Chinese Money Plant

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there are certain plants that continue to pop up in beautifully styled homes in magazines or blogs or instagram. first it was the delicious monster, then it was the fiddle leaf fig, and now it’s the Chinese Money Plant aka Pilea peperomioides. this is probably the most interesting one of them all, not just in looks but also because of the amazing story behind it.

the unusual little plant started popping up in households all over Britain in the seventies, which puzzled botanists as the species had not even been officially identified. eventually they traced the origin of the plant to a range of mountains in the Yunnan province of China. but HOW did it get to Britain? how indeed. in 1983 the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew published a newspaper article asking if anyone had any leads on the introduction of the plant, to which a family from Cornwall called the Sidebottoms (you can’t make this up) answered. their au pair Modil Wigg was from Norway, and their daughter Jill who had holidayed with the Wigg family had brought a plant home with her sometime in the 1960s. so, that traces the routes to Scandinavia, but HOW did it get there? turns out…

A Norwegian missionary, Agnar Espegren, brought the plant to Norway from China in 1946. In 1944 the Norwegian missionaries in China had had to leave. Agnar Espegren and his family, then living in Hunan province, were taken by an American plane to Kunming in Yunnan where they stayed about a week awaiting further transport to India. During this brief stay in Kunming Mr Espegren obtained a live specimen of the plant (possibly from a local market) and packed it in a small box, which was then brought together with his family and all their baggage to Calcutta where they stayed for nearly a year. The Espegren family arrived back in Norway in March 1946 with the plant miraculously still alive. Mr Espegren subsequently travelled widely in Norway and often gave basal shoots of the plant to friends. In this way the plant was effectively distributed around Norway where it is now widespread as a window sill plant, and where it is known as ‘the missionary plant’.

well, i suppose we must all thank Agnar Espegren, and 9-year-old Jill Sidebottom, for making this sweet little plant a still flourishing part of window sills all over Europe. i hope that i can find one in South Africa somewhere… anyone have any leads for me feel free to direct them my way (or i might be forced to publish a newspaper article).

photo by Mieke Verbijlen

photo by Mieke Verbijlen

photos by Frida Ramstedt for Trendenser

photos by Frida Ramstedt for Trendenser

photos by Bart Kiggen for All Items Loaded

photos by Bart Kiggen for All Items Loaded

photos by Amanda Wright

photos by Amanda Wright

photo by Belle Fleur de lis

photos by Belle Fleur de Lis

photo by Lisettes Perler

photo by Lisettes Perler

Hotel San José

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i LOVE staying in hotels. i don’t travel often, so i don’t have that jaded traveller attitude to hotels and flying as if it’s all old hat. it’s always new hat to me. even the most boring, average hotel – i’m basically like, “wait, i get to sleep in this foreign place, i don’t have to make my bed, AND someone else is making me breakfast tomorrow? sign me up.” of course when a hotel is actually nice that feeling is multiplied by a thousand, which is what i imagine it would be like to stay at the Hotel San José in Austin, Texas. i have never had any inclination to visit Texas, but now i do.

Built in 1936 as an “ultramodern” motor court, the property has been transformed into a 40 room urban bungalow-style hotel tucked behind stucco walls and set amidst lush garden courtyards. More than just a unique place to sleep, the Hotel San Jose serves as a gathering place and occasional hub of community activity for locals and visitors alike. Dogs are always welcome.













Good Lookin’

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i’ve been looking around our place recently wondering how we can jazz it up a bit. we don’t have space for any more pieces of large furniture, so it’s up to accessories or painting some walls… and since i’m afraid of painting it’s basically just up to accessories. i would like our apartment to look a bit more “adult”. to seem as if we are the kind of people who sleep in Ralph Lauren sheets (even though i would probably never ever by RL sheets, and also you don’t get them here of course). i don’t really know what i’m talking about, but for some reason i think the answer lies in black and gold. so here are some nice things, for my imaginary home (and yours?) all the links are at the bottom of the post. good lookin' things for your home // miss moss 1: tom dixon tea set | 2: charred commode | 3: josh herman ceramics; 4: basket | 5: brass planter | 6: lantern pedestal lamp | 7: gold menagerie trio | 8: calendar | 9: brass coasters | 10: trash bin | 11: brass bottle opener | 12: sheepskin rug | 13: shanna murray plates | 14: geo chimes | 15: nightshade candle | 16: davy lamp | 17: balsam fir incense

LEIF

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beautiful things at LEIF – including some pretty extraordinary art that i would love to have on my walls, and nice scarves for around my neck and monogram rings for my fingers… always so colourful and happy, i like that.

