Why do you need a headboard in your bedroom?

I have recently been headboard hunting because, as you may have noticed in our cottage renovation project, we don’t yet have one in the bedroom. And it’s not for lack of trying. To be honest, I found the options a bit overwhelming and as it happens with overwhelm, proceeded to do absolutely nothing about it. This made me think: why do you need a headboard in your bedroom? Is it really essential and will it make a huge difference if you don’t have one?

providence cottage

Let’s first look at a few pros:

  1. A headboard is both functional and aesthetic: it gives you something to lean against and frames your bed.
  2. It’s a practical way to keep the wall behind your bed protected.
  3. It adds depth, texture, colour, or softness to your room – depending on the design of course.
  4. A headboard adds a finishing touch to your room.
  5. Its style can emphasize the style of the room.

So how do you choose the right headboard style?

There are so many different varieties of headboards available that it is difficult to cover all of them. A headboard also doesn’t have to be a solid piece of wood or upholstered item: it could be anything that frames the back of your bed. In terms of trending bedroom styles, here’s what you should be looking for in a headboard to complement the design of your bedroom.

 

1// BOHO

Sadies Lovely Life

The boho look is built on the layering of textures and natural materials. Go for carved wood, woven rattan or textured upholstery. And if you were into alternative style headboards, then this would be the style to explore.

 

2// SCANDINAVIAN

By Koczanska

The Scandi trend is still going strong! If simple, clean lines and great design is your thing, then this is your style. Blond wood or white headboards as part of the bed frame is the perfect choice to create this fresh fuss-free look.

 

3// MINIMALIST

Domino

Taking Scandi a bit further, minimalism strips a room of anything that doesn’t fulfill a basic function or that which we value most. Anything that detracts from that, is removed. Choose a headboard that doesn’t show off, in honest materials like wood or natural fibers like cotton or linen.

 

4// FRENCH COUNTRY

Infiniti Homes

Still popular for its coziness and nostalgia, French Country is all about dreamy linen, deep buttoning, and distressed finishes. Get the look with a linen or brocade headboard and beautiful lace bed linen.

SHOP YOUR NEW HEADBOARD HERE!

5// VINTAGE

headboard

Design Collector

Vintage as really become popular over the last few years. It’s a style initially built on frugality and a sense of environmental kindness. But it has by now flourished into a style in its own right. It’s accessible, economical, and adds a wealth of character to any room. Like with boho, you can also really think out of the box here. Anything that can be positioned in a more-or-less upright way behind your bed, can work!

 

6// MID-CENTURY

headboards

Lynden Foss for Inside Out

The furniture of the 50’s have really made a comeback in a big way and there really are just 2 things you need to remember here: tapered and wood. Tapered legs on beds, nightstands and dressers and natural medium wood finishes create the most amazing midcentury bedroom. Throw in some twill on an upholstered headboard with a wooden trim and you’ve stepped back in time!

 

7// JUNGALOW

Anthropologie

For those who live in urban areas but yearn for a bit of the outdoors. This is another style that plays with natural textures and materials, mixed with greenery. A LOT of greenery. The idea is to create a jungle, so don’t hold back!

So now that you have your style sorted out, go get your 20% off made-to-measure designer headboards from Finishing Touches! There are a variety of styles and fabrics to choose from, so hurry to your nearest Builders Warehouse and order your headboard!

Happy Sleeping!

This post was sponsored by Finishing Touches.

When life hands you lemons, make lemon drizzle cake!

A recent abundance of lemons on the tree in my back garden prompted me to find a recipe in which I could use them.  Luckily, I didn’t have to look far!  A friend gave me The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook a few years ago and their Lemon & Poppyseed cake was the 1st (and actually only!) recipe that I tried. So when life handed me lemons, I decided to make lemon drizzle cake! This cake has been a tremendous hit with everyone who’s tasted it.  So far, it’s been requested by my mom-in-law, my children (no surprise there to be honest, it’s cake afterall!) and even a colleague of my husband’s. Twice! You know what they say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

lemon drizzle cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake

YOU WILL NEED:

Equipment: Mixer, spatula, whisk, 24cm Ring mould

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 245g caster sugar
  • Grated zest of 1½ lemons
  • 15g poppy seeds
  • 165ml whole milk
  • 235g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 egg whites

