Every year, round about mid May, I dig out my plush floral velvet tablecloth and cover my very sleek Gregor Jenkin metal table with it. Sorry, Gregor, but it is the only way I can make it through winter. The full-blown roses and peonies, stripy tulips and droopy bluebells lift my spirit, and the texture of velvet warms my heart.

Another thing that warms my heart is a winter road trip, but only if you can break the journey between Johannesburg and Cape Town with an overnight stay in Richmond at the Richmond Café and Rooms. I love the fact that the public areas are all dark, moody and filled with wonderfully eclectic stuff, and the rooms are spare and decked in shades of white. What’s more, the milk tart is supposed to be the best in the country. What’s not to like?

Beautifully curated collections are a common thread in our issue this month. Seasoned collector Fergus Armstrong shows us how to live large in a loft in the Joburg CBD, surrounded by things he loves. Says Fergus, “If you buy something you truly love, it’ll always hold value to you.”

In a similar vein, architect Jürgen Kieslich and interior designer Etienne Hanekom transformed a stark industrial space in Green Point into a comfortable home that harbours some impressive collections. Etienne lightened up the space by introducing whimsical wallpapers with nautical and forest themes, and an inky blue ceiling flecked with gold that resembles a starry sky at night. Etienne sums it up perfectly: “It’s a serious house that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

And if all these collections of objects are just not for you, there is a minimal holiday home in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley, designed by Knysna-based architect Guillaume Pienaar. It is stripped of everything that might be considered superfluous.

This brick building is easy to maintain and live in, and a good example of modernist master Le Corbusier’s mantra, “A house is a machine for living in.” I hope this winter issue pleases and inspires you, and before you know it the impossibly green new leaves of the oaks will be out.

– Sumien

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