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Kip & Co

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Kip & Co is an australian homeware brand that i discovered through the portfolio of photographer Armelle Habib, who shot their Dappled Dreams collection. they design what i would like to call epic bedding. i’ve always been a white sheets kinda gal, but if i had to dip my toes into something bright and colourful then this is the direction i’d go in.

Kip & Co began as the little dream of Melbourne girls, Alex, Kate and Hayley to create bright and beautiful bedding. Kip & Co designs have been inspired by unique, wild, and brave art and nature, soaked up on backpacking adventures around the globe and flea markets down the road. Now, working out of our living rooms (with an obligatory cup of tea in hand) we have designed a bedding range that will bring a new energy to your home.

photographed by  Armelle Habib & styled by Julia Green and Amber Leanette

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1890 Spindrift Drive

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i was digging around in the Life Magazine archives (as i often do) when i came across these photos of a beautiful modern beach house in the La Jolla shores area of San Diego. after doing a bit of research i learned that it was designed by american architect William Kesling for Walton MacConnell in 1946-47. amazingly the original address is actually listed, so i looked it up on google maps – and it seems like some of the original part of the house might still be in existence! though it looks to have been extended on a massive scale.

i find that so unfortunate about beach properties these days, i know that it’s prime real estate and only super rich people can really afford them – and they have all the money to build super huge mansions – but it’s a shame to me that you don’t often see the small, charming beach cottages that were built back in the 40s, 50s, 60s… there are still a handful of them in Cape Town, you can spot a few original bungalows on the shores of Clifton and Camps Bay beaches. i hope that their owners never turn them into monstrous mansions.

anyhoo! these are nice pics to look at anyway. they were taken in 1947 by Peter Stackpole and featured in the November 3 issue of Life Magazine, pages 154-160. it all sounds pretty amazing… except maybe for that Cuban houseboy. here are some of my favourite bits:

With a Cuban houseboy, a barbeque pit, a fishing rod and a telescope, retired bachelor Walton MacConnell has settled down in the elegant, sunny little town of La Jolla, California to a pleasant, lounging existence. As a setting for this life he has built himself a dramatic, glossy, $40,000 home which hugs the edge of a 50-foot seaside cliff. Here the Pacific swishes around under the living-room floor and occasionally splashes up soothingly over the huge windows.

In the living room his guests loll around, waiting until nightfall when they usually dress formally for a dance in the cliff-enclosed patio.

At night, when there is no reflection, the living room window is invisible and MacConnell worries constantly lest unsuspecting guests walk right through it. So far several have hit it but none has been hurt.

On the bedroom roof guest Nancy Chase snoozes. Roofing of asphalt and crushed ceramics reflects extra sun for an even tan.

you can read the original article at the bottom of the post.















Book/Shop

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Book/Shop is an Oakland based online & brick-and-mortar shop that specialises in products and paraphernalia related to reading – of actual real life books, not the online kind. of course they have actual books for sale, but also deal in other interesting things like book related art & vintage posters (love this Read Instead print) and even small furnishings to keep your books organised.

We’re committed to the reading experience. The surprise of one page turning to the other. The little luxury of sitting in a great reading chair, inhaling the scent of a beautifully made book. The luscious heft of three or four good reads in a sturdy bookbag as you head out into the world. The hundred discoveries waiting at a used bookstore; the refuge of a library.










Carlos Motta

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i was just thinking the other day how tired i was of seeing white white white interiors everywhere on the internet, even though they are beautiful (don’t get me wrong). but sometimes you just don’t see enough variety – which i suppose is the problem with the internet, if you follow the same blogs or don’t wander far from the safety of your pinterest feed. so when i saw the work of brazilian architect & designer Carlos Motta, which focuses on the natural beauty of wood, i ended up flipping through every single image on his website. many of the houses his atelier has designed are situated in the Serra da Mantiqueira mountain range in the state of São Paulo. this one – Carlos Motta’s own home – has to be my favourite.