Ingredients for the Lemon Syrup:

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 100ml water

Ingredients for the Lemon Glaze:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 250g icing sugar
  • Pretty sprinkles if desired!

lemon drizzle cake

METHOD:

Instructions for the cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 170ºC, Gas Mark 3.
  • Prepare your ring mould by generously spraying with Spray & Cook.
  • Cream together the butter, caster sugar, poppy seeds and lemon zest in a large bowl.
  • Slowly add the milk in stages and beat until all the ingredients are incorporated (don’t worry if the mixture looks slightly split at this stage).
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add this to the butter mixture in 3 stages, beating well after each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
    Using a metal spoon, gently fold this into the cake mixture until well mixed, but don’t overmix or you’ll lose all the fluffiness!
  • Pour into mould and bake for about 30 minutes until the sponge is golden and bounces back when gently pressed.

lemon drizzle cake

Instructions for the Lemon Syrup:

  • Whilst the cake is baking, make the lemon syrup by mixing the lemon zest and juice, sugar and water in a saucepan and gently boiling it until it has reduced by half and has thin syrup consistency. Do be mindful not to let this boil for too long… I have ended up with a very sticky toffee-ish mess once!
  • When the hot cake comes out of the oven, pour the lemon syrup all over the top whilst it is still in the ring mould.  This makes the cake wonderfully moist.  Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to your plate of choice to cool completely.

lemon drizzle cake

Instructions for the Lemon Glaze:

  • Mix the lemon juice and icing sugar until smooth and glossy. It should be thick but pourable – add a little water or more icing sugar to thin or thicken as necessary.
  • Once the cake has cooled, spoon over the glaze and let it run down the sides of the cake.

lemon drizzle cake

lemon drizzle cake

The official recipe states “Sprinkle with a few poppy seeds” at this point, but I always opt for prettier sprinkles like the pearls and silver balls seen in the photos.  And glitter.  Almost always glitter!

lemon drizzle cake

That’s it… all that remains is for you to serve yourself a slice of lemony deliciousness.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

What is the best way to mix prints like a pro in your home?

When I think of mixing prints, I am reminded of the heyday of florals and stripes in the 90’s. Everything was pink, peach, and pale blue with touches of burgundy for a formal setting and splashes of soft turquoise to keep things light. Although terribly outdated now, this laid the foundation for many interior brands who kept building on that to bring you an abundance of patterns thrown together in a very structured but seemingly random way. I struggle to mix patterns in fashion – I have to have a particularly good self-esteem day to pull it off. But in interior design, I throw patterns together with reckless abandon! Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you want to mix prints like a pro in your home. Use it as a guide, and then throw all caution to the wind. Play a little this spring -what’s the worst that could happen?

1// seek inspiration

There are few places I go to for my patternal inspiration (yes, I just made up that word – but it works!).

  1. Missoni
Missoni Home Emme Collection

The mother and father of textile prints, this family-built design house is synonymous with mixing things up. I wrote about Madame Rosita Missoni’s talk at the Design Indaba Conference 2 years ago and was so inspired by this matriarch’s fierce passion for pattern. Here’s a designer that is truly fearless!

2. Laura Ashley

Laura Ashley Living Wall

I started my career with this amazing brand, and will forever love their homeware! They have been throwing together prints since post WWII, and doing so fabulously. Their online catalog has some serious pattern eye-candy! And while they are quite traditional, they do also have amazing contemporary ranges.

3. Anthropologie

Anthropologie Medina-printed Rivona Chair

It’s no secret that I have a huge design crush on Anthropologie. They have this way of doing a crazy mix of colour and prints and making it all work.

2// find a common thread

Voutsa for Anthropologie

Whether you choose a colour, a scale, a pattern, or a texture, as long as there is something tying everything together, it will work! Maybe everything has some botanical element in it, or there is a touch of blue in all of them. It could also be that you have a large painting, rug or wallpaper that is the unifying element in all of it.

3// play with layers

Liberty For Anthropologie Feather Bloom Shams

Start with an item and build from there: this will usually be a big piece, like a carpet, or curtains. Then gradually layer on top of that. A bedroom also offers ample opportunity to play with different layers of pattern. Use curtains, or a duvet cover or quilt, as the starting point. Then add a different print with pillows, followed by accessories like a throw or a scatter.

