them happen!

#2 Your favourite inspirational quote or motto:

Creativity is contagious. Pass it on. (Einstein)

#3 If you could go back in time and meet one famous person, who would you want to meet and why:

We would love to enjoy a coffee with Jacques Brel, Belgian singer and songwriter, and talk about his multiple passions and lifestyle.

#4 What is your ultimate travel destination? One place you’ve been to or would love to go explore?

We’re thinking about visiting Japan, probably the next on the list!

#5 Name 5 of your favourite spots in Brussels for…

Breakfast/coffee

Eating ‘pasteis de nata’ at Forcado Pastelaria

Spending a hot summers day

In the pool of the JAM Hotel

Spending a cold winters day

Early tour at the flea market in Les Marolles and a coffee at PinPon, an old fire station converted into a restaurant

Finding inspiration

Looking at the budgies building strange nests at the Duden Park

A night out with friends

A glass of wine at the evening market in front of Saint-Gilles town hall (every Monday)

Matthieu & Bénédicte from Auguste & Claire | Brussel apartment visit | sitsitso.com

As always, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post. Do like or share if you did! Till next time.

WEBSITE: AUGUST&CLAIRE | STORY + PHOTOS: BARBARA CILLIERS

The beautiful Berlin apartment of Quiet Studios interior designer

Berlin apartment of Quite Studios creative director Daniela Franceschini | sitsitso.com

Quiet Studios

The beautiful Berlin apartment of interior designer Daniela Francheschini

My favourite thing about sitsitso, is that I get to meet so many magnificent and fascinating people. Passionate entrepreneurs who do not fear their own dream-led pathways. People creating beauty where they go. People like Daniela Franceschini – designer and creative director of the interior design studio; Quiet Studios.

Dreamy Berlin apartment of Quite Studios' creative director
Beautiful apartment of Berlin interior designer

Beautiful apartment of Berlin interior designer | sitsitso.com

A couple of weeks ago I visited Daniela at her home in Berlin’s Neukölln neighbourhood. The house, which dates back to 1905, is a stunning structure with original parquet floors and pressed ceilings. Two genuine ceramic stoves still heat up the home – a perfect setting to learn a little more about her story, and how Quiet Studios came about.

Interior designer's beautiful Berlin home | sitsitso.com
Interior designer's beautiful Berlin home | sitsitso.com

Daniela grew up in Spain and studied fashion design in Madrid. A masters degree in sustainability at ESMOD brought her to Berlin where she did her thesis together with an NGO from Kathmandu, focusing on the development of hand-craft skills like basket weaving among communities in Nepal. She later continued this focus on sustainability, working within the trade of sustainable, hand-crafted goods in Morocco.

Home of Quiet Studios' creative director, Daniela Franceschini

Berlin studio of Quite Studios' creative Daniela Home of Quiet Studios' creative director, Daniela Franceschini | sitsitso.com
Berlin studio of Quite Studios' creative Daniela Home of Quiet Studios' creative director, Daniela Franceschini | sitsitso.com

Then one day, a friend asked her to design the interior of their café and concept store in the south of Spain. Working with a tight budget, Daniela sought out creative design solutions. Opting for recycling, up-cycling and hand-craft, discarded wood and sleepers became stools and shelves. Soon WOODS: foods & goods, would be the first of many successful interior design projects to be added to Quiet Studio’s growing body of work.

Berlin apartment of Quite Studios' creative director | sitsitso.com

Berlin apartment of Quite Studios' creative director | sitsitso.comDreamy Berlin apartment of Quite Studios creative director | sitsitso

Daniela’s background in sustainability makes her sensitive to human nature and its relation to interiors and design. The human is always at the centre of her design approach; how it affects one’s mood and behaviour, how you move and interact in a space, as much as one’s socio-cultural background.

Beautiful apartment of Berlin interior designer | sitsitso.com
Beautiful apartment of Berlin interior designer | sitsitso.com

The work of Quiet Studio has an understated elegance that find it’s origin in the honesty of the space and the integrity of the pieces. Daniela chooses objects with character. Something that tells a story other than the mass market aesthetic of Ikea-clad compositions. She likes to scour antique and second hand markets – finding pieces with interesting narratives; like a (rather ironic) print of naked dancing ladies she uncovered in Morocco.