The Atelier Carlos Motta was born in the 70’s, through a strong counterculture movement. Surf, Yoga, food and a natural life. Ecology and respect for nature, pulsing through our veins. It’s at the genesis and at the Atelier DNA the environmental and social responsibility. The architecture and design that we develop here at the Atelier follow together the same concept: the search for the obvious, the simple, respectful and longevous.








Belle Fleur de Lis

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Lotte Janssens is a lacemaker & crocheter from Antwerp who clearly has very talented & creative fingers – as you can see by her delicate work below. she also has somewhat of a green thumb, as her home is filled with an assortment of beautiful plants. you can buy her wares at her shop, see her photos on flickr and learn more about her & her work at her blog.















Home Talk

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at the moment i am thinking about our home a lot. we are currently happily living in our Sea Point apartment that’s big enough for the two of us (and we are lucky enough to be right by the promenade) – but i know that we both dream of an outside space and everything that comes with that. a dog, a cat… and other little beings that like to play in a garden. one step at a time – i know, i know. but i can’t help thinking of that possible future place, which is why i want to have a Home Talk.

i had to kick off with possibly the most beautiful house i have seen this year. designed by architect Ray Kappe in 1967, who still lives here with his wife:

local favourite furniture designers Pedersen & Lennard just opened their online shop:

love the home of Kirsten Grove featured by Rue Magazine:

could see these two Magical Thinking rugs happily chilling in my home. buy: left & right.

Vanessa Jackman’s visit to Villa Extramuros in Portugal, which boasts beautiful interiors and exteriors:

cool wares from vintage shop Ethanollie:

like the little corner desk of this Parisian apartment:

sweet home things from Makers & Brothers:

the home of Wood & Wool Stool designer Ingrid Jansen:

colourful utensils by Sucre:

a simple DIY shelf by Scandi Home (adapted from these instructions):

at home with Jennifer Bewerse:

beautiful homeware by Neëst:

watercolour wallpaper by Emma Hayes:

Ermie has a selection of home goods for you to peruse:

and, a public loo in London that was turned into an amazing apartment by architect Laura Clark:

Handmade in Moste

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Klara and Klemen are students of architecture who live in an old house in Moste, Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. they regularly walked past the once grand villa hidden amongst the trees in this old neighborhood, and wondered about the abandoned looking apartment inside – which, it turned out, had been sitting empty for 20 years. after tracking down the owner and making a deal to fix up the flat in exchange for rent, they got the keys and started renovations. you can read the story of the apartment on their blog Handmade in Moste.

In truth, the flat did not look inviting at first glance; the paint was falling apart, plumbing and electricity wires suspiciously battered and the floor was very damaged in some parts. There was no central heating and all other modern commodities. But it had promising qualities such as high ceilings, big rooms with lots of windows, it was classically built out of brick and had a cooking furnace that was so inviting, that we almost smelled wood burning…

they designed and made many of the built-in components in the house themselves – including (but not limited to) a beautiful work light; all the shelving in their studio, bathroom & kitchen; a sturdy coffee table and the sweetest log rack. you can see all their projects on their blog, and read about their philosophy of handmaking items of quality & simplicity.















Native Line

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i’ve noticed a popular resurgence in hand weaving the past while, especially in the realm of wall hangings. i’m sure you’ve seen beautiful tapestries featured on design blogs (the stunning work of Brook&Lyn comes to mind) or cropping up on pinterest. if you’re a fan, like me, then you can add another talented artist to your most wanted weavers list – Justine Ashbee.

with a background as a fine artist known for her intricate pen drawings, she recently expanded her talents into woven pieces, wearable jewelry, hanging light sculptures and wall hangings – all of which stem from her early explorations in weaving metal sculptures as a textiles student. she collects her work and inspirations on her website Native Line.

Native Line consists of one off woven pieces, wearable jewelry, hanging light sculptures, & wall hangings, all of which stem from her early explorations in weaving metal sculptures, as a textiles student, at the Rhode Island School of Design. Inspired by the timeless motifs of indigenous woven craft work, Justine combines geometric lines with shimmering metals, to create luminary pieces of woven art, whether for your wall, or to wear as every day statement pieces.

you can buy Justine’s handwoven wall hanging objects at her online shop.