4// vary the scale

Anthropologie Edlyn Sofa

If everything is the same scale, things can get pretty hectic, pretty quickly. Have large patterns mixed with small patterns and dense prints with more spacious prints. White space or negative space is also very important here: there has to be some quiet in all the busyness to give your eyes a rest!

5// jump out of your comfort zone

Old Brand New

Unless you plan to redo all the walls with an imported wallpaper and have floor to ceiling curtains made, the risk in throwing prints together is actually quite small. There is no right or wrong: as with anything in your home, if you can live with it and it makes you happy, then it works! Buy a few cushions to start with, and see if they work together in your current living room. If they don’t, you can always take them back 😉

Happy decorating!

 

 

 

Providence Cottage: From Garage to Guest Accommodation on a Budget

At long last, the cottage on the farm is done! I have been working with a team of builders, contractors, handymen (and not-so-handy men) and a throng of other people over the winter to get this tired old cottage ready for the summer tourist season in the Franschhoek Valley. Here’s how I turned a garage into a guest accommodation on a budget.

providence cottage

This is what it looked like before we started. The 50sqm extra-length double garage had been hastily converted to a garden cottage about 7 years ago. Since then, not much was done to the place. The bathroom was atrocious, the kitchen rotten, and the rest was in dire need of paint and repairs. But as always, I see opportunity where others see despair!

Here’s What We Did!

1// The Bathroom

providence cottage

spectacular bathroom makeover

 

The bathroom was the first project on our list. It was a transformation of epic proportions and the results are just gorgeous! Click here for the full post!

2// The Kitchen

providence cottage

tiny kitchen

tiny kitchen

Next up, was the kitchen. We really only built in a small kitchenette as the restaurant offering in the valley is outstanding and we doubt people will come here to cook their own food. None the less, it is equipped with enough to prepare a meal. Click here for the full post.

3// The Windows

providence cottage

The windows offered another challenge: the views around the cottage are very pretty, but the light can be very bright and in summer, the heat needs to be blocked out as well. Click here to see how we resolved that.

4// The Living Room

We bought the coffee table and side table from a discount furniture store; the sofa was a second-hand one with a loose cover one that we had redyed; all the accessories we bought at the end-of-season sales. The animal hide rug is on loan until we have made enough money to invest a bit more!

providence cottage

This Ikea Chair was an online second-hand find.

We kept the colour scheme really simple and neutral, with lots of textures.

providence cottage

I just love this little bench – also a treasure from a hunt around the used furniture store.

providence cottage

5// The Dining Room

providence cottage

The dining is definitely my favourite part of the project. I bought the used chairs online for R150 each. The table was new and the console table came from our local second hand furniture store. I indulged in the cost of the table lamp but saved the money when I made the glass jar chandelier and round studded mirror.

round studded mirror DIY

6// The Bedroom

providence cottage

The room is very small, so I chose to have a floating shelf with a hanging bar for clothes for short-term guests instead of a wardrobe. The luggage stand below provides an additional storage surface.

providence cottage

We have a huge affinity for proteas on the farm, so when I saw this cushion, I knew it had to be incorporated! I found that mirror for R250 at Sheet Street – what a bargain!

providence cottage

We made little glass jar night lights for the bedroom as well. It’s a really simple and inexpensive way to add light and save space over a nightstand!

The whole project cost R88,135 (including sponsors) and when you keep in mind that we started with an empty shell, I am quite pleased! That works out to a complete overhaul (including all building materials, labour, electrical and plumbing work, furniture, all kitchen equipment and utensils, bed linen, towels and cable TV) at R1,763 per sqm. I hope that this project has inspired you to do something about unused space that you can turn into an income-generating asset for you and your family. I’d love to get your feedback on this renovation – let me know what you think!

Happy Renovating!

This project was supported by Tile Africa and Builder’s Warehouse, Consol Glass, and Finishing Touches – and for that, I am so super grateful! Now, it’s up to Airbnb to get it occupied!