Interior designer's beautiful Berlin home | sitsitso.com

Visiting Quiet Studios's creative director at her home in Berlin | sitsitso.com
Interior designer's beautiful Berlin home | sitsitso.com

Visiting Quiet Studios's creative director at her home in Berlin | sitsitso.com

Daniela understands luxury as an honest and intellectual process instead of a mere collection of commodities. She seeks to bring a soul into her spaces; to bring about the voice that already lays petrified within the walls. Over restaurant in London, beautifully illustrates this dialogue of perfection; a result of her true mies-van-der-rohe-minimalist approach.

Home of Daniela Franceschini - Quite Studios' creative director | sitsitso.com

Home of Daniela Franceschini - Quite Studios' creative director | sitsitso.com
Home of Daniela Franceschini - Quite Studios' creative director | sitsitso.com

To me Daniela’s home is testament to more than her penchant for finding beautiful things. It illustrates her ability to design timeless interiors. Spaces to be lived in, experienced and enjoyed. Environments where you feel at once welcome and at home. Places, you’ll look forward to visiting again.

Quiet Studios - Berlin Interior design studio | sitsitso.com
Quiet Studios - Berlin Interior design studio | sitsitso.com
Daniela Franceschini from Quite Studios in Berlin
 Quiet Studios in Berlin
WEBSITE: QUIET STUDIOS  |  STORY + PHOTOS:  BARBARA CILLIERS

As part of my new series on entrepreneurs and creatives, I’ll be asking each of these mavericks some questions about being their own boss. I hope this will inspire those who want to do their own thing, and give them a little nudge towards finding their own paths.

What’s the best thing about being your own boss:

Daniela:

“The free creative direction, being able to stay true to yourself and the freedom to do things you believe in. And also the space and flexibility to learn through the mistakes you may make along the way.”

What’s the hardest thing about being on your own:

Daniela:

“To always have to find new clients, to be innovative, to keeping up with trends and to stay motivated and inspired.”

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THE WEEPING FIG i.e FICUS BENJAMINA

Close-up of branches from the weeping fig, on sitsitso.com

THE WEEPING FIG

i.e Ficus Benjamina

 

With the cheerless winter lingering on, we’ve been enjoying the company of our leafy friends at home and so the choice for this weeks houseplant post was as much inspired by it’s personality as by it’s name.

The Weeping Fig is a handsome character; it’s downward drooping branches and glossy pointed leaves giving it a moody charm. And with the whole of Berlin still gloomy and grey, the weeping fig is both a splash of happy greenery as well as a reminder of the melancholy of winter.

Dried leaves of the ficus benjamina or weeping fig
Dried ficus leaf of the weeping fig

 

The Benjamina (as it’s scientifically called) is part of the ficus genus and a popular choice for a houseplant, due to it’s relative ease in care. The reason I call it moody is because this beautiful tree can be quite temperamental. The weeping fig is rather intolerable of disturbances, and will quickly shed all of it’s leaves if you dare to move it. A protesting tree can look rather bare and dull, as if winter has find it’s way indoors.

 

Weeping fig or ficus benjamina on sitsitso

Close-up of leaves from the weeping fig tree
Beautiful leaves of the weeping fig on sitsitso.com

 

Weeping figs enjoy bright areas with a bit of sun and shade, so a spot near a west or east facing window should provide a good setting. Once in it’s place, let the ficus settle, and only move it if you have to. Benjamina’s are sensitive to colds and drafts so best not place it in areas with fluctuating temperatures. Make sure your pot drains quickly and well. The ficus dislikes soggy soil so be sure to water it less often during the colder months.

 

Close-up of leaves from a weeping fig on sitsitso.com
Ficus leaf ensemble on sitsitso.com

 

Much like introverts, Benjamina’s are great company as long as you don’t expect them to go anywhere. They will silently grow without any bother, and will look great doing so throughout the year.