New York Stories

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you know i’m a tart for anything inspired by colour, so i was really happy to discover a collaboration between stylist Marcus Hay & photographer Kat Teutsch on a wonderful series called New York Storiesself styled shoots inspired by the lives of fictional ladies in New York City. says Marcus,

I have for a long time wanted to a series of color based stories inspired by fictional characters, eccentric hybrids of personalities I know or admire from a distance in New York. These shoots are produced as a result of meeting or observing from afar the array of characters here, constantly I am inspired by just a glimpse of someone on the street who you know has a long story to tell. New York is famous for its eccentric personalities and thankfully the city is still full of them! Kat and I get a kick out of having a narrative to work from and the possibilities are endless, watch out for some more of our ladies!

they have three stories so far – the blue & green hued Edna Indigo Greenleaf; the rose & citrus story of Goldie Rose Smyth; and the super cool black & gold story of Ophelia Sable Le Blanc (my favourite, which you’ll see below). be sure to check out the rest either at Marcus’ blog or Kat’s website.

styling: Marcus Hay; photography: Kat Teutsch.

Ophelia Sable Le Blanc, Born May 12th, 1952

Ophelia grew up in affluent Chicago suburb of Oak Park, while she did not live in a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright of whom designed many of the houses and buildings of more prominent folk, she always wished she had.

An Architectural buff, Ophelia had dreams of attending school for Architecture but somehow never managed to get there settling instead in New York where she was attracted to mood of the 1960’s where her jet black bob and big charcoaled eyes made an impression at the Fashion Magazines where she worked in the Art Department eventually building her way up to a Director position.

Partly retired now, Ophelia still dabbles in Design and holds classes at a prominent Design School for Graphic Design. She loves her coffee black and her cocktails strong, her signature black bowler hat makes an appearance at times when the mood is upon her.

Everything In Its Right Place

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Need Supply Co has been doing some amazing lookbooks lately, a particular favourite of mine was It’s In The Bag which featured those rad Falconwright pouches. they have just collaborated with Jennifer Hagler of A Merry Mishap who, if you don’t follow already, has incredible taste & such a beautiful aesthetic – be sure to follow her blog, pinterest and instagram. she is also a talented jewellery maker.

Jennifer shot Need Supply Co’s home goods collection in her own home, and her clean and monochromatic aesthetic is a natural pairing to showcase products from Fort Standard, Fredericks & Mae, Cold Picnic, and more.

Jennifer Hagler x Need Supply Co.

featuring: Karen Walker sunnies, Fort Standard bottle openers, JujuMade x Brook&Lyn hair accessories, LHOOQ undies, ANN-YA marbled leather cat coasters.

Jennifer Hagler x Need Supply Co.

featuring: Willow Knows scarf; Cold Picnic tote; Illesteva sunnies; Anywhere beach blanket

Jennifer Hagler x Need Supply Co.

featuring: Ria Menorca sandals;  Human Being Journal Volume 2

Jennifer Hagler x Need Supply Co.

featuring: Fredericks & Mae dominos set

Jennifer Hagler x Need Supply Co.

featuring:  Academy marbled pinch pot; MCMC love candle; Human Being Journal Volume 2

Jennifer Hagler x Need Supply Co.

featuring: Baggu drawstring purse; Cold Picnic tote; Apolis candle; Apartamento No.11; Diner Journal Issue 24; Cherry Bombe #1; Helmut Newton World Without Men; Jeffrey Campbell Isidora heels; Fredericks & Mae travel checkers

Jennifer Hagler x Need Supply Co.

featuring: Montreal Tee; Venice Top; Rena Dress; Someday Tank; Pini Jumpsuit by Top Shop; Illusions Shift Dress; Ed Wood Tank; Dina brogues by Dieppa Restrepo

Jennifer Hagler x Need Supply Co.

featuring: Pyramid Bead Plant Hanger by Cold Picnic

Jennifer Hagler x Need Supply Co.

featuring: Anywhere beach blanket

Jennifer Hagler x Need Supply Co.