Trend:Check Mate

We can thank Louis Vuitton for this one. Checkerboard is one of the dominating prints for Spring Summer ’13. From it’s graphic and retro roots, it has reintroduced itself in a variety of different colourways and sizes, from large colourblock areas to transparent fabric blocks and smaller areas of print. Look out for updates on this trend such as Caterina Gatta’s oriental mask print shorts combined with checkerboard print. If top to toe print is not your style you can always include it in the details such as the checkerboard printed smartphone cover by Michael Kors, or tone it down with a fresh white on white checkerboard print. Checkmate!


Clockwise from top left: Lavish Alice playsuit from Asos, mask print shorts from Caterina Gatta, Michael Kors smartphone cover, Louis Vuitton Spring Summer ’13 campaign, white on white checkerboard dress available from Nasty Gal .

Trend: Tones of Pink

Pink could possibly be the most versatile colour this Spring, ranging from electric corals to tints that are barely there. Washed out tones seem to be the sophisticated favourite paired with rose gold or white, but no doubt those candy floss and flamingo tones will creep into the equation as we head towards Summer. Pick the tone of pink that works for you.



Moodboard (clockwise from left): United Colours of Benetton SS13 campaign, Louise Goldin Spring ’14 ready to wear collection, Kerin Rose Floral Frenzy sunglasses, Pantone mug in blossom pink at Spark Living, geometric satchel from Mr Price, pink flamingo.

Cool New Bar: Cabrito


From the guys who brought us Royale, Assembly, Neighbourhood and El Burro, welcome a new bar addition to the family, Cabrito. Open for about a month now and located under El Burro, it’s Mexican counterpart, Cabrito spreads the love to the downstairs Greenpoint main drag. The chic wood interior, tiled bar, atmospheric lighting, artisanal vibe and craft beer are reminiscent of the recipe of the success that gives trendy Cape Town bars their cool cred. Don’t get me wrong though, this place has it’s own unique charm with a minimal feel and enough varieties of tequila to make even the toughest of critics happy. The link to El Burro is definitely evident, and if you are a fan of the restaurant you can feel the vibe emanating down the stairs. It echos the crafted wood interior and beautifully lit bar setup of upstairs, not to mention great quality food and drink. When I arrived it was packed but thankfully Tammy grabbed a table for us earlier, allowing us to enjoy our Jack Black and Steph Weiss drafts seated on benches at a table. They also have a small vibey veranda that was packed.

Their small snack menu offering a range from biltong to nachos includes one of my favourites, the Chillis Rellenos, from upstairs. It’s a delicious smoked cheesy chili popper without the crumbs served with guacamole. We ordered a portion and it hit the spot as usual. Another draw card is their top quality tequila menu. I kept hearing whisperings of a R100 shot of tequila, and established that it is the Jose Cuervo Special Reserve. No I didn’t go the tequila route when I was there but by the looks of it tequila lovers will find their zen here. Craft beer is available bottled and on tap. They have a great selection of wine by the glass, ciders and their trademark margheritas.

With all of this and more Cabrito is yet another great addition to Cape town’s thriving bar scene. Places like this make Cape Town, well… Cape Town.


Cabrito is open Monday – Saturday: 3pm –late

Ground Floor Exhibition Building, 81 Main Road, Green Point, Cape Town 

 Contact: +27 (0) 21 433 2364

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DIY Decor: Crate Expectations

crate moodboard

The other day I walked into @Home and I saw that they had some great white wooden crates. I enquired about them and they were part of the display. Trust me to want the one thing that isn’t for sale in a store. Then I drove past Cocoa Oola on Kloof Street and they have the cutest  DIY crate planters lining the restaurant. With Spring flowers, window sill planters, spring cleaning and stackable storage units in mind, I feel the seasonal time for crates has arrived.

The good news is that crates aren’t that hard to get hold of. It just depends how picky you are and if you want an authentic good quality vintage one with stencilling or if you’re prepared to get a standard one and add some coats of cool colour to cutomise it to your likes. Pop down to a second hand or vintage market and you’re bound to find some lying around  for sale or I’ve even seen some at boutique and home stores as well as garden stores, but you’ll probably pay a bit more for these. Ana White has some great tips on on how to make crates up from wood pieces at this link.

The ideas that I loved and put on my moodboard included the teacup display shelf. You can make your own by screwing some hooks into the top of a box or crate and hang teacups off them as found here. I also love the planter idea and creating windowsill boxes out of smaller thinner crates. Shop their  personalised crate designs in the colourway of your choice here . The idea of stacking crates on top of each other to form shelf units works brilliantly in a small or large space. Add a different colour coat of paint to the inside of each unit and clamp them together like the Ikea shelves found here. Upcycle old wine crates and add wheels to make movable storage boxes, or mount them on walls to form shelves, as done here. Below are some cool charater crates available at Typo.

WThether it’s a weekend project painting crates outside in the sun or a trip to a vintage market, crates are the way to go for a quick home makeover.



The Foodie: The Sexy Sugar Free Vegan Project

Okay wait! Before you get afraid that there are too many healthy words in this title let me give you a few visuals to change your mind. I stumbled across the Wolf and Willow blog hosting The Sexy Sugar Free Vegan Project cookbook by Nancy Alice Chalmers. It’s a downloadable eBook containing some of the most amazing looking recipes I’ve recently seen with beautiful food styling. Being a pescetarian myself, which means the only meat I eat is fish, I do enjoy the prospect of being able to eat delicious food that is guilt free. Even if you give it a bash two nights out of the week, it’s a healthy habit to incorporate into your lifestyle.  The e book includes over 50 recipes, almost all of them gluten free! The mouth watering variety of recipes includes roast vegetable pot pies with a smoked “cheese” sauce; red velvet and coconut cream brownies; pumpkin and pepita bread; potato, rosemary and blackberry pizza; red rice and quinoa shitake rolls and cacoa, berry and coconut crunch ice cream, all vegan and sugar free! You can purchase the recipe eBook online at . Enough talking. Check these recipes out for yourselves.


