Here’s looking at us

If you have been following our Facebook page, you will excuse us for the not-so-regular blog posts! We have been super busy the last few weeks moving into our new showroom-cum-design studio! Yes, you read right, we have a new digs!

It has been quite a lengthy (but loving!) process transforming our interior that was once part of the infamous Oxford Book Exchange into an interior design showroom.   Inbetween stripping the original space and starting our canvas from scratch, B threw in a little trip to NYC and Vancouver (Amaaaazing!!), Carina got married, and then there was her honeymoon in the Seychelles (Shame!) and work trips to both Cape Town and Jozi! PHEW

So between all the excitement and happenings in our personal lives , as well as keeping our clients happy, we had the mammoth task of creating the most Tres chic interior, no pressure!!

Here are some Before and After pics showing the entire process of how we transformed the space….

the VERY beginning. Still a book store


books books and more books. and some very old blue carpeting……


Shelves and books all gone!


Our blank canvas

Walls and flooring starting to take shape

Walls and flooring starting to take shape

The oak floor getting stained to a beautiful ebony


the partition begins…..


Shelving for all our beautiful goodies


Yip! we are ‘hands on’ designers!

There were many things we needed our interior to be and lots of things we wanted to do. One of those been to partition the space to create a separate store room for all our samples and brochures – believe you me there are plenty! Our other major prioirity was to make our little white box look bigger. We achieved both by creating a dividing wall from mirrors…..clever hey?!


really starting to look like a showroom now!


The meeting table/counter has arrived


our linen sheer curtains going up


the unpacking begins….

And here it is….ta daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!



We wanted to create an interior that is reflective of StylEast – an exciting mix of fresh ideas and youthful energy!    The look is contemporary with clean lines and modern materials, but warm, textural and layered.

We wanted to do as much as possible with the limited floorspace and show off as much as what we do as possible. Our showroom-cum-studio is filled with beautiful furniture that we sell and design, as well as homeware and lifestyle accessories.   We have created a lounge (the sofa is amazing for creative brainstorming sessions in the avie sun #wishful thinking!) and we have a meeting table that cleverly hides….. more samples!




A combination of materials and textures create a warm and layered space (look at the beautiful server!)

We have a little work area at the back of our space which is the powerhouse of StylEast…that’s where all the creativity and organising happens!   It also has great views of Chamberlain Street passing us by!

Thanks so much to our fabulous team of sub contractors who helped us create our beautiful new home, they definitely require special mentions! So here goes it:

  • Simon and Jen from Earthcote – gorgeous wall textures to check out!
  • Val from Oggie – come see the beautiful Oggie Timber Flooring range, its beautiful
  • Andre from Everest Granite – we have a selection of Caesar Stone and Marble on show
  • Kenny from KLD Joinery
  • Deidre from Bacalum
  • Bruce from CoolSpark
  • Shaun and his team from Timbercraft

Huge thanks to all the amazing and talented suppliers that we have teamed up with too! We really went to lengths to design and source furniture and homeware that is unique to East London, and our showroom is filled with items that are just so!

We would also like to thank our personal ”A Team” who helped us sand, paint, drill, diamond grind (Yes, we all got our hands dirty!) brought us refreshments, carried furniture and boxes, helped move in, clean and unpack stock! You guys are all amazing and our biggest supporters of which we are extremely grateful.

If you have not been to see our new showroom, please pop in! We are situated at Shop no 2, Chamberlain 4 U Centre, Chamberlain Road, Berea. We would love to show you all the amazing things that we sell and design!

And we have a Nespresso machine, so the coffee is not too bad either!



Some behind the scenes shots………………






The Indaba Report

It’s such an exciting time to be involved in design in South Africa. This year Cape Town holds the title of World Design Capital 2014,(#applause!) and kicking off the year setting the global design standard was the Design Inbada held last weekend. StylEast was of course there to make sure we could bring you all the news and reviews, first hand!

There were some very distinct trends that we picked up on, and you will no doubt be seeing them featured in all your favourite home décor mags during the course of the next few months.  Read on for the lowdown on what to expect…

1.       Its Halloween all year round!

Once relegated to heavy metal fans and bikers, the skull motif truly made an appearance in interior design and decor at the Indaba! The macabre motif has run riot in fashion over the last few years ever since Alexander McQueen made it cool, and no surprise here, we have now seen a move into the world of interiors.

