Archive for the ‘ House ’ Category

Staub vs Le Creuset

The Cape Town Good Food and Wine Show is happening this weekend and I’m hoping that now that Staub is available in SA, they’ll have a presence.

There’s much debate over which is better, Staub or Le Creuset, but after doing some research online, I’ve found that the overwhelming majority tends to lean towards Staub for various reasons.

  • They’ve been around longer
  • The pots have got basting spikes on the lid (which allows even self-basting)
  • They’ve got a matte black enameled interior with pores which allows for better searing and flavour retention
  • The knobs on all Staub pieces are either nickel or brass, and are oven safe up to 500 degrees
  • and it’s favoured by most restaurants.
  • Plus they look much better than Le Creuset (in my opinion. I tend to prefer the more rustic look)!

Do any of you use Staub or Le Creuset? Which do you prefer?


Dahms Family LEGO House

Fred and Julie Dahms’ bright, modern 2,300 square-foot home is based on a LEGO design put together by Fred and the couple’s son, Max.

I’m loving the staircase, and the clever use of Parallam for the tread. It’s a material used by builders in open spaces in place of steel because it’s more cost effective, oftentimes stronger, and easier to join.

See Apartment Therapy for more!

Book Nook

One thing I really want to include in this house was an old fashioned library with ladders (like the bookshop Audrey Hepburn worked at in Funny Face). I’ve always been obsessed with books… the smell of a new book… the way the smooth, shiny spines look when lined up neatly on a shelf. They have such a cozy, nostalgic feel to them. Our book nook is going to be in the upstairs landing of the house in what our architect likes to call the “pajama lounge”. Here’s some pics I hope to draw some inspiration from when it comes time to build our book nook…

Emily Gilbert via Design Sponge

Design Sponge

Not sure where this one is from. Anyone know?

Making it Lovely

Making it Lovely

Design Sponge

Diane Bergeron via Fave Pretty Things

Abigail Ahern and Graham Atkins Hughes via Being Brazen

The Cross Decor & design via Design Sponge

Blue Pool Road

Hot Clip

I hate that we don’t have central heating/cooling in South Africa. Cape Town winters can be quite severe and the only options we have are those ugly fin heaters (looks kind of like those old radiators you find in British homes) or big gas heaters (resembles a stove). The tidy panel heaters aren’t bad and I’ll probably go that route since they’re the most energy efficient, but check out these cute radiators from Italian-based Sciroccoh. Now if only they made air conditioners!

found in the April 2011 issue of Livingetc.

Master Bathroom

I’m absolutely in love with this bathroom, by Anna Dorfman of Door Sixteen.

I want to try and recreate this look for our master en suite…

1. Bindweed Wallpaper, Ferm Living R760/roll. 2. Tudor Taps, Cobra. 3. Claw Bath, Tile Africa R5999.99 4. White Ceramic Dispenser and White Ceramic Toilet Brush, Mr Price Home R50 and R100 5. Bath Mat, this pic is from West Elm but Rain has similar ones, R299 6. Carrera Venato Hexagon 1″ Honed Mosaic Tile, Builders Depot (I have yet to source these in SA, anyone know where I can get em?) R70/linear foot


We have to start thinking bathrooms soon, because we’ve got 6 of them and have absolutely no clue what to do with them. I’m thinking about taking the easy route and making them all the same, but would be really boring. This is going to be a difficult one for me because i HATE tile. Plus, everyone I’ve spoken to in South Africa insist that tiles on the walls are absolutely necessary and I absolutely disagree! Don’t you think that’s so old fashioned? Look at how stunning these bathrooms look sans wall tiles…

Sarah Klassen on Kim Gray

Style Files

Easy Living

Jessica Helgerson

Ideal Home via Design Sponge


What do you guys think? To tile the wall or not to tile the wall?


This weekend, we met with Emile at Sembel-it in Woodstock. For a mere R450, Sembel-it provides a design service where they sit down with you and work out an ideal kitchen that works with your space and lifestyle. This was just what we needed, ’cause while I have a very good idea of what I want in my kitchen and how I want it to look, I have no idea how to lay it out. Emile was brilliant, he thought of everything… from which side of the island the pullout spice rack should be on (given that I’m right handed and not left)… to a tidy broom closet for the corner of the scullery. We sketched everything out and he’s going to give us a presentation this coming Saturday. It’s going to look something like this kitchen I saw in Living Etc a few months ago and absolutely loved (except ours will be in high gloss white and stainless steel of course)…

The kitchen layout was a huge project that was weighing on us for quite a while, now that it’s out of the way we can move on to other exciting things… like bathroom tiles (why on earth is there SUCH a lack of variety in SA. And what little selection we do have is SO expensive).