 

 

The modular sofa that will make you want to play with your furniture

Sofa shopping can really be a challenge: it’s too big, too small, not the right fabric, it’s just not flexible enough, or you just don’t know what you’re supposed to be looking out for. But then local design legend, Weylandts, came up with the Easy Living Modular Sofa that combines extreme quality and comfort with the ultimate flexibility. It’s one of those designs that you look at thinking: “Why are not all sofas designed like this?” It’s not often that I get excited about seating, but when I started to explore all the possibilities of these modular sofa units, I couldn’t help myself.

All 5 of the modular units in the range boast feather-filled cushions, 100% linen slip-covers in grey or white and gorgeous teeth-stitched detailing.

weylandts modular sofa

weylandts modular sofa

Putting together the different configurations is a bit like building a puzzle with multiple options. Determine how many bums on seats you need, pick your modules and start playing with your furniture!

Here are our top tips on what to consider when buying a sofa:

1// Weight

A sofa has to be heavy. If you can pick it up with one hand, that means that the frame has been made with lightweight materials which will not be durable in the long run. A heavy sofa means that the frame has been constructed using durable hardwoods. Even modular sofa units have to feel heavy when you try to lift them. If you can comfortably pick it up, it’s probably not a great frame.

2// Warranties

Any retailer should offer you a warranty on their product. Read their terms and conditions, but it will usually comprise 2 years and exclude reasonable wear & tear if the product was used in an appropriate environment. So, don’t buy domestic furniture and use it in a retail or commercial environment.

3// Upholstery

There are so many upholstery options out there that it can be difficult to know where to start. Natural fibers like linen, wool, bamboo or hemp are always a great option for their luxurious look and feel. To protect your upholstery, you can choose to have a professional application of a stain repellant coating. This kind of microscopic film on your furniture will ensure that it stays clean and looking like new. Leather is another great option that comes in a variety of colours and finishes to suit your home. If you take care of your leather furniture properly, it is sure to last you a lifetime.

4// Filling

Most sofas are made with foam on the seat and feather, foam or a combination of the 2 for the back cushions. Unless it’s an allergy issue, always go for feather. You can puff up feather cushions again and again where foam tends to compact after prolonged use and then have to be replaced. Feather is also incredibly comfortable.

Our Favourite Picks

Weylandts offers a fantastic selection of sofas to suit your home. Click here to have a look! Or have a look below at my favourite accessories from their range.

weylandts modular sofa

1… colourblock scatter camel  |  2… potted beacarnea |  3… ica vase – medium  |  4… handwoven throw natural blue  |  5… bone inlay stool  |  6… vedic leaf vase  |  7… basket patterned wire  |  8… 100% cotton duvet set  |  9… blue lily study scatter

 

Now, go and #playwithyourfurniture!

This post is sponsored by Weylandts.

 

6 foolproof updates for a Spring-ready home

It may be just me, but no other season has quite the effect on me that Spring has. It makes me want to change things up, throw things out, and generally, take stock of my life and my home. Getting your home ready for the new season is really simple when you look at a few key elements: windows and window treatments, and home decor and accessories. Here are my 6 foolproof updates this season so if Spring fever has not quite taken hold of you yet, you’re in the right place!

1// take it down and wash it out

spring fever

My Domaine

The warmer weather is perfect for getting your curtains cleaned. Read the care label on your window treatments and wash it in the machine if possible, or have it dry-cleaned. That goes for removable upholstery, quilts, and throws as well.

2// hang something lighter

spring fever

Homemy Design

Spring is the perfect time to add some airy sheers to your windows. Pack your heavy draperies away and replace it with light linen and cotton that can sway in the breeze. Dress up the look with some designer crystal poles, or keep it simple with a classic natural wood pole.

PRO TIP: Curtain clips that make it easy to hang and replace curtains later as the season turns. That also means that you can use simple drops of fabric as a window treatment instead of made-to-measure curtains.

3// go floral

1. hertex florence in ebony //  2. sew & such floral bunting in red  //  3. home fabrics orsay in summer  //  4. h&m slub weave cushions cover // 5. handmade by me foliage on pink wallpaper  //  6. hertex exotic in dijon  //  7. sunkissed handmade floral letter  //  8. a love supreme palm in yellow //  9. sharon b design yellow protea cushion

As I mentioned in my The Most Inspiring Things in September post, florals for Spring are hardly groundbreaking stuff. But if Mother Nature can get away with redecorating with florals every year, so can we! Floral Roman blinds, scatter cushions, prints, rugs – anything that brings blooms into your home. Finishing Touches has a great variety of materials you can choose from so that it will light up your room this Spring. Make use of their made-to-measure service to make sure that your blinds fit your window perfectly. Here are some of the bright and breezy fabrics on offer!

