Muse. A artist loft in Woodstock, Cape Town

Muse - An artist loft in Woodstock

Muse Location, is a magnificent art filled Loft in a trendy up and coming area of Cape town. This location offers a great vantage point from which to take in the magnificent views that stretch across the city toward the harbour on the one side and toward Table Mountain behind you. Sitting proud atop what used to be a textile factory in the meat packing district of Woodstock and what is now a trendy and creative space housing businesses as well as residential spaces, Muse Location is in her element.

Woodstock came to be in the decade post 1900, and was always a "grey area" that remained unconquered by the group areas act. A certain Bohemianism has remained here, together with a wonderful mix of cultures now from traditional Muslim families to hipsters, creatives to cafe owners and a hundred plus, main road furniture and decor stores.

Massive Steel framed windows frame the space between interior and exterior, allowing beautiful natural light to flood the space. With a square meterage of around 250m2 ,the industrial architecture design  mixed with an eclectic decor style makes for an interesting and exciting apartment. The large open plan space with polished black screed floors is separated into various areas using unusual, one of a kind items of furniture. Many of these items are created by the owners themselves, or adapted to be functional within this environment. The owner, an avid fine art collector, has found a space here where his growing art collection can truly sing and where his wonderful and unusual furniture finds can be repurposed in a suburb where conformity is frowned upon and creativity celebrated.

An absolute passion for art is apparent in this gorgeous space, with a myriad of fantastic art works begging for your attention. In every nook and around every corner you will spot visual treats.

Both stills and film shoots are welcome at Muse.

Muse is also open to short stay accommodation bookings.



The Glasshouse at Le Jardin

Le Jardin - A Wonderland in Stellenbosch

Step into a bygone era, a wonderland where time stands still. Current owners, Sue and Bernard, bought this expansive Stellenbosch property almost two decades ago,and with the help of architect Gerrit van der Wolf, transformed it into a fun and exciting land to be explored by child and adult alike.

The elegant Sir Herbert Baker style house is reminiscent of an era when life was slower, lunches were languid and everyone played croquet!

Apart from the work on the main house, Gerrit was commissioned with building a glass house, a sort of 'ode, to Bernard's love of old fashioned conservatories.'

True to the whimsical feeling of this location, a huge, ancient oak, bursts through the top of the glass roof,as though the 'Alice' of this story.

Beautiful, rolling, manicured lawns roll up to the buildings- and lead to pathways surrounded by foliage and interspersed with beautiful Alice in Wonderland characters, fashioned by Streetwise. Follow the paths and you end up on the wooden decking overlooking an eco dam. The Manor House at  is surrounded by lavender fields and rose gardens. Tree walks and a kiddies zipline add further delight to this magnificent property.A most beautiful and magical location for both film and stills shoots.

  • Glass house conservatory at LE JARDIN



A Home -What Really Matters - Part One

I have long been a fan of Lucia van der Post, daugher of our own Laurens Van der Post. Regarded as one of the most stylish women in England and a doyene of good taste, I have always agreed with her that the things that matter in a house, apart from it being filled with people that you love, (which is really the only important thing) are books, flowers, music, food and wine. In all of these catagories you dont have to be a millionaire to acquire them - the fridge does not need to be stocked exclusively with Crystal and caviar - the books not required to be first editions, the flowers can be field flowers - what matters is that they speak to you - to what you love and hold dear.