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Favourite Pickings: Studio Number 19

Whilst on my Spring inspired botanical and technical sketch search I came across these amazing designs from Studio Number 19. Joburg based Mia Widlake’s designs are made up of beautiful vintage illustrations on fabric, ceramics, prints and soon to come, her light collection. These vintage nature and nautical themes are made to mix and match and will add an old world yet graphic contemporary feel to any interiors setup. So if you’re not into flowers and foliage here are some skulls, insects and sea creatures for you.





Trend: Botanical Magic



The most amazing designs exist in nature. No matter how hard we try to create our own man made trends we find ourselves being led back to the molecular structures that are part of our very own makeup. The structure of an ice crystal, the patterns and spikes of a luminous sea organism on the ocean floor, the hypnotizing energy of fire or the first electric blooms popping up on a burnt landscape; all of these elements are inspiring yet mysterious at the same time.  Botanical prints have become the meeting point between trying to scientifically depict natural elements around us and turning them into a work of art. I’ve noticed botanical prints decorating the walls of a few artisan coffee shops and restaurants, and this has spread to scatter cushions, wallpaper and high end fashion. I remember a talk by global trend forecaster, Li Edelkoort, at Design Indaba Cape Town a few years back. She highlighted that the best colours come from nature and are selected from the rain forests and amazing natural locations around the world. Researchers will find the brightest frog or the most luminous leaf and try and recreate that colour synthetically as part of a new seasonal Pantone chart.

I came across Clinton Friedman’s collection of botanical printed everything and I was like a kid in a  candy store. I mean the guy prints botanical images on umbrellas. Who does that? He takes mind blowing nature photography and prints them on cushions, wallpaper, umbrellas and wall prints. Check out more of his designs at .

Nature trends are probably some of the most wholesome trends we have. A walk in the forest, a surf or swim in the sea and a hike up the mountain are natural antidepressants. Don’t forget to step outdoors from time to time and experience it for yourself.

Moodboard from top left (clockwise): Stella McCartney botanical dress, botanical drawings, Emilio Flores DT Spain editorial, Clinton Friedman’s wallpaper and scatter cushion designs.

Publish camper hats available at .

Trend: Spring Spring Sugar

spring mood 2

Happy Spring guys! The sun is shining in Cape Town and no doubt there will be some cold days ahead, but soon enough Spring will slip into a warmer gear. Empty out those cupboards with a spring clean or start climbing a mountain and push some personal boundaries in the meantime. Stay inspired with candy sugar tones that will tick over into summer. Go boho with these Jenny rhinestone sunglasses and  Cambridge messenger bag with pastel flap from 80’s Purple. Get fit and start jogging in sugar toned Adidas Adizero running shoes. Treat yourself to an arty pastel Aztec iPhone cover or iPod case from Vasare Nar or a handful of delicious macaroons from Cassis. Embrace the sweetness of Spring and the sun is sure to follow.


5 of the best: quirky coffee cups

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A good cuppa can clear the blues away. Whether it’s a get-out-of-bed aid or a warm tummy hug you’re after, these are the receptacles that will make your favourite brands taste better.  Be eco friendly and use an edgy Storm Troopers travel mug each time you get a take away to save some paper. Keep your coffee warm under a bowler hat, be ironic with a ceramic “paper” cup or just oogle at some cool graphics.  Not just a pretty mug…

From top left: Storm Trooper travel mug| Etsy , Charlie Chaplin mug|Entrepo/Squidoo , moustache mug| Etsy , eyechart mug|Typo, Revol cappuccino tumbler|Entrepo


Trend: Clash of the Monochromatics


While it is no secret that black and white graphic prints have been dominating the fashion scene, it is probably due to the versatility of these tones that they’ll be sticking around for another season. From classic to edgy, retro to contemporary, this trend loves being versatile. Backtrack to the sixties and we’ll find the roots of this trend are firmly placed in Op Art. In 1965 an Optical Art exhibition entitled The Responsive Eye was held in New York at the Museum of Modern Art. It drew public attention to eye altering prints and popularised an explosion of Op Art printed textiles and fashion trends.  Diana Vreeland , the Editor in Chief of US Vogue 1963 – 1971, was quoted saying “It was a marvelous time. In the sixties you were knocked in the eyeballs. Everybody, everything was new.”

Fast forward to the nineties, the era of emblazoning bold slogans on t-shirts and clashing every print known to man, and we have a revival. While the print clad mods of the sixties still had a groomed appeal to them, the oversized styles of the nineties threw this concept in the complete opposite direction mixing it up with hip hop and street style. From Mary Quant and Pierre Cardin in the sixties to Body Map and DKNY in the nineties, you can choose which decade influences your style.


  • A rimmed hat with circular shades is a winning 90s statement look
  • Slightly oversized statement tees are the way to go
  • Printed pants paired with Doc Martens, hightops or platform flats will finish the look

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  • Statement 60s shades are a must for this edgy yet sophisticated look
  • Accessorise with a two toned bangle for some interest
  • A graphic print shift dress is a must have piece for this look
  • An elegant pair of two toned heels finishes this look off beautifully
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