Three years ago I bought myself a flat in an old Illovo block; you know the ones with big rooms, parquet floors and ample storage space. Storage space. Ah, what dreams are made of. The flat is pretty much still in its original condition which is fine because it’s in great shape, but the kitchen was pokey, dark, had very little storage space and gross formica countertops. I mean, why would you print a picture of granite and stick it on a countertop? About 6 weeks ago I decided to bite the bullet and create the space I wanted; a place to cook and love and spend time in. In the end I decided not to break through any walls or move any plumbing, I decided to keep the original cupboards and repurpose as much as I could to keep costs down. I managed to renovate my kitchen for R22 000 which I think is good going, especially considering some of the initial quotes I got were in the R90k range. In the end I designed exactly what I wanted, found some suppliers to do different jobs and project managed myself.
Here’s a look at my kitchen before:
And here’s a look at the result:
I’m so chuffed with the result! I’ve always loved the idea of exposed shelves in a kitchen because I’m generally quite neat and enjoy merchandising my things. The meranti shelves with industrial brackets allowed me to utilise the entire wall and create a ton of additional storage space; the horizontal lines have also created the illusion of width which makes it feel a lot bigger than it did before. My splurge was on the marble countertop which was a non-negotiable and I’m completely in love with it. I sometimes want to lick it. I painted the existing cupboards with some vintage paint I mixed, and treated myself to some new doorknobs from Anthropologie. On the opposite wall I ripped off the old square tiles and replaced them with white metro tiles with white grout. I’m also now completely addicted to this process and can’t wait to get stuck into my bathrooms.
Here’s a list of my suppliers:
- Labour, installation, wood & brackets // Tripple Set Handyman Services
- Marble // Top Rock
- Paint // Orejen & Dulux
- Doorknobs // Anthropologie
- Peg-board // Superbalist
- Light // Esque
- Carpet // Mr Price Home
And finally, Norbert. Norbert is my amazing painter who came highly recommended by friends for whom he’s worked for many years. He’s available to work on weekends and comes with a glowing reference from me. He’s available in Johannesburg on 074 074 7405.
My friend Kirsty and I recently had the opportunity of a lifetime with Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris; a hot-air balloon ride over the Magalies River Valley at dawn. It’s a cold and early start in winter in order to be in the air by sunrise, but it’s so worth it. The morning starts with tea, coffee and biscuits while you wait to embark – there were three balloons ready and waiting for take-off when we arrived. The peace is punctuated by the occasional sound of the gas burners filling these giant multi-coloured balloons, a truly phenomenal sight. Balloon safaris are priced from R1470 for an hour-long flight (ours ended up being about 1.5) and this includes a full Champagne breakfast after the flight. Here’s a look at our ride…
Here to book for this amazing adventure.
Years ago I stumbled upon cult miracle ointment Lucas’ Papaw in Australia whilst on holiday. Up until recently, neither Lucas nor a similar product have been available on the South African market. Recently the manufacturers of Paw Paw Ointment (pictured) reached out with some great news; this locally made equivalent is now available at Pick n Pay and pharmacies around South Africa. I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and the quality is excellent, if not slightly better as there’s in fact more paw paw extract in this version. Paw Paw Ointment is manufactured in a GMP approved facility and is registered with the MCC (Medicine Control Council), marketed through Penpharm. The product works for a range of things, including burns, chafing, cracked skin, splinters, open wounds, insect bites and nappy rash. I use it on my lips; it’s the only thing that keeps chapped lips at bay in winter.
I’m giving away a few tubes of Paw Paw Ointment to 10 readers, all you need to do is click here and comment on my instagram post by tagging a friend. The deal is if you win, you need to share the love with the friend you tagged by giving them one of the tubes of ointment you win. Easy. Competition closes 31 July 2015. Winners will be drawn randomly.
You might’ve seen my post in April announcing the launch of Maaji’s activewear range, Studio, to the South African market. If you didn’t, check it out here. I recently got my paws on some new gear, the Bash Confiture shorts and the Plum Carpet top, ideal for training in slightly cooler weather. My friend Craig and I found an amazing misty spot recently at Helderfontein Estate and took some pics; what I know for sure is it’s near impossible to look good whilst running and I have newfound respect for running models. We had a lot of laughs trying to capture my shot. I just love Maaji’s attention to detail, and we’ve tried to showcase it in this visual story. Here for list of Maaji Studio stockists in South Africa.
Oh, and it’s pronounced Ma-hee.
This instalment of Styld.By for GAP features my favourite black super stretch legging jeans and a check shirt, both from GAP. I’m a huge fan of GAP’s jeans, and pants in general I guess, because they fit both my bum and my legs which proves difficult when shopping for pants. So many pants gape or are far too loose around the leg which is a pain. Anyways, my GAP pants fit like a dream and I practically live in these stretch leggings. This check shirt is one of my recent purchases and I love it. There’s just something about a good old red and blue check shirt – timeless. I’ll be wearing this at the annual Elgin Barn Dance this year for sure. The cape is cashmere and I bought it at a market in Florence last year; I can’t get enough of it. Boots were a sale find at Country Road last season; size 3’s FTW.