 

Names: Weeping Fig, Benjamin Fig or Ficus tree
Family: Moraceae, native to Asia and Australia
Water: Moderate watering in Summer, less during Winter

Leaves dropping from over-watering: Fallen leaves fold easy
Leaves dropping from under watering: Fallen leaves are crispy

Soil: Fast draining soil mix
Prune: After Summer and before Spring
Toxicity: Mildly toxic to cats & dogs
Propagation: During Summer months by placing branch-cuttings into soil 

 

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This item has been sold

 

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Plant pageant: Creative plant pots

Home made hanging planters for November's creative plant pots issue

 

 PLANT PAGEANT

Seven solutions for dressing up your plants

 

November’s theme for Urban Jungle Bloggers is all about creative plant pots. Having pretty plants is easy. Finding beautiful pots for them, not so much. So here’s a round-up of my seven favourite styles for displaying your leafy friends. Although many of my pots are either home made or second-hand finds, I’ve done a bit of e-window shopping to help you source your own. 

 

01. Glass

My favourite way to propagate cuttings is to do so in beautiful glass containers. This way the most precious part of the process – the sprouting of new roots – is magnified by the water and glass. I’m particularly partial to containers and vases that resemble old medicine or science jars. Maybe because they make me feel like a biologist, with my very important plant specimens. You can find a variety of different ones like these at Manufaktum. For the folks back home, Mr Price has a few that are quite cool. Off course, if you enjoy a drink every now and then, Monkey Gin and Hibiki Whisky come in pretty nifty bottles that in my opinion, are worth keeping in any event. 

 

Beautiful glass bottles, vases and jars for styling your plants

 

 02. Concrete

Concrete planters are a big trend right now, and with good reason. It’s such a beautiful material, and suits pretty much any style. Plus, judging by the myriad of DIY tutorials out there, it’s not even that hard to make. But if you don’t feel like getting your hands dirty; check out the new proudly South African Notation Design. They make a whole bunch of pretty concrete stuff. Their square planters are my favourite. I found the ones pictured below at Hellweg, but these white ones from Future Kept are also quite nice. 

 

Concrete plant pots

 

 03. Terrariums

Terrariums, if you don’t know, are glass containers, often sealable, that allow a water cycle to form due to the transparent glass and resulting condensation. They work really well for plants that require humid or moist environments. Also, it protects your plant if you have a ginger cat who loves to nibble on its leaves. I created my own terrarium using a glass dome from a cloche I found at Butlers. It fits neatly into a beautiful base I got as a gift. The other two are just upside down jars that fits into plant pots I already had. If you’re in the market for a real one though, I really like this one: Montra Vaas from Bolia.

 

Create your own terrariums with upside down jars and plant pots

 

 04. Fabric

My friend Meagie from Makers, gave me these beautiful fabric bags to dress up my plant pots. I love them cause they’re reversible – with completely different looks on either side. She has a great selection at her studio, so go stop buy if you’re in the area. Alternatively, apart from looking pretty, these washable paper ones, are multi-purpose.  

 

Fabric bags to dress up your plant pots

 

05. Hanging planters

I saw these beautiful wooden hanging plant pots at Anthropology and decided to try and make my own. For the macramé hanger I used this super easy to follow tutorial and appropriated an old wooden fruit bowl for the base. I also made the planter on the right, using the inside circle of an embroidery hoop wich, incidentally, fits neatly around those white socker pots you find at Ikea. I also really like these ones from Hallescheshaus.

 

Hanging planters as creative plant pot alternatives

 

06. Ceramics

This ceramic vase was one of the very first things I bought for my first home back when I was a student. I found it at a flea market and still love it. It’s rather small but works super well for displaying dried flowers and beautiful leaves. Maybe for my birthday or for christmas one day I could get one of these beautiful pieces, by the super talented Florian Gadsby. They are exquisite.

 

Ceramic vases

 

07. Terracotta

Next to being really affordable, terracotta plant pots are easy to find and work with any type of setting. Also, thanks to the friendly price tag, one is not as hesitant to venture a paintbrush toward their auburn exterior. I’ve done mine up in a few neutral tones and a spot of cobalt. Marij from My Attic has a great selection of pots that you can buy, if the thought of painting your own terrifies you.