Books Filling a home with the books on subjects that you love and that interest you speaks volumes about who you are and what is important to you. They are easier than ever to come upon thanks to Amazon, whose endless selection of coffee table books is extraordinary.   Just scanning through whats on offer on can be a little overwhelming. Of course Kindle is now an option too which is handy when you're on the go constantly and dont have a place to keep an extensive collection of books but there is something so special about the weight , the smell and the tangibility of a real coffee table book that Kindle can never match.  Closer to home and if you can't handle the wait Exclusive Books and Wordsworth Books always offer a very exciting array of must have books. Lately they have had the most fabulous coffee table books featuring the great contemporary designers. Markets and second hand book stores are a wonderful source of preloved treasures that you wouldn't necessarily find anywhere else and should not be overlooked. I have found some absoute beauties in the strangest of places - In Plett recently - the most wonderful 2nd hand book shop or Hermanus, stanford, down the road. You just need some time and patience. Specialty stores now also stock books that are within the same genre and often these are very interesting finds that chain bookstores would not keep. Latsly i have found some real beauties at trade fairs like Decorex and the annual Home expos. I spend every available cent, and even some that are not available tragically, on books. My current absolute favourites (some old some new in my own collection are:
Annie Leibovitz- Photographs (a collection of her iconic photographs of celebrities and game changers) This extraordinary photographer belongs in any art lovers collection as far as i am concerned. She has taken portrait photography to a new level. Beloved by Vogue and all the top fashion magazines Annie's work just keeps stretching and astonishing her audience.
Leading Ladies (Don MacPherson and Louise Brody) is a book I've had for years but will always be one of my all time favourites. Filled with black and white photos of starlets from the very beginning of cinema - The Silent Era's Theda Bara and Evelyn Brent all the way through to the 1980's Meryl Streep, Michelle Pfeiffer and Greta Scacchi's - this book gives me endless inspiration.
In Detail - Inspiring Ideas for Creative Interiors (Hans Blomquist) is a new purchase of mine that I am loving. A designer with a keen sense of the little details that are often overlooked, this book is filled with the most wonderful close up images and deals with nature, texture, colour, textiles, collections and display. Its artisanal eye candy!!
Botanicum - (curated by Katie Scott and Kathy Wills) I am obsessed with old fashioned botanical prints. Obsessed! So this books with its extraordinary artistic renderings just does my business. Enough said.
Parisiennes - (Flammarion) is another coffee table book of images of Parisiennes living life from 1914 to the early 1980's. From socialites, the Coco Chanels' of the world through to anonymous ladies in the park walking with parambulators. The book is entirely in French - I bought it while in Paris and its all about the images for me rather than improving my French comprehension which remains marginal. I drove my partner mad because by the time we got to the airport I was so weighed down with enormous books in arms I could barely drag by suitcase behind me. What you gonna do? I also bought a beautiful book on that same trip in Amsterdam called The Big book for Little Gardens - (John Brookes) well it means that but its all in Dutch. Dont care! Its all about the pictures.
There are a million more I would love to mention. Loving Style icons - a book on the south african style icons of the early 21st century. Perfect Hideaways (Paul Duncan) first coffee table book with extraordinary images of some of the magnificent homes that are available locally for short term holiday lets. Looking forward to Volume 2 - hint hint is anyone from PH is reading this! Henri Cartier Bresson's coffee table books make me want to weep with their beauty, Sebastiao Salgado's Migrations, One2One, Anything on Gaudi, Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic Interiors (the shabby chic bible)

Cookery books are also a passion of mine. No collection is complete without Delia Smith's How to Cook. I am also a fan of Secrets of a French Cooking Class by Marlene Van Der Westhuizen. Filled with the most sumptious photographs of both her food and the magnificent French Village of Charroux that she takes her students to for their education. Marlene is a Capetonian whose heart belongs somewhere between home and the cobble stones of the french countryside. Even Gwyneth Paltrow's book - It's All Good has the most wonderful and healthy recipes and beautiful photographs as has The Fresh Vegan Kitchen (David and Charlotte Bailey)  and Fresh India (Meera Sodha)
Initially I had intended this blog to cover books in total. Ha ha!!Rather ambitious of me but its such a vast topic that I can only begin to chat about Coffee Table books really and mostly the ones that get my juices flowing - and only a tiny fraction of those!!. I would love to hear about books that move you. As always I would Love to hear from you and hope that this has been a fun read. let me know!! In the follwing blogs we'll look at the other must haves - Music, Flowers, food, wine. See you soon.
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SA Design Royalty - Julian and Trevyn McGowan

South African design has come a long way very fast and right now it is celebrated around the world. There are many players involved in the renaissance of South African design and no more so than the extraordinary husband wife team that is Julian and Trevyn McGowan.
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The couple have a very interesting background. Julian was a theatre and opera designer in London and Trevyn had an interior and architectural practise doing renovations and redevelopments for the likes of Clive Owen, Sir Ian McKellan, Gerald Butler and Rachel Wiesz. When the couple returned to South Africa they established a company called SOURCE. Part of their homecoming was to rediscover what South African design was all about. They had utilised it in their work abroad and imported it for their clients, and "what began as an interest grew into an absolute passion for local design."
The creation of Source has been very beneficial in bridging the gap between local designers and the foreign market in what was then a new emerging market. Thanks to their established relationship with the international marketplace and an understanding of what it required, Trevyn and Julian were able to present products in a way that that would be well received abroad.

