Author Archive | Ché

Decor Inspiration: Studio Space of an Interior Architect

I often find motivation and inspiration by peering into the lives of other like-minded creatives.  With our studio renovations nearly finished and all the smaller details being finalised and installed, I thought I would share Freunde Von Freunden’s write up of an interior architecture firm and their amazing studio space in Kitzbühel, just outside Munich, Austria.





























As explained, “The story of Bernd Gruber started long before the man that is its namesake finished his woodworking apprenticeship as one of the youngest master carpenters in Austria. Having taken over his father’s business in 1992, Gruber honed the traditional family operation into an internationally acclaimed bureau that today oversees projects from LA to Vienna and produces quality-oriented designs with the support of its own in-house workshop. “We produce all our design from scratch and are able to quality-control our productions at every step of the way.  Good design must always be consistent with high quality production. We are lucky to have the best people in our workshop, who really understand our concepts and can make them a reality.”

Philipp Hoflehner, creative director at Bernd Gruber Interior Architecture, along with others at the firm draw their inspiration by visiting contemporary and classic furniture and art fairs, and this is then transferred into creative thinking for projects. However, in saying that,  they explain “there comes a point where you no longer need to search for inspiration, because it’s already approaching you.”

Photography: Christoph Schaller

Quoted items and translations courtesy of  Martina Hemm and Katharina Finke from Freunde Von Freunden website.

Introducing… me!

Hello All,

This is a very exciting time – I am thrilled to be joining Ché at Portfolio Design.
There are many upcoming trends and design ideas, as well as concepts that I hope I can fill you in on and give you some incite into what’s new in the design world.

A little bit about me.. I studied design for three years and am I now currently working full time as an interior designer. I have a passion for all aspects of design, whether its interior, fashion, art or beauty. I like to be involved from beginning to end when it comes to a project although I secretly have a love affair with fabrics.

I hope in time you will get to know me better through the posts I’ll be writing on the blog.

Just to end off I’ve quoted AlbertHadley –

Decorating is not about making stage sets, it’s not about making pretty pictures for the magazines; it’s really about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul.

I look forward to posting.


Colour of the month: Pretty Pink

Hello dear readers!

It’s been a really long time, hasn’t it? It has honestly been so crazy busy that I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath. Nevertheless, that is hardly an excuse.. We are now back on track with some lovely posts in the pipeline.

With all the hecticness, I am thrilled to introduce a new member on board, Stephanie Payne. She has recently joined Portfolio, and has thus far been a great help in keeping me sane and on track. She will also be contributing some lovely posts, so be sure to check in to “meet” her and see what she has to offer.

Now that all that is out of the way… We have Colour of the Month: Pretty Pink, to kick start the run of posts. Plascon’s Colour of the Month for October is Pink and this is what Catherine Bowen from Plascon Trends had to say about choosing pink for your room:

  • Soft pinks are ideal in bedroom spaces where the mood can be kept gentle and soothing; shades like pale rose and salmon pink symbolize unconditional love (good for uplifting, calming and soothing flagging spirits and for relieving feelings of loneliness and depression).
  • Bright pinks are often preferred by young, teenage girls, as these shades are energizing and motivational; they tend to encourage feelings of self-confidence and self-assurance in people. Fuchsia for example is fun-loving, carefree, upbeat and pulses with vibrancy.
  • Try an unexpected pink accent in the bathroom or dining room to bring it to life.



And what shades do I pair it with?
  • Chocolate, Black and Grey will give it a modern maturity, that it sometimes lacks, and elevates it to très chic.
  • White & Pink is a timeless combination that remains eternally fresh and inviting.
  • Cream & pale or dirty Pinks are evocative of wedding and French décor scenes.
  • Greens or Dusky Greens  & dirty Pinks will yield an English country-garden colour palette.
  • Silver and/or Gold  & pale Pinks are created for one another.



Aren’t these choices of pink just glorious?  I know that it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I’m sure you can all appreciate the splendour it evokes.

Have an amazing week everyone.

Che’ xox

All images can be found on our Pretty Pinks Pinterest Board.


Sutherlands Home Furnishings and their unlawful conduct

It saddens me that I have had to resort to posting on my blog about my terrible experience I have had with Sutherlands Home Furnishings, Durban.  I have tried resolving my issues with them through letters, emails and phone calls and it seems that they are trying to take advantage of the uninformed public with this unlawful and prohibited conduct.

And when I say unlawful and prohibited conduct, it is just that according to the Consumer Protection Act.

Let me explain what has transpired, so that hopefully this can be a warning to any of you considering shopping there, or perhaps if those of you have had a similar experience with them, I’d like to get your feedback.

As most of you know, my business, Portfolio, is an interior design consultancy whereby I assist clients with the furnishing of their homes etc.  Anyway, in a nutshell, a few months back I purchased two tables for a client of mine, apparently the last in the country, for a significant amount of money let me tell you.  The clients’ truck was sent down to the Sutherlands Durban Despatch to collect the tables along with some other pieces. Upon the truck’s arrival, I received a call from a gentleman in despatch to inform me that there was a crack on one of the legs of the tables, to which I made a call to my client to discuss this and we agreed that we wouldn’t want a table delivered that had a defect.

Sutherlands Home Furnishings tried mending this defective leg which I was not comfortable with, I also attempted to find a suitable replacement from within their store which proved unsuccessful, and as result I requested a full refund in order for me to purchase two tables elsewhere, to which they replied, “your request has been declined, due to the fact that the table was not defected, the crack was a natural flaw”! After they had stipulated in one of their previous emails:

“1/ We send the table with the slight crack that has been repaired to our factory and have the repair professionally done and confirm that this will not be detrimental to the table and advise if anything will actually strengthen this joint and will not detract from the asthetics thereof.”

Now this all happened in the beginning of March this year, and since then I have had the help of an attorney friend sending them letters and emails, asking to speak to their attorneys etc, as I have not had any luck getting any useful responses from themIn the end, aside from going the full legal process, it seems we have both hit a brick wall, with no response from their attorney either  – they are refusing to refund what is due to me and are insisting that I have a credit within the store that can be used in the future.

So in the end, I would be forced to either use this so called credit or institute legal action, of which, the latter would be throwing good money after bad money, and would end up costing me a fortune in the process.

I am so disappointed in their manner of handling things and I just hope that no one else has the unfortunate displeasure of having the same dealings with them.

I would love to hear your feedback and comments.


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