4// lighten up textures

Anthropologie

Pack away tweed, wool, heavy quilts, hide, thickly woven accessories, and throws. Replace them with light cotton bed covers, cotton throws, woven textures, and light fabric prints. Just this textural change alone will already make a huge difference to your interior.

5// throw some light around

spring fever

West Elm

Mirrors are an amazing way to bounce light around the room, so get that glorious spring sunshine into every nook and cranny with a few well-placed mirrors.

6// and as always, declutter and throw out

spring fever

My Domaine

The amazing thing about sorting out your home is that it seems to clear your head as well. Our homes are a reflection of ourselves so, if your home is a cluttered mess, chances are you don’t have a lot of mental and emotional clarity either. Clear out the old and redundant and make way for the new! I dedicated an entire section in my FREE e-course on decluttering, so if you haven’t yet signed up for it, you can do so here.

Happy Spring!

This post is proudly sponsored by Finishing Touches.

 

Super Easy Round Studded Mirror DIY

For our Cottage Renovation project, I wanted to have a round mirror to hang above the console table in the dining room. Our budget was seriously pushing red though, so I had to choose between buying a table lamp or a mirror. Knowing I could make a cool mirror, I bought the lamp, a pre-cut round mirror, and got to work! If you have a little spot that could do with something über trendy, then this round studded mirror DIY is for you!

You will need:

round studded mirror DIY

  • Mirror (buy one pre-cut or have one cut at your local glass shop)
  • Chipboard circle, cut to 10mm bigger than the mirror.
  • 4mm Hardboard, cut to 50mm strips that are long enough to go around the chipboard circle.
  • Chipboard screws
  • Matt black spray paint
  • Double-sided foam tape
  • Brass upholstery tacks
  • Metal to metal adhesive
  • Brass chain or leather strap – I was going to use the chain and then I remembered that I have an old belt laying around, begging to be used!

Method:

//STEP 1

round studded mirror DIY

Use the chipboard screws to fix the hardboard strips around the perimeter of the chipboard.

//STEP 2

round studded mirror DIY

Spray with the matt black spray paint (always spray in a well-ventilated area or outside).

//STEP 3

round studded mirror DIY

Fix the upholstery tacks around the perimeter, equally spaced. To cover the chipboard screws, cut the pin from the tack and fix over the screw with metal to metal adhesive.

//STEP 4

round studded mirror DIY

Fix the leather strap to the frame with the brass tacks.

//STEP 5

round studded mirror DIY

Fix the mirror to the frame using the double-sided tape. I used 2 layers to create some added depth.

Now, look at yourself in the mirror and smile!

Happy making!

 

Have your Rainbow Mandala Cake this Heritage Day and Eat It!

Every year we celebrate Heritage Day with a braai. In fact, National Braai Day, as its known, is a true South African way of saying that we should put our differences aside and eat together. I am not much of braaier myself – I leave that to my husband. But recently when my sister Anélle made this incredible rainbow mandala cake I thought, what a better way to celebrate our rich South African heritage than with this gorgeous and intricately decorated deliciousness? We are the Rainbow Nation after all! So after you’ve had your braai – and the compulsory nap that follows – have some coffee and rainbow cake and be proud to be a Saffer. To read more about this very talented baker and maker, click here!

rainbow mandala cake

Heritage Day Rainbow Mandala Cake

Prep time: 60 mins

Cook time: 15 – 20 mins

rainbow mandala cake

YOU WILL NEED:

Equipment: Mixer, spatula, disposable foil tins, disposable piping bags

For the cake you will need:

  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 350g soft unsalted butter
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 6 large free range eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 40ml milk – any kind

For the frosting you will need:

  • 300g butter, VERY soft but not melted
  • 250g medium fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • +- 800g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1tbsp lemon juice

Method:

