visi 85

We are so happy to welcome in the spring season.

Here at VISI HQ things have been very, very busy. Besides securing all the exquisite spaces in this issue, I have been assisting candidate architect Juané Venter, our VISI contestant in the Win A Home Competition airing on Afternoon Express on SABC 3.

For both Juané and me, this has been a huge journey of discovery, which has given me renewed respect for the work of talented interior designers. It looks so effortless, until you have to do it yourself… which is when you realise it is a specialised field that demands rare talent.

The experience has also made me aware of just how kind and generous people are with their advice. I will never forget that icy Saturday morning in the Green Point branch of Weylandts when John Autard, who heads up Interior Placements, a weekly online newsletter for the South African interior design industry, gave Juané a crash course in decorating. His three top tips were: Never scale down your furniture for a small space, just use less; every kitchen needs a good clock; and never buy a three-seater couch, because no one wants to sit in the middle!

Juané, who has a master’s degree in architecture, is also an accomplished photographer and took all the pictures in the apartment herself. From the beginning of the competition she had a very clear idea of what she wanted to do, and she has stuck to that idea throughout. You can look forward to seeing Juané’s completed apartment in our next issue. In the meantime you can vote for her at – who knows, perhaps you will be the lucky winner of a home on Val de Vie Estate in Paarl.

In this issue of the magazine there are so many spaces worthy of praise. I greatly admire the work of interior designer extraordinaire Andrea Graff, who worked with Julien Verspieren, founder of Work & Co, to create the most inspiring workspace in Cape Town. Andrea has the knack of mixing the unexpected and eclectic with a bit of old and new to create a happy interior. We are especially honoured that Work & Co has agreed to a VISI Great Spaces tour of their premises. Book early for this one, as it is bound to be popular.

When Etienne Hanekom left his job as VISI art director five years ago to become an interior designer, I don’t think he anticipated he would ever breathe new life into an old Victorian house on a sleepy street in Robertson. His weekend home is the perfect mix of the evocative and the mysterious, with just the right amount of crystal, taxidermy, modern steel and muted velvet to make it a space that both inspire and delights.

There are so many sumptuous reads in this issue of VISI. Enjoy every minute of your time with the magazine (but don’t forget to cast your vote for Juané Venter, and by doing so put yourself in the running to win that home!)

– Sumien