Our flat came fully furnished since the owners live in Ireland. But the furniture, since the flat is inside a residential hotel and was rented out as a hotel suite, is very… Hotel-eqsue. By that I mean no clear identity of someone’s taste, nothing too arty or unique. It’s all standard home ware that is neither offensive nor particularly inspiring.
The coffee table, however, was offensive. Hideous, and with a design so impractical it infuriated us everyone time we walked past it [possibly a result of severe toe-stubbing due to said ridiculous design.
After searching high and low, we found the design we wanted. I wanted something locally made, something that was simple and functional, and something that served to make the space look bigger and lighter, rather than the clunky, heavy piece we had. It couldn’t be white due to our Nguni rug, and black or dark wood combined with the dark wood floors would just make the room too dark. So we went for a colour: Jade Cluster [Dulux]. The design is by Stokperd, a local designer. The price was less than a third of anything else we saw, and it has made a big difference to our living room.
The table is super glossy and the colour is a brilliant emerald green [which cannot be seen in the pictures]. And, of course, nothing in a house is complete without a little personalisation:
From to right: According to The Rolling Stones; our wedding album; Grace: A Memoir; Biografie van ‘n Bende; The Clash.
Our place came fully furnished when we bought it, which has been veyr convenient! We haven’t been stuck without, for example, chairs, while we save up to buy some. However, the furniture in the flat is… let’s just say, “not exactly to our taste”. Most of it is very standard, hotel-like furniture. Some of it is just “I wouldn’t personally buy that”, some of it is hideous.
The carpet, for example. To quote a friend of ours: “Wasn’t that in Austin Powers?” Outdated, but also completely discoloured and nasty-looking after years of being in there.
This, in my opinion, is a huge improvement:
I just love our Nguni hide. I love that it’s African, but also that it isn’t your typical Nguni colour and pattern. I also think it does a fair bit to lighten up the room.
We got ours at Woodheads in Cape Town [there’s also one on the Midlands Meander].
At 86 square metres, our flat isn’t exactly enormous! It’s been fun coming up with small space solutions and finding function in everything we can.
We had two “nooks” in the place. One in the living room, and one in the main bedroom. They’re just these narrow spaces which were really not usable, hence not great for a small space! The living room nook was perfect for book shelves, but the bedroom one was just so narrow, I wasn’t sure what to do with it.
A while ago we got Home Fixers in to help us with some small home things, like storage hooks and better towel rails and such. We also got them to put up shelves for us, and I am so happy with the end product! Their prices are good, the service is great. During their work I got numerous texts double-checking finer points, and the workmanship was wonderful. No complaints.
See how this space, without shelves, is not exactly useful?
Not so Feng Shui.
Now, the bedroom nook… Too narrow even for a standing lamp. What on earth does one do with that?!
Shoes. The answer is always “shoes”.