Preheat oven to gas mark 4/170ºC/360 ºF

Prepare your disposable tin foil tins by spraying with Spray & Cook and cutting a circle of baking paper for each one

 Instructions for the cake:

rainbow mandala cake

  • Cream your butter and sugar until combined and light and fluffy – a couple of minutes of beating on high speed in a stand mixer.
  • Add eggs one at a time
  • In a separate bowl, mix baking powder & flour, then add little by little and mix well (with the mixer now on slow)
  • Add vanilla extract.
  • If your mix is a little thick as mine was, add up to 65ml of milk – adding a tablespoon at a time and stopping when you get to a consistency that you’re happy with.
  • Divide your mix into 6 bowls (including your original bowl) to do your colours. Add only a few drops of gel at a time and mix well.
  • Use a spatula to scoop all of the batter into a disposable tin. Use the back of a spoon to smooth down each cake – this will help them to bake flat.
  • Pop them into the oven and keep a close eye on them – you don’t want them to get browned. Take them out as soon as a skewer to the center came out clean (15-20 min depending on your oven)
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before stacking.

 Instructions for the frosting:

  1. Mix the butter and cream cheese
  2. Add icing sugar gradually and mix well
  3. Add lemon juice
  4. Refrigerate to firm if necessary, or add up to 60ml hot water if too firm

 To assemble:

rainbow mandala cake

  1. Put your first layer onto the center of the plate, and then frost and put on the next layer.
  2. Continue stacking the cake, taking care to position the layers as evenly as possible, so that the sides of the cake are as straight as they can be.
  3. Apply a crumb coat of frosting to the cake, filling any gaps between layers. The colours of the cake will be very apparent, but don’t worry! Chill the assembled cake for 20min.
  4. Apply a second coat of frosting. Chill for 20min.
  5. Apply a third coat of frosting. Chill until set.
  6. Divide remaining icing into bowls, one for each colour piping icing required.
  7. Colour icing by using only a drop of gel at a time. Scoop into disposable piping bags, then pipe away to your heart’s content!

A bit about mandalas

rainbow mandala cake

A mandala is a symbol that represents the universe in all its complexity and beauty. Start with a center point and then visually divide the cake into 4 quarters. Work your way around and make sure that you do exactly the same thing in each quarter. It’s very therapeutic! There is no right or wrong way and every mandala will be completely unique – just go with it! Here are some mandala images via Shutterstock to get you in the mood!

rainbow mandala cake

rainbow mandala cake

rainbow mandala cake

Happy Heritage Day!

 

Makers Making a Difference: Dom Murray of Cult Of One

A self-proclaimed denimophile, Dominic Murray was compelled to start his one-man company, Cult Of One, to share his passion with the world. I catch up with him on the phone one evening and we chat about accountability in the fashion industry, floral embroidery and about making a difference in his local community.

dom murray

Q: When and why did you start Cult Of One?

DM: I started Cult of One two years ago. It was a denim brand that I needed to start literally out of an obsession. I had just had it with the industry I was working in and I felt that I had to do something that gave me more accountability.

Q:   What is Cult of One exactly?

DM:  Cult of One is a one-man denim brand. I work with premium denim and create accountable products that are well-made and carry a bit of the creator’s character and what is important to them, as well as the character of the final person that owns the product. This connects the creator, the product itself and the final user of the product to create a consistent line of accountability. I take these 3 elements and find a way of making it the perfect fit, tweaking it, building it, crafting it and just slowly creating it so that all 3 elements are represented in the final product.

dom murray

dom murray

dom murray

Every product is hand-made, customized and tailored to the person that’s going to use it at the end of the day.

Q:  Is Cult of One is your passion project or is it your full-time job?

DM:  At the moment, it’s a passion project for me. I work in the fashion industry as a designer. I started at Hip Hop back in the day and I went to a couple of denim brands and start-up street wear brands from there. Eventually, it got to a point where my day job and all the time that I was putting into it wasn’t giving me the satisfaction I needed. I decided to do something that I’m completely responsible for, something that challenges me. I wanted to do something where what I’m doing creatively is justifying the time I’m putting into it.

dom murray

Q:  And where does your passion for denim come from?