Cape Town based wine bar Publik is sharing its love for the grape with the rest of South Africa via its shiny new online store. I ordered myself a mystery box of reds recently and I’m chuffed with the mix I received: Alphabetical, Lam, Beaumont, Craven, Nativo and Cellar Foot. Publik is dedicated to finding and sharing wines from sustainably farmed vineyards made with minimal intervention in the cellar. Their curated cases are themed and include categories like
- The Good Father
- Peace, Love & Cinsault
- High Brow Low Brow
- Drown Your Sorrows
- White Lies
- Five Courses, 6 Wines
You can also join the Wine Renegades club which includes the delivery of 6 unique bottles of wine to your home or office for R900 per month. You can cancel any time.
This is great news for South Africa; terrible news for my credit card. Australian brand Cotton On has partnered with Mark Tuckey to create a bespoke range of homeware that will make modern and effortless design accessible to all. The collection will be available online at www.cottonon.com from Friday 3 July and in select stores from 8 July 2015. The South African stores include Eastgate, Gateway, Sandton, Canal Walk, Pavilion, Cresta, Cavendish, Clearwater, Brooklyn, Rosebank and the V&A Waterfront.
The collection is Cotton On’s first move into the homewares market as the global retail powerhouse expands its category offering and moves into the lifestyle space. The collection features beautifully designed pieces for various areas of the home categorised by Eat, Drink, Relax, Store, Bathe and Sleep. The range includes bed linen, cushions, blankets and throws, wooden serving bowls, platters, ceramic storage jars and mugs, wooden chopping boards and general storage.
I had the privilege of participating in the debut Jobest take-over this weekend with Angie & Anna-Belle of Lucky Pony and She Said fame. If you don’t know Jobest; you ought to. It’s a a blog (primarily) and colab that aims to share and discover all things rad in Johannesburg. As an avid Jozi lover, they invited me to spend Saturday with them. I got to pick our activities which included horse-riding and high tea.
We nipped out to Hennopsrivier early in anticipation of our 10:30AM. Note, it’s closer than you think and only took 30 minutes to get to La Wiida Lodge where we were welcomed by a tame meerkat called Liefies. We were escorted to a professional and well-maintained paddock where we were partnered with our horses and embarked on a 1.5 hour ride into the reserve. The La Wiida reserve is home to a host of animal species and we were soon met by a dazzle of friendly zebra. It’s a great ride for all ages and experience levels; the horses are calm and disciplined and the guides are lovely.
We reconvened a little later in the day for high tea at the renowned Saxon Hotel in Sandhurst. I have two words for this experience: come hungry. High tea is served between 12-4PM Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On Saturday high tea is accompanied by music on the grand piano in the lounge which really does add to the experience. The price is R325 or R395 on Saturdays and this includes Champagne, tea, sandwiches, canapés, freshly baked scones and a dessert plate per person.
Thanks Jobest for sharing this adventure with me, I had a blast!
Anthropologie, one of my favourite brands, recently filmed their May look-book in South Africa; she duly impressed the pants off the brand’s hard-to-impress catalogue team. This short video of the collection and trip gives me goosebumps…
“It’s not always easy to impress our catalog team; finding and exploring the most beautiful nooks of the world is part of their job, after all. But after shooting our May Lookbook in South Africa, even these professional globetrotters were awestruck by the winding vineyards, the sun-swathed animal sanctuary and the sparkling, blue-bright coast.”
I’ve been a fan of Maaji swimwear and lingerie for a while and I was thrilled when I heard their activewear range, Maaji Studio, would soon be available in South Africa. Launched in 2014 and true to the Maaji style, the activewear range is bold, bright and playful, incorporating interesting designs and structures that almost seem fantastical. This 2015 range was inspired by all things equestrian. The range is phenomenal and you can view the full collection here. I kinda wish I could wear the leotards on their own, like in real life and not to an exercise class. Prices start at R999 and the line can be found at the following stores:
- The Secret Room
- A Brief Affair
- Coco-Li Boutique
- May Boutique
- Indian Summer
- Jill & Co
Here’s a look at the Jelly Canter top (love the open back, and notice the horse detail) and Fairly Fast pants I got my paws on. I have newfound respect for exercise models; it’s near impossible to make exercise look effortless. And keep your eye on the blog over the coming months as I’ll be giving away some gorgeous Maaji Studio activewear to one lucky brandslut reader.
*Thank you to my darling friend Anna-Belle for taking these snaps for me in our local outdoor fitness park in Melrose. Go check out her blog She Said here.