It was great to read in the Daily Telegraph last week (16 Oct) that we’re abandoning our neutral colour palettes in favour of more adventurous interior design. As we’ve always said, the magnolias, beiges and simple creams are stylish and safe but can look even more beautiful with some statement prints and patterns added to them. Kantha, block print and rich velvet accessories can bring such a pop of personality and life to interior spaces and simple beautiful rugs thrown over neutral floors make great statements. The trend for outdoor living has apparently seen a surge too, which no doubt explains why our vintage fire bowls and traditional Indian ‘charpoy’ day beds were a huge hit this year!
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Eager beavers: some of Nikki’s fantastic young students at her school, Sunshine Educare, Cape Town
In Cape Town recently, on the chilliest, greyest and wettest of early Spring days, it was a huge privilege to meet the incredible Nikki Pretorius, founder of Sunshine Educare. Located until June this year at the Skandaalkamp settlement, the entire community and its school have now been moved lock, stock and barrel to a site known as Wolwerivier (‘River of Wolves’). Families from the settlement are being moved in to single roomed dwellings, too small for most to live comfortably and their animals have been moved without shelter being provided. But despite it all Nikki remains positive. She has to. There is now more land (although it is entirely barren) for her school and she hopes more children will be able to access education: the school is set to grow from 60 to 250 young children over the next 2 years, ‘a massive growth that will keep us on our toes’ she exclaims. The process requires more buildings and more teachers and a huge vegetable garden too. And as if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, Nikki’s plans also include her dream to provide cluster housing on site for foster and orphaned children. It’s a long way off, she admits. This is the very poorest of communities and support is desperately needed: quite simply they stay alive through the compassion and generosity of others and rely 100% on donations from those wanting to help and make a difference.
We had such fun at our photo shoot last week (the spectacular autumnal sunshine couldn’t have arrived at a better time!) after our gorgeous, timeless four poster beds and our new vintage kantha collections arrived at ibbi HQ. And as the block printed quilts, kantha throws and softest kantha bolsters and cushions were casually piled and strewn and draped across the bed, we suddenly realised that when it comes to patterns, you can simply never have enough! Our kantha throws and kantha accessories all have very different characters: some delicate, some bold. But all are beautiful and made with the utmost care: it’s good sometimes to add a splash of something unique to your home.