DM:   It was right when I started working in the denim industry, on the very first day that I got exposed to this fabric! Before that, I had never really thought about denim as something other than a blue fabric we wear on a daily basis. But then I realized that it has character. It has the ability to age and break down and get more special. It can tell the story of whoever wears it. It’s so amazing and versatile. It genuinely gets better with age and since I started working with it, it became an obsession that I can’t avoid.

Q:  You also do denim repair.

DM:  I do. One of the biggest things I find in the denim industry is that a lot of people buy a pair of jeans and the more you wear it the better it becomes. But then eventually it gets to a point where it breaks or tears or you get complacent with it. Once it gets replaced, the story ends there. I honestly feel that when it comes to something so great, something that changes so much with you, why replace it when you can simply repair it? To repair a pair of jeans doesn’t take a lot of work but it does give you something that is more unique. It takes something that you’ve lived with for a number of years and makes it so much better, so much more yours. So, yeah as much as I can I encourage people to repair rather than replace.

dom murray

Q:  And you do all the work yourself as well? All the sewing all the stitching?

DM:  Also all the embroidery – everything. I believe that if you’re going to create a product, that’s your promise to your customer. If you aren’t a part of every single process then what’s the point of doing it? So, going back to the crucial message of doing everything by hand, making sure that one person is responsible for every single step in the process.

Q:  Tell me about Denim For Bread.

DM:  The idea behind it was to take this amazing fabric that I love and that’s so durable and try to give it back to a community. Give it back to someone who maybe can’t afford the product itself and linking them to people who are conscious of products and of doing charity.

dom murray

dom murray

dom murray

The project itself started when I created a headrest bag. The bag itself was designed as a bag that could double as a pillow. The idea was to create these durable bags and stuff them with as many supplies as possible: basic commodities like canned food, water, toothpaste, and sanitary goods and hand it out to people that really need it. So, people on the street, and homeless people around my area.

It creates an opportunity for someone who follows my brand to buy into this idea of giving back and really do something practical about it. You don’t have to worry about who it’s going to, how it’s getting there, or what it is. People want to support those less fortunate than themselves and I’ve given them an opportunity to do so.

Q:  So, people can sign up to denim for bread on your website?

DM:  Yes, they can sign up directly on the site or via Patreon. Your contribution covers the cost of the commodities inside the bag and then I cover the cost of the bag itself and get it handed out. On Patreon you can do a monthly payment so every month you’re paying for a new bag and you’re able to help another person.

dom murray

dom murray

Q:  Where do you see your brand going in the next 5 years?

DM:  When I started, I needed to create something I was proud of. Over the last 2 years, it’s grown exponentially and I feel very lucky. Over the next 5 years, I’d love it to become my sole focus day in and day out. At this point, I have my day job which helps to pay the bills but it’s slowly becoming less important in my life.

Q:  And then if you scale, will you employ other people but still oversee every part of the process?

DM:  Very much so. Cult of One was born as an idea of a single person working to create their own product. The growth that I’d like to invest in and put time into developing is, rather than hiring someone to work for me, finding someone to share the passion that I have. I want to provide a platform where they are able to create a product under a label that is recognized but they are still responsible for it. The person who then receives this product at the end of the day will know who it came from. They’ll know the craftsmen, the process, and they’ll understand what inspired the final product that they fell in love with.  It’s to give them that connection, not something that came from a random production line in some random factory.

Q: There are all these artisan makers popping up around Cape Town over the last few years. What do you think influences this and what drives these creative people to now come out and start doing their own thing?

DM:   I think as soon as you start seeing inspiration around you, you start questioning whether or not you’re able to do it. Just the sheer exposure of it really helps to make you want to give it a go.

You see it, you love it, you want to try it. Yeah, I think it’s a great motivation to start trying anything.

Q:  Tell me about Blom Skollie.

dom murray

DM:  Blomskollie was a project I designed for Magdel at Carvel Art. She is a graphic designer turned self-taught tattoo artist. Her work is largely based on floral work – blomme. She’s a fantastic Afrikaans girl. I think a lot of creatives want to be a little bit naughty, they want to have something a little feisty, and when we start playing around with that idea, Blomskollie came out. I created an apron for her to protect her clothes while she is working. It is a custom piece made out of 13-ounce Japanese denim which I then covered with this amazing selection of hand-embroidered leaves and flowers to represent her work.

dom murray

Q: You have a gorgeous Instagram account and a very cool YouTube channel as well.  