Source now provides South African products to the international marketplace - from the Conran shop to Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Jamie Oliver, Soho House Group, Bergdorf Goodman etc etc. As an extension they then went on to create SOUTHERN GUILD which serves as a platform for leading local designers, artists and craftsmen to exhibit new work at the very top end of the market - limited edition, one off collectable designs. Southern Guild encourages collaboration, discourse and mentorship and uses international exhibitions as a platform to stimulate and provoke the industry. They believe that South African design is attractive to the foreign market because it largely does not follow international trends and is freer and infused with very many different infiuences.
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Not intent to leave it at that, the couple, who astonishingly have also made the time to have a gaggle of magnificent looking children, Trevyn and Julian then went on to create The Guild which has culminated in the multi faceted venue in the remarkably exciting Silos District. The Guild, which houses an in house studio, concept store, Furniture range as well as gallery space had a glittering opening party with the who's who of design in attendance sipping vodkas from golden pineapples earlier this winter 2017.
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Opening Party at The Guild - Silos District - Cape Town

GUILD is set to become a concept-driven experience, with bespoke items available for purchase, alongside contemporary and limited-edition furniture, and great exhibitions, featuring international galleries.
Under The Guild Group’s creative director, Tammy Tinker, GUILD Concept will present a selection of fresh and intriguing must-have items (including jewellry, accessories, gifts, and more), with seasonal ranges from leading Cape Town manufacturers, who specialise in everything from fine art to fashion and furniture design.

Nearby, GUILD Studio will provide production furniture by top South African designers, such as Gregor Jenkin, Meyer von Wielligh and Dokter and Misses, with Julian McGowan’s own in-house range leading the pack.
Another very exciting project that the team have taken on is The BUSINESS OF DESIGN which hosts an annual 2 day seminar in Cape Town and Johannesburg with some of the design leaders from across South Africa. It feels a lot like TED TAlks for artists. Last year the distinguished line up included Brian Steinhobel of Steinhobel design, Stefan Antoni of SAOTA, OKHA, ARRCC, Heather Moore of Skinny La Minx, Emilie Gambade - Elle, Sorbet's Ian Fuhr, destinguished chef Luke Dale Roberts of Pot luck club and Test Kitchen, Conn Bertish of Cancer Dojo amongst many many more. I know I'll be there for sure and will watch with great excitement as the Silo District really starts to take off in the coming months as the design epicentre of the Cape.
Style Icons - Paul Duncan
Insideguide - Tamlyn Ryan


Can we expect a little interlude from Midcentury Modern design? Please say it is so!!

It was with an ounce of guilty delight that I recently read an article in Architectual Digest predicting the end of the obsession with midcentury modern design and  Scandanavian design characterised by simplicity, minimalism and functionality that emerged in the 1950s. Eames and Bertoia were champions of this design aesthetic and the obsession for owning originals or knockoffs of the originals has not subsided in 60 years!

“Midcentury modern” itself is a difficult term to define. It broadly describes architecture, furniture, and graphic design from the middle of the 20th century roughly 1933 to 1965.  This has been the dominant vintage style of the last 15 years and for some time it seemed the demand for it was insatiable.  Think Mad Men and Scandinavian design. This season our mid century properties have received the bulk of the attention with advertisers desperate to emulate these interiors.

Now dont get me wrong. I love this design aesthetic, but sometimes a change is as good as a holiday and a holiday would be super dooper.
The easiest place to gauge trends in our switched on 21st century is in the online marketplace. Chairish, just such a marketplace reports that searches for “more ornate and feminine” are on the rise. That means Chinoiserie, Art Deco, Hollywood Regency and lots of Pink. The trend seems so perfectly suited to a new era of celebrity “royalty” such as Melania Trump who proportedly is working with a designer on a “Glam Room” within the White House. Not a new idea – its’ borrowed from the likes of Maraih Carey, Celine Dion and of course the Kardashians but before that from the glamourous movie stars of yesteryear.
Designer Francesco Bilotto,  says that a glam room  “combines a person’s beauty and fashion needs all in one space, making it easier for a ‘glam squad’ to collaborate on the overall look.”
Beyond beauty needs, other decor touches may include rich, textured wallpaper, sumptuous seating, a piece of lucite furniture, curated and displayed collections of expensive fragrances and rare beauty products.