 

Painted terracotta plant pots for a creative twist

That’s it for my November Urban Jungle Bloggers creative plant pots contribution. I hope you enjoyed my plant pageant! I’d love to hear which of my seven solutions are your favourite, or even if you have your own creative ideas for styling your plant buddies. Do let me know by leaving a comment below. And as always, thanks for reading!

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Check out some more awesome posts like these on Urban Jungle Bloggers, or visit the blogs of UJB creators;  Igor& Judith.

The Round House

Livingroom of The Round House in pretoria

 

THE ROUND HOUSE

 

When I was little, my mom used to drive us to Rietondale for icy early morning hockey tournaments. Often, I’d ask her to take the steep drive up Eastwood, so we could pass by the round house on top of the hill. Every time, I marvelled at the unique architecture, and busied my mind with thoughts of the interesting people whom I was certain must live there. For one must surely be curious to live in such an unusual home.

 

Sitsitso's visit to Pretoria Artist's hilltop home

Pretoria artist's art-filled home | sitsitso.com
Artistic home in Pretoria

 

Many years later I drove with a friend up that very hill, on our way to visit her mum. And to my surprise and utmost delight, we stopped at the round house. My friend had grown up there. This was their house. Going inside, I felt like I’d received a gift. For not only was I able to explore a place of childhood fantasy, but my reveries of a marvellous interior, had been largely correct. This house was indeed extraordinary.

 

Pretoria artist's quirky home
Beautiful piece by Pretoria based artist Margaret Nel | sitsitso.com
Mid-century modern pieces | sitsitso home-visit
A visit to Margaret Nel's curious Pretoria home

 

The Le Corbusier inspired “Round House”, was designed by german architect May von Langenau, for my friend’s late father and her artist mother, Margaret Nel. An exemplar of the so called International Style of architecture, the house is noted for its spherical shape (quite a novelty at the time of construction in 1961) as well as the structure. Hoisted off the ground by supporting pilotis, the terrain extends under the house in true Le Corbusier fashion. With a radial layout instead of load bearing walls, the space provides spectacular views of the surrounding Magalies mountains.

 

Pretoria artist quirky bedroom

The quirky bedrooms of the round house in Pretoria
Pretoria-Artist's-eccentirc-home

 

But if the view or the structure does not amaze you, the interior will. Nel has done an incredible job at curating the space. Every detail has been carefully thought out, every piece telling its story. Old iron hospital beds, -trollies and -lockers add to an industrial theme that feels surprisingly warm and modern thanks to accompanying second-hand, mid-century pieces sourced at great length by Margaret.

M

Art filled home of Pretoria artist Margaret Nel | sitsitso
Curated artwork and details that tell a story | sitsitso

 

An interesting dialogue between the decor and artwork is evident throughout the interior. Among the works of esteemed artists like Claudette Schreuder and Diane Victor, peculiar artefacts like plastic dolls and dinasours, wooden sculptures and vintage mannequins, transform the house into an artwork itself.

The round house in Pretoria

Curios details of the round house in Pretoria
Artist's Margaret Nel's home is filled with beautiful pieces by the artist

 

The clever displays feel like a running commentary of artistic expression. It’s at the same time sensitive and quirky; a dualism of sorts, between a bright and colourful South African vernacular, and a muted European design sensibility. Nel’s own work is on display as well. Pieces from her “Best Before” series (oversized life-like renderings of meat and confectionary wrapped in plastic and styrofoam) continues the dualistic notions, in this instance, of preservation and decay. 

 

The round house in pretoria

 

The house itself feels, as it were, like a juxtaposition. It’s at once classic and modern, off-beat and stylish. And so in answer to my childhood daydreams, the round house is undoubtedly eccentric. An elegant expression of Margaret Nel’s keen design sensibility, her prowess as an artist and her fine sense of humour.

Pretoria artist's eccentric round house in Pretoria | sitsitso.com

Some of Margaret Nel's artwork from her home in Pretoria | sitsitso
Margaret Nel's round house in Pretoria

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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.

 

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