DM:  Yes, it’s a bit neglected at this point but with the launch of this latest collection – The Lost Boy.  It’s going to be updated again with some more in-depth views as to how the product is created, the story behind it, the integration. For me, The Lost Boy collection the story of how I started Cult of One and about what inspires me. There will be more content going up there very soon!

Click below to find out more about Dom and his work

dom murray

Website

Instagram

Facebook

YouTube Channel

 

Home Tour: See the Wilkinson’s Vintage Farmhouse with a French Twist

The Wilkinson’s have lived on Le Bonheur wine estate for the last 5 months. In spite of their fairly recent move, the house has an amazingly comfortable and lived-in feel that attracted me to it immediately.  William is the winemaker on the estate and shares the house with his very creative wife, Belinda and their 5-year old boy, Turner. This home is filled with little styled vignettes that are evidence of Belinda’s keen eye for detail and her love of beautiful things. I spend a cold and overcast morning with Belinda, chatting about her approach to interior design over plenty of tea.

home tour

Q: What is your philosophy or approach to decorating your home?

BW: I believe that you must use what you’ve got, to make it work. You don’t need the most expensive furniture or accessories. I also love to use natural elements like flowers and natural fabrics.

Q: What is your favourite room in your home?

The living room. It’s a great space with lots of light – and of course, these high windows!

Q: How would you describe your style?

The term is probably eclectic. It’s a bit of French, some farm, a little boho. It’s got African elements mixed in as well. A lot of our furniture pieces are antiques or inherited pieces, so there is a lot of history in it.

Q: What do you always have in your home?

Plants and greenery! Green is my favourite colour and leaves from outside are free.

Q: What is the biggest challenge that you faced in your home? 

To actually make the space livable and pretty! Apart from the windows and the patio with the vine, it didn’t have a lot going for it. Our things are quite big and bold, so luckily it filled the space. The tiles in the living/dining room were also a challenge. I was used to having pressed ceilings and wooden floors. I really don’t like the stairs and that’s something we hope to change in the future.

Q: What is the next project? 

My husband’s wine room. It’s his man cave. I’d also love to have light linen curtains. And eventually, I want to redo the kitchen!

Q: What would you want your home to say about you?

I want it to be chilled, humble, lekker. I suppose everyone wants their home to feel homely – that’s what I want but I don’t always realize that I have accomplished that.

Q: What advice can you give if people want to put together this look?

All the things we have are inherited or things that other people threw out. Don’t be afraid to rework something, or to change things with paint.

 

lookbook

\\ living room

Vintage silver plates adorn the wall next to the gorgeous high steel windows.

This quirky little fireplace has been styled with crisp white candles.

Belinda made the pretty floral cushions with fabric salvaged after the dogs destroyed an upholstered sofa.

An old burlap bag serves as a welcome mat at the front door.

 BW: The coffee used to have a glass top but my dad threw it out when the glass broke. I repurposed it using an old palette.

BW: I inherited the silver pieces from my paternal grandmother. My dad is a hunter, so that is where the skulls and horns come from.

A pretty framed petit point takes pride of place in the middle of the gallery wall.

BW: this grand old wardrobe was passed down from my brother.

BW: I reupholstered the vintage dining chairs with fabric from some cut-up scatter cushions from H&M.

\\ kitchen

The previous owners used this anteroom to the kitchen as a breakfast room and later, as a home office. Currently, the Wilkinson’s use it for intimate meals and to store crockery in 2 beautiful vintage pine cabinets.

\\ main bedroom

With a distinct French influence, the dreamy main bedroom is home to Belinda’s grandmother’s ornate bed and dressing table. Belinda reupholstered the stool with traditional toile in contemporary black and white.

\\ Turner’s room

Any little boy’s dream bedroom, this car-themed bedroom is filled with vintage steel pieces, contrasting beautifully with the original parquet floor.

\\ bathroom

BW: I really dislike mouthwash bottles! They’re ugly and don’t go with my decor. So I decant it!

\\ patio

BW: We built this boma in a few hours – it really makes the outdoor area for me!

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