Restaurant design, too, is taking a turn for the ambitiously ornate, as seen at Yvonne’s in Boston, with its overstuffed tufted sofas and hand-chipped Calacatta gold marble floors, and at The Edmon in L.A., where there are muted gold accents and chandeliers aplenty. Closer to home elements of The Bungalow interior echo these ornate sumptuous interiors as does the super sexy Kloof Street House, which we are very delighted to represent.
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Perhaps all the austerity of the last few years post 2008 has fueled a desire to return to glamour and opulence together with a move to more individuality within that design – as so clearly noted in international magazines such as living Etc or Town and Country. If opulence is not tempered with individual style and a fresh point of view however it becomes merely empty and vulgar. We will see where these trends go. I am not personally expecting profound authenticity or artistic individuality to come from either the Trump glam room or anything at the Kardashians cribs but “glam rooms” have an old, world glamour that is Mysterious, sexy, unknown – everything our over shared social media lives are not. Looking forward to investigating these intrigiung spaces in more depth in the next post!
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Thanks as always to Architectural digest, Living Etc, Town and Contry, Good Life, Instagram and pinterest for all the inspiration!

The Romance and Nostalgia of days gone by.

We have seen so much interest in the 1920's, 1940's, 1950's and 1970's this season. Stills, TV Commercials, feature films. You'll find it informing furniture design, Clothing, interiors, architecture and of course advertising.Everyone seems to be looking toward bygone eras for inspiration. There is nothing new in this of course but this season it seems to be intensified as if we are looking back at a simpler, less complicated lifestyle where life doesn't move at a million beats a second. Shoot My House have made it our mission to go in search of such locations in the form of both homes, gardens, stores and public spaces as well as moving locations which we will be launching very soon.
in the meanwhile and in line with this nostalgia for all things vintage I thought I'd share this wonderful article on Barbara Streisand's Malibu guest house with you. A long time fan of all things Barbara - I've always admired her style and her absolute insistence that everything is exactly as she wants it to be. There is no room for can't, too hard, impossible with this lady. She is exacting and she tackles everything in her life with the same fierce determination and insistence on perfection.
Barbra Streisand’s Malibu House

