WORDS Amelia Brown IMAGES Jenni Elizabeth Herselman
The goal for the husband-and-wife team behind local furniture design brand Palmy Living is not only to create functional pieces that help a home operate better, but also collector’s items that provide an escape from the rush of the everyday.
“Palmy Living started as a passion project,” explains Cara-Ann Potgieter, Co-owner and Head of Creative, “borne from our own needs as new homeowners and new parents, and out of our own frustrations as consumers.” While preparing for their first child in 2018, Cara-Ann and husband Johann, an engineer by training, grew despondent about what was available and disappointed in how their initial “investment” furniture was ageing.
They were driven to create a few core furniture items for themselves, which were both beautiful and functional. Encouraged by the results and their friends’ enthusiasm, they began producing custom pieces under the brand Palmy Living, a name chosen for the alternate meaning of “palmy”: flourishing and successful.
In March 2020, Palmy Living launched its first online collection. “We wanted to focus on functional design and create pieces that make a statement, while still allowing for someone to curate their own unique space. We try to keep our style clean, yet warm,” says Cara-Ann.
The brand HQ is in Somerset West and the couple outsource what manufacturing Johann doesn’t do himself to specialists in the area. “We’ve sourced local materials, artisans and manufacturers who can help us bring these pieces to life. Johann builds most of our furniture.”
The collection, which Cara-Ann and Johann plan on growing and hopefully exporting, features predominantly white, black and silk-grey powder coated steel with wooden finishes in oak and beech. They still offer a custom service and are developing Petit Palmy, a modern children’s furniture line, launching in 2021.