My long-standing love affair with the Karoo no doubt has much to do with having grown up in the Eastern Cape and, over the years, revisiting some of the landmarks of my family’s provenance in dusty towns or remote farmland. It’s always exciting to come across, and to be able to share on our pages, an especially charming home from this part of the world, and Thorn Springs is every bit the dream Karoo bolt hole (see Story of an African Farm, page 70). In researching his piece, associate editor Piet Smedy delved into its enthralling past and discovered how the building received a new lease of life in the hands of its current owners. Its considered mix of antique furniture and art – ‘elements that resonate with the Karoo way of life, the humbleness of the craft and the honesty to the material’ – is a huge part of its appeal, as are its ‘wildly contrasting pieces’.
It’s similarly pleasing to see the Eastern Cape and other parts of the country in the spotlight for their mohair production and incredible design work using the yarn, as highlighted in Golden Fleece (page 44). Rising star Frances van Hasselt ‘grew up with mohair’, and her fine quality rugs, which are woven by hand, exemplify the essence of what luxury is all about now. It’s little wonder brands like Prada are all over the fibre. And there’s nothing to beat my collection of super-soft throws, picked up on a recent Graaff-Reinet road trip, to see me through winter.
Our August issue has traditionally featured the highlights of the Chelsea Flower Show, and we’re again pleased to share international garden authority George Plumptre’s personal account along with a few of the key trends to emerge this year (Made in Chelsea, page 51). ‘Chelsea continues to be an eclectic, sumptuous and sometimes eccentric window on world gardening,’ he reports.
If you’re considering a kitchen overhaul, there’s a wealth of ideas and inspiration to be found in the pages that follow, from the ultra practical Design Solutions (Kitchen Confident on page 37) to the varied concepts demonstrated in each of our featured homes, whether modern or cosy, countrified spaces. My favourite is the tiny but seriously cool kitchen in Craig Tabor-Raeside’s Bo Kaap home (Where The Heart Is, page 26). Who wouldn’t want to cook while looking out onto a lush vertical garden?
Pick up our August issue on all major newsstands.