A visit to Cape Town will leave you astounded by the unbelievable natural beauty paired with incredible design, from art and fashion to architecture and decor. This fusion of beauty is depicted and inspired by the creative individuals that roam and run this city. To share more about this integral element of local culture, we asked one of our specialist stylist guides, Simone Maltman, to share her insight as to why decor shopping in Cape Town is unique to anywhere else.
What sets Cape Town decor apart from the rest of the world is the fact that that talented local artisans have crafted pieces by hand using raw materials simply out of necessity. Outside the land of Amazon Prime and Etsy, these artisans have had to create their own market, doing things like developing their own textiles, handcrafting raw wood, and making casts from scratch. The result is uniquely designed pieces that are inspired by the stunning surrounds.
Here’s a list of places to inspire a decor shopping tour in the Mother City:
Cape Town locals, Nikki Ellis and Matt Finch are the design pair behind Love Milo have made an eco-conscious decision to make all of their products with local materials, utilize sustainable manufacturing practices, produce textiles printed with eco-friendly ink and by employing a community of local craftsman. Inspired by South Africa’s natural beauty, their products include ceramics, fabrics, bags, wood items, lighting and plants. They have created a living example of how to create from locally sourced items – no China manufactured items here.
According to Nikki, “You will never find a straight line in nature, so my designs are about finding the harmony between line and form; juxtaposing the imperfect elements with handmade elements to create something unique. In today’s world, many don’t have the time to stop and enjoy nature, so the aim with Love Milo is to find the beauty in the outdoors and bring it to you through our designs in everyday accessories.”
Supplying hundreds of people with beautifully crafted ceramics, attractive and sleek wooden bowls and plates that leave you desiring a piece of Africa’s nature right in your kitchen.
Started by mother and daughter duo this decor boutique in the Waterkant has a variety of unique items for every individual. From the young and old, to the man and woman this is truly a store to visit. Almost every item is locally produced and sourced and focuses on a neutral color palette filled with charcoals, greys, white stones and natural wood. As their motto reads “Believe in Homegrown,” we couldn’t agree more…
You’ll find a variety of items ranging from handmade scatter cushions, fluffy and soft bath mats and carpets, luxurious leather diaries & notebooks, ceramics, lights to fill your home with warmth, to alluring natural scents for the home. All products on offer are simple but yet appealing to buy as a gift or to spoil yourself.
Whilst shopping all the wonders made in South Africa in their store, make sure to ask the in-house Barista for a flat white. A great flat white in hand you’ll be sure to be walking off with something unique to treasure.
Does the word “crochet” immediately remind you of your Grandmother’s house? Think again! Crochet is one item of the past that has made a recent comeback, and who better to take on this trend by adding a unique twist than our own local designers from Cape Town. Moonbasket’s designers, Dani & Laura, have seized the brilliance of mixing old school crochet with contemporary designs to encapsulate trendy decor pieces. Patterns are being reinvented with inspiration from the Bauhaus crochet styles along with traditional African textile prints to create a modern African twist on your grandma’s pastime.
Woven by underprivileged women from Cape Town’s nearby township, Khayalitsha, as part of the company mission, designs include beautiful pendant lights, baskets and accessories.
The divergent jewellery pieces are crochet using fine metallic threads or mercerised cotton, which makes for an unforgettable modern style.
When one steps into this design studio which is found in the heart of the ever buzzing city, you are struck by such arrays of design and ingenuity. What captures your eye is the grand blue and white porcelain themes which the owner, Michael Chandler, is recognized for. But the talent does not stop there, put a pencil in his hand and you’ll have a Cape Town inspired piece to take home and show off to your friends!
Ceramics fill the studio, and plenty to choose from! To one of a kind designed wire chandeliers and African beaded vases the skills that of the local craftsmen who make these pieces is obsolete.
According to Michael, “Chandler House is a collection of beautiful and useful things that add the enjoyment of life. In a world where everything is part of a trend, instant and mass-produced, we like to slow down at Chandler House and look to the past for clues to what might still be relevant and interesting in the years to come. And so you could say that the shop is a mixture of things that have endured through the great test of time – as well as items that I personally believe are still going to bring value to people’s lives for many years to come.”
Every first Thursday of the month this space becomes lively where you can find a new upcoming artist exhibiting in the “Voorkamer Gallery” which is found in the Chandler House. No doubt The Chandler House has made a name for itself locally and abroad!
Previously known as Ceramic Factory, Rialheim Land is simply mesmerizing. Upon entering the bizarre “land” of their store in Long Street, you’ll find quirky “fun and functional” decor pieces made from African clay. Each ceramic item is handmade and is sure to add a unique conversation starter to your home or office. Most popular are the clay cow skulls in different finishes to adorn your walls. Whimsical ornaments from their dinosaur collection have become very popular and serve as excellent gifts.
Just released is their Farm Life range that is inspired by the family farm, Clairvaux Wine Estate in Robertson, where upon request one can visit the studio and wine farm. Included in this new range you’ll find farm hounds with trays on the backs, olive & copper finish duck bowls and the unusual charcoal and copper horses. Rialheimland caters for every peculiar taste with their rare pieces.
Heather Moore is the creative mastermind behind Skinny laMinx, a local Cape Town textile company based on bustling Bree Street. Her unique patterns are inspired by the world around her (most recently, her roof garden), midcentury style, South African heritage and her skinny Siamese cat from which the brand gets its name. Her small storefront and studio offers a peek into the array of fabrics that are sewn into everything from furniture and scatter cushions to tea towels and handbags. If you’re fortunate enough to visit with Explore Sideways, you can take a peek into the manufacturing studio on the second floor where you can meet the small team of artisans that bring the patterns to life. There’s sure to be something that catches your eye.