Grand hospitality at home
I love having an area in my house that’s just for me. A place that I can disappear to, where it’s okay to be a little bit untidy, to get really comfortable and inspired, and to just let my creative juices flow. However, just as much as I love the private sphere, I know that having an area to welcome and entertain extended family and friends, without needing to restrict the numbers, is an important part of our South African culture. We love to entertain, and in light of this, many South African homes have been, or are being built, with grand hospitality in mind.
As a social nation many of us host our families, friends, colleagues, business partners, neighbours, clubs, networks and so on, in our homes – the more the merrier! Our climate lends itself to outdoor entertainment, however, the chilly winter nights, and unpredictable summer thundershowers sometimes see us running indoors for cover. Some of the recent interiors that I have collaborated on with architects, have included creating versatile spaces that offer the illusion of being outdoors, without being subjected to the elements. These can take the form of a large indoor space with folding glass patio doors that open to the garden; or a wrap-around porch, an expansive over-roofed patio, an indoor pool, a covered deck, a ground-floor display area, or a large home theatre and a full-size bar area. Of course we all want our guests to have a memorable experience, so their comfort forms part of my interior brief.
When you are entertaining a crowd, more often than not (unless you are very brave) caterers and event coordinators are brought in, who in turn will supply tables and chairs to meet your RSVPs. Sometimes, of course depending on your numbers, and your home, you can still get away without the extra furniture. If you’re having twenty guests over for a meal, a magnificent custom-made dining table and matching, but comfortably upholstered, chairs are all you’ll need. Before dinner, the ladies can sip champagne, while lounging on the luxurious patio furniture on the beautiful deck. The men can convene at the stylish bar, while the children splash in the indoor pool or play football on the lawn. Or if it is an adults only party, the children can be shepherded off to the indoor theatre for a screening of Finding Dory, before the babysitter puts them to bed.
It sounds so idyllic, and if the element of grand hospitality in your own home is something you’re aspiring too, then transforming that vision into a reality, is what we do. When I’m in my private space, I dream of ways I can fulfil my clients’ wishes and create interiors that speak to their unique requirements, and reflect their individual personalities. If that means that we’re creating spaces that need to cater for 100 people a weekend, so be it. If you’re inviting people into your home on a regular basis, let’s deliver gracious hospitality that will live on in their memories, and eagerly awaiting your next invitation.