Certainly, this trend is not for the faint of heart! But while it may be a bit ghoulish and dark, it certainly is interesting and adds an unexpected twist in an interior and conversation point!

There were boundary-breaking hanging ‘skull’ planters at Sobeit. Pink metallic skulls for a pop princess, Blue skulls, red skulls, gold skulls, bronze skulls, monkey skulls…..! Ceramic Factory wasn’t far behind with their portrayal of skulls turned into interesting crockery. ”Skull Biltong plate” anyone? It need not all be Morticia Adams-esque tho, we came across some really beautiful drawings of skulls with definite Mexican roots, as well as a whimsical etching in timber of birds and insects that on closer inspection formed a skull motif.

What is fascinating about this ‘trend’ is that it has been going strong in the UK for the last 5 years! It is going to be very interesting if this fad has lasting legs in SA or if the morbid subject matter is too much for our market to bear!

skulls in all shapes and forms!

skulls in all shapes and forms!

2. Cutting Edge

Lasercutting is a process that we have seen developing over the last year or so, but it has certainly gained momentum and was showcased in many forms and applications at the Indaba. Whether it’s the appeal of what’s left or what’s missing, laser cut pieces blend art and technology in a trend that has permeated fashion, home, jewellery and stationary design . Advances in technology have allowed such intricate laser cutting to all sorts of materials – paper, metal, timber, perspex, fabric – and the final product is really most effective.

The Arty Miss stand was an ode to lasercutting and showcased the technique most beautifully by creating unique extraordinary paper artwork.   Another interesting stand was Wit op Wit  with their “city-in-a-box” concept. They also had street maps lasercut onto fabrics, creating gorgeous patterns and shadows.

It seems that the only limitation with this method is ones imagination!

Lasercutting showcased in a variety of materials

Lasercutting showcased in a variety of materials

3. (Still) Mad about Metallics!

We have drummed on about our obsession with copper, brass and gold ad nausuem  last year, as was the trend featured extensively in design magazines. At the risk of sounding like a tape stuck on repeat, we are very happy to report that Metallics, especially the warm ones, are still very h-o-t! Especially so when it comes to lighting.

Our favourites showcased at the Indaba have to be the light fittings designed by one of our favourite South African design studios Egg Design, as well as the innovative and unique table lamps designed by Studio Number 19 and industrial pendant fittings from Hoy Ploy. L-O-V-E!

Beautiful light fittings in warm metallics! Shine on!

Beautiful light fittings in warm metallics! Shine on!

4. Shape up!

Bright colours, rich patterns, bold shapes and silhouettes were evident throughout the Indaba exhibition.  Prints were everywhere starting from a Retro-African inspired wallpaper at the Elle Deco stand, to geometric patterns adorning cushions and furniture.   An absolute favourite of ours were the geometric monochromatic cushions by Studio Number 19.   The key to making this visually loud trend work is by mixing it with subdued shades. Studio Number 19 did that so stylishly and in such a contemporary way that here at StylEast they were our Gold Star Winner of the Expo.

Pattern and print

Pattern and print

The Design Indaba 2014 was full of  talented creative’s sharing their ideas and the excited energy filling the hall was electric. Not only was it a showcase for the design/decor world but stationary, jewellery and fashion. And there were shoes!! Enough said!

Be my Valentine

You’ll have to forgive us if we a bit loved up this month! 

Love is in the air at StylEast HQ in a big way……C is getting married later this month (Hooray!) and I, (B) just got engaged!

To celebrate all of this, and as an Ode to Valentines Day, we have put together a colour mood board of Red and Pink to inspire and delight all the hopeless romantics out there…..

Love is in the Air

Here is a bit of an insight into the properties of each colour :

RED:  Symbolizes Action, Confidence, Courage, Vitality.

 Inject some va-va-voom Red in your life when you want:

-Increased enthusiasm & interest

-More energy

-Action & confidence to pursue your dreams

(Oh and don’t forget that when a woman wears red it can heighten their sexual allure….Think Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman when she goes to the opera, Chris de Burgh’s “Lady in Red” etc!)

PINK:  Symbolizes Love, Beauty

It is the colour of universal love.

Read our blog on Pink from October last year called “Think Pink ” for more about this colour.

