Vivez Bien * Live Well

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Magazine Worthy

I do spend a fair amount of time browsing the internet looking at decor blogs, pinterest pages, instagram feeds and tumblr. However, nothing beats coming home with the latest interior decorating magazine, pouring myself a cup of coffee or, more likely a glass of wine, and settling in for a good read. I tend to mostly buy the local South African mags because they are affordable and because they are as good as any global publications imho. Each one offers something different to their readers. The Conde Nast House and Garden always features quite high end beautiful homes, while the Garden and Home houses tend to be more within the reach of the (wo)man in the street. like me (not to be confused with street woman which is a whole other thing entirely!). Then there is the House and Leisure mag where many of the homes are too contemporary for my taste, but there are a few exceptions and I do enjoy the leisure section. The other one I buy from time to time is the Home mag which is for great for DIY and fixer upper enthusiasts. I used to be one of those but have become too lazy busy. I do enjoy seeing how clever people can be, especially on a limited budget. 

Two homes featured recently really appealed to me. The first from House and Garden mag...

Based in Joburg, this home is owned by antique dealer, Ashley Judge and her husband, The first thing one notices is the absence of colour. The walls throughout are white and the floors are pale, which is the perfect backdrop for the dark and quite imposing antique pieces that are used abundantly. In another setting they might seem austere, but here they blend perfectly with the inviting decor.
The antique dining table below has a beautiful worn and weathered patina that is offset by elegant slip covered chairs.

The main bedroom is simply furnished, but inviting with layered textures and interesting details.

The wine cellar is full of character.

It's hard to believe you are in the middle of a city with this outlook. 

  The second home is featured in the SA Garden and Home mag. It is based in Cape Town and owned by Charlie Hayward. 

The home is full of beautiful period features, like the pressed ceilings, that were kept intact during the renovation. The wooden floors were painted white to lighten the interior, and the doors and windows, a pale grey.

The living room, dining room and kitchen all flow into one another, making for easy living.

The kitchen was designed by the owner and the use of  plaster and cement gives it a rustic French feel. A wood burning stove makes it a cosy place to be in the cold winter months.

The dining room is elegant and spacious enough to entertain lots of friends and family.

In winter, a fire is lit and in summer the doors to the beautiful courtyard are opened to let in the  sound of trickling water from the fountain and the scent of lavender. 

Finally, the beautiful bedroom is straight out of a romantic French movie with its ornate bed, crystal chandelier and linen clad chaise longue.

So, why not go a treat yourself to a new decor mag - you won't regret it! 

Till next time

Sharon x

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Watch to Want....

If I was you, I'd wanna be me, too

.....and I'll tell you why....

....because the kind folks at Daniel Wellington sent me a watch!....

....because apparently I am a person of influence.... who knew.? My kids certainly don't think so. But I am happy that Daniel Wellington does because I am a big fan of their watches. This is the second one I own. I blogged about the first one here

As a blogger, I get a lot of requests from various companies to advertise their products and I mostly decline. Either because the product is ugly not very nice, of no interest to me or my readers or just plain boring, like lawn fertilizer. But when I get offered something of beauty, which I know you, my readers might also like and when there is a benefit to you, like the discount that I'm going to offer you later, I say bring it on!

The watch I chose from Daniel Wellington is the Classic 40mm Durham . It is from the Men's range because I wanted the bigger face. The strap is a beautiful distressed tan colour. It has that worn and weathered look that I love. Perfect with your favourite jeans and leather boots, it looks like it could be an heirloom piece, handed down from your grandad, yet at the same time, very much on trend.

I chose the silver surround, but you might prefer the rose gold. There is also a choice of leather straps, including black and dark brown.

They currently have a Mother's Day promotion where you get a complimentary heart charm with your leather watch. 

So why not spoil your mom or wife this Mother's Day. It couldn't be easier. Shop online or visit your nearest stockist. If you use the DISCOUNT CODE "ROSES" you will receive a 15% discount. The offer is valid until the end of May, so don't delay! 