Barbra Streisand has been a collector her entire adult life, and then some. When the sixteen-year-old honors student graduated from Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School and (against the advice of her teachers and her mother) decided to forgo college in favor of acting and singing, she moved to Manhattan and set up housekeeping. Back then, she says, “I had no money to buy art, so I would buy old picture frames and put them on white walls, just framing space, which I thought was beautiful.”
But that was then. Two Academy Awards, two Emmys, a special Tony, eleven Golden Globes, eight Grammys, thirty-seven gold albums, and twenty-one platinum albums (including her latest, Back to Broadway) later, this singer-actress-writer-producer-director-composer can collect anything she wants. And she has amassed enough art, furniture and decorative arts to fill a New York apartment, a house in Beverly Hills, and a compound of five houses in Malibu.screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-6-57-42-am
Such is the case with Streisand's collection of Art Deco, which is to be auctioned in March at Christie's in New York. The collection, which includes a good deal of Lalique glass, an inlaid-ivory desk by Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Tamara de Lempicka's painting Adam et Eve, and clocks by Lalique, Cartier and Cheuret, has been lovingly showcased since the mid-1970s in a guesthouse/poolhouse on the Malibu property, which she meticulously remodeled in the Art Deco style, down to the doorknobs and drawer pulls. She even bought period cars—a 1926 Rolls-Royce and a 1933 Dodge—for its garage.
Streisand is a collector with wide-ranging tastes. At the time she designed the Deco house, she was also buying, among other things, Art Nouveau pieces (stellar examples of which, such as a Tiffany spiderweb lamp and two rare Majorelle corner cupboards, are also included in the Christie's sale), and the various rooms in her residences reflected this diversity. But for the Deco guesthouse, the challenge was one of “not being eclectic,” she explains. “I thought it would be a really interesting exercise to have one theme.”screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-6-58-34-am
So she studied the many books and portfolios that she had gathered on the period, such as Le Luminaire, a portfolio of lighting designs that was published to coincide with the watershed Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925. She pored over illustrations of decorative motifs, eventually designing several for the house's architectural details—doors, friezes, and stair rails, ceramic tile patterns, rugs, and even a shower curtain in one of the baths.screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-7-00-09-am
The living room fireplace is embellished with a Mondrian-like arrangement of stainless-steel decorative panels that were part of the landmark Art Deco Richfield Building in downtown Los Angeles. The bedroom carpeting was copied from a 1930s Bigelow original that Streisand recalled seeing in the Huntington Hotel in San Francisco. Where original furnishings weren't used, she had reproductions or interpretations made.
Given that she designed a necklace to harmonize with the house, it's no wonder that she admires architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, whose approach to design often stretched beyond the house and the furniture in it to dresses for his women clients to wear at home. “If you were an architect,” Streisand argues, “wouldn't you want to design the bronze handles? Wouldn't you want to design the floors? Wouldn't you want to design the furniture that goes into the house you built? That's the way I see things—as a complete vision.”
Another area in which Streisand set strict limits for herself was that of color. Unable to decide between gray and burgundy for the house's exterior, she used both—the house is gray on two sides, burgundy on two sides. These colors formed the basis for the interiors, which consist of only two color ranges: black to gray, and burgundy to pale rose. Each room in the house is decorated in a different combination of these two spectrums, and no deviation is allowed: “I don't put a black vase in the gray-and-burgundy room,” says Streisand. Nor does she put burgundy flowers in the rose bed-room, or pink flowers in the burgundy-and-gray living room. Even the wrappers on the candy in the candy dishes are color-coordinated.screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-7-02-24-am
Streisand doesn't find this narrow range of colors at all confining; in fact, she says, “I like monochromatic rooms, and I like black-and-white movies.” The family photos atop the piano in the living room are black and white—color photos would disturb the harmony. “I like to wear one color; I never wear prints,” Streisand continues. “I think a person sort of fades away in prints.” Still, that didn't stop her from doing a couple of rooms in prints. She calls the study off the living room her 'Art Deco Matisse room," in deference to the artist who so magically juxtaposed pattern on pattern in his paintings. In the room is a Deco sideboard that a previous owner had left out in the rain. Streisand rescued and restored it, and when she decided to use it as a stereo cabinet, she had a pair of speaker cases made. Their carving matches that of the sideboard exactly, and she takes pains to point out how beautifully they are made.screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-7-01-49-am
But then craftsmanship is something that Streisand feels passionately about. The house, she says, took nearly five years to complete. “Doing this took me almost a year,” she sighs, pointing to one of a pair of elegant gray silk tassels that hang from the silk-rope handrail in the stairway. Craftsmanship is also the main reason she loves old things. “Where could you buy shoes like this?” she asks, reaching for a pair of 1920s pink satin evening slippers, part of the wardrobe of vintage clothing that fills the house's closets (color-coordinated with each room, of course).
Barbra Streisand began to collect vintage clothes as an aspiring actress because she couldn't afford new ones, but she never stopped appreciating their quality. In another closet, Streisand pulls out an ancient, honey-colored coat of karakul with fox trim, for which she paid ten dollars at a thrift shop. “I went to audition for I Can Get It for You Wholesale in that,” she remembers. (The rest is history, and Streisand later had the coat copied exactly, but in white, for her role in Funny Girl on Broadway.) “Look at that embroidery,” she says, showing off the lining. “It's a wonderful metaphor for life, isn't it? That something should be as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside—maybe even more beautiful.”
But, as this tireless collector is fond of saying, “I like the idea of evolution and change.” Having focused on American Arts and Crafts furniture, folk art, Pairpoint lamps, and paintings by Thomas Hart Benton and Edward Hopper, Streisand now says, “This time I'm moving back in history—I'm fascinated by eighteenth-century America.” Between study trips to places like Winterthur and Monticello (which inspired her to repaint her Beverly Hills dining room a deep, rich ivory), Streisand is buying everything from primitive paintings and furniture to eighteenth-century American interpretations of Chippendale and Queen Anne.
To make her vision of Americana complete, Streisand would love to build a new house, “with a lot of porches” and perhaps a grand stair hall, inspired by the historic Colonial and southern houses that she has seen in her travels. However, on top of her new contract with Sony to record six albums and make new films, including an adaptation of Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart, building a new house may be too much for one person to handle. Then again, Barbra Streisand has only to recall the tagline of her film Yentl (one of the few movies that a woman co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in): “Nothing's impossible.”


