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Maximalist and full of life, Juj Living creates beautiful and unique spaces

Cape Town decorator Juliette Arrighi de Casanova of Juj Living is all about creating feel-good spaces with a maximalist approach full of colour and pattern

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By House & Garden South Africa | November 9, 2022 | Trends

The verb ‘to zhuzh’ means to improve something, to boost its character, giving it sophistication and flair – which is exactly what decor editor-turned decorator Juliette Arrighi de Casanova (whose nickname – in a noteworthy case of nominative determinism – is ‘Juj’) does for her clients when they hire Juj Living.

‘I am all about beauty. When I have got beautiful things around me, they are bringing me joy,’ says Juliette, whose energy is bright, colourful and full of feeling, while her empathy and eye enable her to create spaces that tell a story but still make them effective and functional. For Juliette, there is something deeply personal about being able to not only enter but change people’s homes, and the vulnerability and trust that goes with that is not something she takes lightly.

Adaptability is a hallmark of Juj Living’s practice; creating rooms that can as easily be shown off at a cocktail party as settled into with a private cup of tea. By determining what is important to a client, what makes them happy, and what pieces or fabrics spark inspiration, she is able to make their space work in more ways than one.

What began as styling and decorating has expanded into an online shop, sparked by the debilitating effect of this pandemic. Undaunted by the inability to enter clients’ homes, Juliette used the time she had been given to create a product – thus, the Juj Living Candles were born.

A close up on the signature ‘Buji Buji’ willo candles in black and blue, Image Greg Cox

Juliette believes in constantly expanding her knowledge and skillset. ‘I will not stop learning. I do not think I will ever stop learning,’ she says, describing the experience of her candle-making journey. She met with various candlemakers, learned about the process, and now has a selection of candles available on her online store, among other beautiful items that bring her signature refined maximalism to any space lucky enough to home them.

This resourcefulness – and talent for making connections – has grown and continues to grow not only Juj Living but also the local businesses and charities with whom Juliette works. She is currently in collaboration with the Butterfly Art Project, an organisation that uses art as therapy for children in need.

‘I want everyone to thrive,’ she says, discussing the evolution of her role as the bridge between her clients in Cape Town, looking to update their spaces, and local artists and creators. As Juliette’s business expands into new niches and projects, one thing remains constant: every place she enters is left with a little more Juj.

Cape Town decorator Juliette Arrighi de Casanova in a bright corner of Juj Living, Image Greg Cox

Words originally by Jennifer Worthington-Smith

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