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms out there.

Till next time

Sharon x

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Autumn is in the Air

I'm so pleased that Autumn is here. I find that the older I get the less I can tolerate the heat of summer. Autumn suits me so much better. I love the cooler, still days and look forward to the slight chill of the evening air. This morning I gathered a whole bunch of fallen leaves from my plain tree and displayed them under a cloche.

 This combined with an Autumn-coloured beagle on a chair - Autumn decorating done and dusted,  Although I am lusting after the oak leaf bowl from NetDecor.

I came across a picture of this patio above ("stoep" if you're South African), and it reminded me of Autumn. I love the introduction of the terracotta shades mixed with the grey and stone, the weathered wood and wicker, and the succulents which add a little injection of colour. 

On further investigation, I discover that it is the handiwork of Charlottte Daneel (above) of whom I have long been an admirer. I first met her many years ago when I went on an outing with some girlfriends to Le Grange in Franschhoek which she then owned. There was a talk by Gary Searle of St Leger and Viney fame, on caring for linen, which included a lucky draw, the prize being a set of exquisite linen, and I won. Yay! We had lunch on the stoep of the shop which was hosted by Charlotte and I was so impressed by her effortless style. I decided that when I grow up I want to be just like her. 

Since leaving Franschhoek, she has obtained a number of properties in the Karoo which is apparently very close to her heart. Having grown up in the Karoo myself, I feel the same way. Maybe Charlotte and I are soul sisters. This particular property is called Langhuis (Longhouse in English) and it is in the quaint Karoo town of Graaff-Reinett. It is available to rent through Perfect Hideaways.

I love everything about Charlotte's design style. Rustic and casual, with little touches of refinement, and mostly neutrals with lots of texture. 

How could you not feel relaxed, spending a holiday in these environs?

The bedrooms are dressed in calming neutrals and layers of cozy texture. 

Succulents feature in almost every room and are the perfect touch in this semi-desert Karoo environment. 

The lush lawn contrasts with the Karoo landscape in the background. 

I could very happily spend a weekend in these beautiful surroundings. Husband, are you listening?

That's all folks!

Till next time

Sharon x

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Good Getaway

I have been somewhat absent from cyberspace for a while. It often happens during the holidays - I have more time but get less done! Which is not a bad thing really. We did celebrate a wedding anniversary and the twins had a birthday. It's hard to believe my babies are now 15! And when you share your home with 4 teenage boys, you need and deserve a night off every now and then so my husband and I skipped town and went to Franschhoek to celebrate our anniversary - 22 years. Newly weds compared to my parents' 63 years! 

Our first stop was Babylonstoren for lunch. I absolutely love this place. The lunch was delicious and healthy which was just as well because we pigged out at dinner! More about that later....

Quite a few of our friends are at a similar life stage to us, nearing an empty nest and wondering, when their children leave home, if they will still find common ground with their spouses. One thing my husband and I will always have in common is wine, so wine tasting seemed to be a good way to spend the afternoon. The first stop was Rickety Bridge, then Dieu Donne where the views were beautiful and we met group of Belgian tourists and a very entertaining young Finnish doctor who was travelling around South Africa. I didn't take any pictures sadly - too busy tasting wine with our new friends! 

We then checked in at our guest house, Les Chambres which I can definitely recommend. This was our bedroom and bathroom...

The other bedrooms looked just as pretty...

Furnished in a way that is more homely than "hotelly"....

Breakfast was served out here next to the beautiful fountain. 

The dinner venue where we over-indulged was Bon Vivant. The food was really excellent and we had some more delicious wine. The name of the restaurant means "good living" and we felt compelled to live up to the name. 

The next morning we wandered around the market that takes place every Saturday, stopped for a coffee and, of course, no trip  to Franschhoek would be complete without a visit to Masquerade, my favourite shop. It could well become yours too, even if you don't go to Franschhoek because you can shop online!  You're welcome!.

So, all in all, a good getaway and some happy memories to get us through the winter.

Till next time

Sharon xx