Imagining a Better Future Through Architecture - Greg Truen of SAOTA chats to us.

There is nothing more exciting than getting into the mind of an artist even for a little bit and getting a glimpse of how the world looks through their eyes.

And so I was delighted when SAOTA's Greg Truen agreed to give me some insight into what makes the architects at SAOTA tick. Anyone who has been to Cape Town would have seen examples of the SAOTA homes in the poshest of Atlandtic seaboard addresses. Nettleton road is a living show room for some of the most extraordinary  SAOTA creations in the Cape. With its roots in South Africa, SAOTA now has an international footprint with projects on five continents. Their work extends from residential to Hotels and resorts, commercial and retail, public and cultural. Despite the vast scope of their projects there is a thread that runs through all their design. Their work is informed by a rich tradition of regional modernism and is inspired by architects such as Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil, Luis Barragan in Mexico, The Case Study Houses in California, Paul Rudolphe in the NY and Gawie Fagan in Cape Town.

What is the SAOTA design aesthetic?
"We try to create simple layered spaces that engage with their environments and celebrate human life."
What role do you see a home fulfilling for its occupants? As in what ingredients create a successful living space?
"People are interested in quality, excellence and an architecture that has a personality and identity. These are universal concepts that are understood by everyone regardless of where they live in the world. We live in buildings for most of our lives, building relationships and families, learning and playing and living. The quality of these buildings has a profound effect on our ability to imagine a better future, to grow and to make a success of what we do with our lives. It’s a key building block for a healthy society."


You are front runners in your field with properties the world over. What is the secret To your ongoing success ?
"At SAOTA we understand our clients and their aspirations, lifestyles and needs. From this emerges design that connects built space to external space, the landscape and the view; powerful buildings that delight yet are firmly grounded. Our projects exhibit sophisticated use of materials, precise attention to detail and a refined interpretation of contemporary global luxury, which translates into edgy, yet livable buildings that are without artifice and are, essentially, timeless."

What do you see as the future of architecture ? What will it look like?
"Good design right now is not about trend or style but about a design approach that fully analyses the context of a project and encompasses a design that optimises all aspects of the site, views, climate, brief, budget and lifestyle. There is an approach of using more tactile and natural elements. I really like the current trend to integrate nature into buildings and to make more use of natural light. We want the earth to touch our architecture and this is reflected in the raw elements and finishes being used."

Its difficult to say too much about these astonishing works of architecture as they essentially speak for themselves. To me they speak of beauty, of power, aspiration and synergy. They look like the dwellings of Masters of the Universe - And often they are.

One of SAOTA'S great architectural inspirations is Oscar Niemeyer who says it so perfectly and its so applicable to the work of SAOTA; " My Architecture is easy to understand and enjoy, I hope it is also hard to forget."
For me the interest in architecture and design is how it informs our lives. A building - be it a home or a public space creates a stage on which  we act out the dramas and the comedies of our lives. It is an essential component in our story, creating a context and an ambiance that can set the scene for anything from Iron Man to Death of a Salesman. These buildings set the scene for an optomistic and beautiful future.

Remember if you have a beautiful property - be it a home, office, garden, store and would like to offer it as a film or stills location or for short term accommodation or events please get hold of us. We would love to work with you on creating extra value in your property.

All the Best from the girls at Shoot My House - Jeanne, Sharleen and Liz

Interior Fashionista - Trends We're Loving

There are such exciting things going on in the world of interiors and such amazing new trends that we thought we would share some of our favourites right here this week!!

