E C L E C T I C (Ik’lektIk), adjectivwe: Methods, beliefs, ideas etc that are eclectic combine whatever seem the best or most useful things from many different areas or systems, rather than following a single system.
It’s the perfect word to describe this issue of VISI. Not only do we cover a wide range of design styles – from Minimalism to Afro-modern and New Traditional – but the homes we feature this month all embrace their own particular aesthetic. And it makes for an issue that unashamedly embraces its own eclecticism, contrasting the joyful African mash-up of a Bo-Kaap house with the pared-down sustainable approach of a Plett family home, and a country villa in Les Van,France, that cleverly blends contemporary interior design into a 19th-century property.
These are all homes the follow their own path – mavericks that may perhaps lean a little in one design direction, but one their owners have layered and embroidered upon to create something unique and fresh. I love the creative courage and innate understanding of design that this approach requires – it takes a considered eye to curate so many disparate elements into a coherent and deeply individual style that doesn’t collapse into what looks like a cluttered collectibles store.
I’ll tell you what makes me smile the widest in this issue, though: the feature on the return of face brick that’s on page 180 of our Stories section. These rectangles of baked clay formed a big part of my own upbringing – the deep maroon bricks of my grandparents’ 1930s home in Boksburg; the rougher, dark-brown ones of the ’70s Benoni apartment block my mother and I lived in; and the lighter, tan bricks of the Camps Bay house that was my home during high school.I know face brick is not to everyone’s taste, but I love both the nostalgia they invoke, and the innovative way in which architects and designers are using them these days. Besides, I’m a total retro junkie.
– Steve Smith, Editor | email@example.com
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