Archive | July, 2012


A little while ago we came across a design item that turned Portfolio office upside down with excitement. 
Wall & Decò have released a range of outdoor wallpaper called OUT, or Outdoor Unconventional Texture.  It was launched at the Fluorisalone 2012 in Milan in April, and has been causing sensations all over the internet since.

Unfortunately they didn’t respond to any requests for more technical information regarding materials, applications and longevity, but The Cool Hunter was able to shed some light on these issues:

“Their OUT – Outdoor Unconventional Textures – system is a three-part covering that allows for incredible photographic reproductions and large-scale graphic designs to be applied onto outside walls. The system consists of an adhesive, a technical fabric and a finishing treatment.”
The next step for the project will be their display at the Paris Design Week in September, presenting their products to the French market for the first time.
Is it not phenomenal?

For more information on the collection, see here.  Ranges can be found via Mavromac in South Africa.
All images are courtesy of Design Milk –  many thanks to Caroline for all her help.


In preparation for the new Renovation Series we will begin running as of next week, we decided to kick start our industry interviews by talking to an industry professional that deals with renovations every day.
People are nervous to embark on revamps,  since it is a rather mammoth task – we have asked Trevor, from Wellworth Projects, to assist us by answering a few questions about what to expect and to be aware of before plunging into the daunting waters of the renovation process.
How should you go about deciding to attempt renovating?  (How do you know you’re ready, if it’s worth it, setting goals, etc)
In most cases, a couple or family will buy a place with the intention of renovating it to live in or to sell it for a capital gain, or a family living in an existing dwelling wishes to spruce up their current house by renovating. The best advice I can give is to calculate your costs, get estimates for the work you intend doing prior to starting, have a clear goal as to what you want to achieve and be practical. This will determine whether you are ready and if it will be worth it. 
Renovations need to be cost effective, within your budget, and add value to your property.  Be aware of over capitalising.
Having decided to go ahead, what should you be aware of? (Surprises, delays, change in plans, mess, etc.) 
The worst surprises come from rogue contractors that make off with your hard earned money!  Never pick up a newspaper and dial the first number you see.  Never use men on the street, you are looking for trouble!

Always use a reputable company, one that has been operating for at least five years or more.  Referrals are the best, get someone you know and trust to refer you to a good operator in your area.

A good operator has all the bases covered, but sometimes delays are inevitable, for example, removing a slab of concrete may reveal underground plumbing.  These pipes would have to be re-routed, which would result in a delay and additional costs.

A change in plans would only come from the client themselves – ensure you have a clear idea of what you want prior to starting.

Mess is inevitable, however, needs to be managed by your contractor.  The site should be kept clean and tidy at all times.

Should you not be living on site, is there a security threat on site? (Theft, eg.)
If no one is living on site and there is not adequate security, like boundary walls with electric fence and/or razor wire, or alarm systems, then one needs to enlist the services of a night watchman from a reputable company.
If living in the building during renovations, what should you be prepared for? (Noise, mess, damage, etc)
If you have to live in the building whilst renovations are taking place, then make sure that one or two rooms are done at a time.  This will ensure that noise, mess and damage can be kept to a minimum.  Drilling, banging etc. can only take place during working hours, so make sure your contractor abides by the rules and you can have a peaceful nights rest and happy neighbours.  Any damage caused by your contractor, such as broken window panes or damaged water pipes, should be for his account.  For this reason, make sure your contractor is fully insured.
What’s important to remember when dealing with various contractors? (Communications, timelines, good relationships, etc)
You should always be able to contact your contractor 24/7.  Timelines need to be adhered to, unless there are unexpected delays for which the contractor has no control over.  Make sure you have a good relationship with your contractor and that any issues that arise are spoken about and dealt with immediately.
How long after completion will I be covered for any problems or defects? 
A guarantee of one year against faulty workmanship and materials is normal and acceptable.  Any latent defects will manifest themselves within one year.
Many thanks Trevor!


Last week Thursday we were fortunate enough to experience the launch of the Studio H collection by Hertex, in collaboration with the talented and passionate John Jacob Zwiegelaar, of John Jacob Interiors.

Hosted by various Hertex showrooms around the country, we were invited into the beautiful Morningside venue on a balmy Durban morning.  We were greeted by the lovely staff members with champagne and orange juice in the garden, setting the tone for what was rapidly becoming an altogether fantastic launch.
The showroom was rearranged into a presentation space, complete with camera’s and technical teams, with sample hangers and paint samples on display.  John was such a pleasure to listen to – his talent was glaring and his passion infectious.  We walked out inspired, with our perceptions of colour having been thoroughly challenged.

John began his presentation by explaining that Studio H was an “editor’s collection” – the nine fabric books and ten paint colours are a result of being reworked many times.  He describes fabric houses as having different languages and buying philosophies, filtering down to the buyer.  He wanted a fabric to appeal to all customers, but understands that one vehicle cannot satisfy all needs.  He set out to create a platform for Hertex to signal more than just “Hertex.”  John was very complimentary of the Hertex value system, mentioning their efficiency – however, he did jump at the opportunity to improve the product.  He aims for Studio H to appeal to more than one market on every level, from the packaging right to the application.  He believes that a holistic approach is the key to brand power.

After having attended many trade shows, John noticed that there were only so many fabric mills in the world, each with their own specialities.  All designers buy from the same mills, from niche market designs right through to the mainstream.  John beat out Bernie de Le Cuona herself for the Heavy Linens range, allowing an exclusive quality fabric to become more accessible to everyday buyers.

The John Jacob approach to decorating seems to be centered around implementing the power of neutrals.  He is quick to explain that while most people, when confronted with the term “neutrals,” immediately retreat to “this beige place,” it was definitely not the case.  Decorators and designers try to create serenity, calm and harmony, but not dullness.  He stated that dullness can be prevented by powerful architectural intervention, and that he believes in an ordered approach to design that first defines the architectural features of a room.  Neutral schemes allow for this, exposing forms to establish the best possible relationships between the various elements in a space.
He made reference to Karl Lagerfeld and Ralph Lauren’s recent collections, drawing our attention to an increased exploration of neutrals in the design world at large.  Studio H is about neutralising the colour palette in its entirety, adding yellow oxides and an umber base to create what has now become the completed 2012 collection.  Each fabric in the various books, as well as all of the paint colours relate to each other to best achieve cohesive design schemes.
According to Hertex staff members, there are plans to continue the collaboration with a 2013 fabric collection, as well as possibly extending the paint collection to include exterior paints.

{Above mood board source: Conde Nast House & Garden August 2012 Issue Page 60}



Winter White is Plascon’s Colour of the Month for July.  When questioned on why it was chosen, Colour Expert Anne Roselt explained:
“White is the colour of peace, calm and purity; white is uncluttered and it’s simplicity helps cleanse our mind of worry and open it to fresh ideas and creativity…  With so much stress and tension in the world today it is no wonder people are craving the cleansing and peaceful qualities of white.”
She goes on to say that while it is usually associated with summer, winter white has been seen all over runways and red carpets of late, and when carefully planned, is anything but boring.  White provides an ideal canvas for any other colour that tickles your fancy, but brilliant white can create a glare – this could result in a cold and clinical environment.  Anne stated that it is often a colour best left for mouldings and other areas you wish to highlight.  Warmer, softer whites are usually easier to live with – combine both bright and soft whites for a calming, but still interesting space.
We’ve compiled a few of our favourite examples of white interiors, best displaying the use of white as a canvas in your space, as well as the potential of using different shades of white to create interest in any space.  For image sources and many more, visit our Pinterest Winter White board.


Site designed by: Kathy of Cherish Online