INTERVIEWED BY Michaela Stehr PHOTOS Supplied
We chat with Cathri van den Berg, owner of Silver Rabbit Interior Design, about creating a light functional office space that gives visitors peace of mind and room for creative expression.
Tell us about Silver Rabbit Interior Design?
The spaces we inhabit have the potential to be sources of great fulfilment and joy. I design with my clients’ well-being in mind: What do they need from their space? How will it function? What aesthetic excites them? What will be their experience of the space after I have completed the project? I am a qualified Engineer and Interior Designer and this gives me a unique point of view. I believe design is a whole brain exercise: one needs the left brain for measuring, planning and organisation and the right brain to bring emotion, creativity, colour and texture.
My work is comprised of a variety of styles, from very traditional to utterly contemporary. I believe every client and project is unique and deserves to have their needs met using exceptional interior design.
Elaborate on the function of the space?
The space needed to be able to receive and host clients as well as provide desks for employees to work. I decided to place the former on the ground floor and the latter on the mezzanine level. Comfortable chairs welcome guests at the entrance and the island provides ample seating and space to display samples. The landscape art on the wall behind the island is a Samsung Frame television used for presentations.
What was the brief for the revamp of the space?
To create a space where a wide variety of people would feel comfortable. This inspired the neutral colour palette and eclectic selections. Everyone that enters finds something they love.
Another requirement was to combine old and new. As this was a new office building, design elements needed to be brought in to give character and depth.
What pieces did you use to create the aesthetic?
I took inspiration from the building’s industrial-inspired architecture and combined this with warm minimalism.
The vintage etching-inspired mural speaks to the arched windows and red brick facade. The custom panelling I designed is a marriage of old and new: the frame reminds one of a Jacobean-style grid, but the natural white colour and round wooden shapes that fill it, bring a contemporary touch. The mural and panelling also fill an awkward space in a way that feels harmonious with the rest of the design.
The panelling is constructed of wooden half-rounds and this detail is repeated on the island. I pulled this detail through by adding round shapes throughout the space in furniture and styling.
I installed floating shelves to display various objects: Locally made artisanal ceramics, vintage finds and contemporary pieces. I used different textures and finishes: brass, matt taupe cabinetry, white oak elements and boucle fabric upholstery.
What are some stand-out features?
- The vintage etching-inspired mural with panelling around it.
- I continued the industrial theme by using old patents as wall art in various settings throughout the space.
- The table lamp on the side table between the upholstered chairs resembles a piece of laboratory titration equipment.
- The white ceramics, on floating shelves in the double volume, add texture to the space whilst still keeping the focus on other parts of the design.
How did you decide on the monochrome theme?
To appeal to a wide variety of people was my first consideration. A monochrome colour palette has the added benefit of being calming and serene as well as allowing for a play of textures.
What was the process for recreating the office?
Looking at the needs of the future occupants is my first consideration. What do they need from the space functionally as well as aesthetically? The rest flows from there.
Making the world a more functional and beautiful place, one space at a time. It is important to us to continue building relationships with our clients and suppliers. We are very excited about our upcoming commercial and residential projects.