  1. Wallpaper. Everywhere you look there are examples of extraordinary wallpapers. Long gone are the safe wallpapers of yesteryear. Wall paper now has become an expression of individuality and personal style or is being used to mimic other surfaces such as marble, brick - you name it. Another trend is the notion of the wallpaper mural - which is in turn a more painterly take on wallpapers.New printing techniques mean that smaller runs of wallpapers are now possible to run and are affordable to the man on the street. You can take your own design down to a specialist printer and design your very own work of art to adorn your walls. 
  2. "More is More and Less is Boring!" To quote from the marvelous Ms Apfel, whom we featured last week. We loved the Scandinavian interior movement but I for one am a little over it. The backlash is so much more sensual - with rich textures and fabrics like velvets making a strong come back, layering of materials and bold strong colour and a nod to eastern tapestries and pattern.Pattern on pattern is continued in Bold geometric screens which add interest and drama to big open plan living areas. This more is more trend extends to everything from Modern Tudor which incorporates rich fabrics, deep colours and dramatic finishes to the Miami look which is all about jungle prints, flamingos, hot pinks and shaggy rugs. Whichever way you lean there is inspiration aplenty.


  3. Metallics - Copper, Rose Gold, Silver, Gold and Bronze is popping up in everything from fabrics to fittings, costume jewellery, baths to wallcoverings. Used to such extraordinary effect by the likes of Tom Dixon, metallics are everywhere and as glamorous as ever. Think Great Gatsby, French copper pots, Paris salons.
  4. Parisian apartment - Wall mouldings and Herringbone floors - make me feel like I've died and gone to heaven. All I want for Christmas is a Parisian apartment in my own little corner of the world! The wide board white washed wooden floor has been elbowed by her posher more elegant cousin - the Herringbone floor. Whats not to love apart from the price tag? The look is not complete without wall mouldings to glam up the space. Anything from ultra fussy and ornate to more simple geometric lines.screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-2-38-24-pm

Sources: LivingEtc, Pinterest.

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Jill Joubert - Sculpture meets Puppetry and Storytelling

Until 18h30 on August 4, 2016 , I had never heard of, nor seen the work of Jill Joubert and so was not prepared for the visual feast that hit me that first Thursday as I walked into the Smith Gallery in Cape Town.
Smith gallery were hosting an exhibition titled ‘The Invasion by Stately Queens Come to Rescue Princesses Trapped in Four Impenetrable Towers’. Not a title that trips easily off the tongue after a glass or two of questionable quality first Thursday red wine, but it does suggest something of the narrative of this amazing woman's work.
Jill Joubert the artist behind this extraordinary work was a founding member of the handspring puppet company and very influential South African puppeteer. (Side note: I love first Thursdays because you can be a complete no nothing art appreciator and still experience and learn in an environment that is relaxed and less up its own bottom than more formal artistic environs.😬)
The exhibition is an installation of wood sculpture combined with an eclectic mix of found objects from toy wheels to bones, shells, recycled bits of sculpture, driftwood. The exhibition has its source in creation myths and folklore.

The wooden sculptures form part of a story , a fairy tale, a coming of age story that you pass through as you navigate the gallery.
Jill has chosen in this exhibition to focus on a young girl as the heroine in stories in which she is aided by an older woman rather than their male counterparts. The Virgin girl, or princess, in the process of maturing into her womanhood, has to leave home and embark on a dangerous journey. Inevitably an old woman, fairy, will come to her aid, but only if the maiden is kind and pure of  heart. In addition animals of the earth,sea and air  will also help her.

In this particular body of work the title suggests a story. There is a beginning, the messenger, the dance, the sacrifice. There are four towers. However unlike the stereotypical prince in Folktales, there are instead twelve invading queens riding on mounts reminiscent of mythical animals and strangely primitive vehicles. Observing from above are 'the watchers'. Finally there are the guardian spirits hovering over the towers.

What's always fascinated me about art and sculpture particularly is the personal experience that the viewer has (or sometimes doesn't have at all) with a piece. There was something that drew me into this exhibition and really moved me. Perhaps the ingenious combination of sculpture with  found objects, maybe the subject matter. "Sisters doing it for themselves" perhaps it was having a little girl of my own and identifying with the idea of a invading queen being there to rescue her and guide her in times of need as she grows up and discovers the big wide world. Whatever it was, the pieces speak for themselves and they are magnificent.

Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do.