Happy Valentines Day and have a great weekend!


Keep Calm and Drink Wine

If you know me and Carina well, you will know we love nothing more than discussing design ( and other important matters, such as shoes) over a chilled glass of Chenin Blanc or a deep, Burgundy Red.

If you are design-loving and wine-appreciating peeps like us, be sure to check out this awesome website called Urban Cellars, which offers unique wine storing facilities to the South African market.

We’ll take one in white and grey please!


Type “2014 interior trends” into Google search and you are likely to be confronted with thousands of posts on the topic. That’s all well and good, but how do you know which trend to follow, which is right or wrong?! (#Deercaughtintheheadlights!)

Remember, trends are not rules, they are merely a guideline intended to inspire and ignite us…

With that in mind, here is our StylEast compilation of top trends that we think will dominate interiors this year.

1. Dark Accent Walls

If you have seen any of our work, you will know we are not afraid of painting walls in dark, stormy colours.   Move over non-discript neutrals, this year it is all about drama and glamour! And nothing says that more than a charcoal wall.


textures 2


2.The Moody blues

We are obsessed with dark navy blue hues. Radiant Orchard (Purple) may be the Pantone Colour of the Year, but as far as we (and other trendsetters out there) are concerned, this year is all about Blue! Many magazines and articles are featuring Blue as their color of the year, especially in combination with White.   We however, are edging towards the darker side of the colour palette.  Navy, Inky Blue, Petrol Blue, Indigo..whatever you want to call it, it’s all about moody, rich, saturated colour.

Mood Blue Hues

Mood Blue Hues

Navy Blue / Petrol Blue/ Indigo Blue

Navy Blue / Petrol Blue/ Indigo Blue


3. Innovative combinations

Think lots and lots of layering, both with materials and textures. This is one of our StylEast top tricks. We love mixing different timbers, metals and fabrics for a rich and interesting space.

textures 6textures 8

4. It’s all about Detail

This year we predict a move away from Minimalism.   Products and interiors will have more interest and special touches….. it’s not about simple lines or hard edges anymore, but about attention to detail.

Beautiful joins and edgings in timber furniture, stitching details in upholstery…. You get the picture!




5. Chevron

Yes, we are still in love with Geometrics, and it seems we are not alone as our friends at House and Leisure have also got Chevron on their radar. Check out their article on page 54 of the January issue

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 12.01.09 PM



6. Copper

Metallic’s are still going to be hot this year, especially Copper. This metal is sexy, bold, and depending on what is paired with, can look either masculine or feminine.  Again refer to the January Issue of H&L, they have a gorgeous storyboard of the metal in combination with pink!

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 11.58.20 AM

7. Feminine Curves

We said it many times before on this blog: fashion and interiors go hand in hand! On the runway, this season is all about the hourglass figure as fashion celebrates feminine curves with fitted bodices and cinched in waists to show off that rocking body. Interiors and furniture are following suit.  Ooh la la!

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8. Sheer Curtains

We just love sheer curtaining, and use them all the time in our StylEast interiors. There is something very contemporary and fresh about them, yet soft and subtle.   Gone are heavy drapes in Silk and Taffeta with fussy details, we are predicting a move towards the sheer; whether in a linen texture or soft voile. We came across this great description of a sheer curtain on the Wall Street Journal ( …”It’s like a bra peeking through a shirt”.. A designer bra at that!


9. Lanterns

We are seeing lanterns everywhere! In glass, bamboo, timber, reclaimed timber, stainless steel, copper, large, small…. you name it! Whatever shape, size or material, it is THE way to light up your outside/inside area and create a subtle summer glow.

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 10. Personalisation: (The Anti trend)

Lastly, thanks to Twitter, Facebook and the Blogosphere, the lifespan of a trend has been dramatically reduced…… we are all a little over-exposed. We think that personalization will be huge this year with a movement away from ‘trends’ and more towards unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. People are wanting their homes to reflect a more unique perspective so are in search of more meaningful, special items.

personal 2

Happy New Year. May it be a successful, creative, stylish and beautiful one for us all!

Christmas is coming

Nobody loves a gold glass bauble quite like an interior designer. Or glitter, or tinsel, or little felt laser-cut reindeers (our new fav!)….

Christmas is upon us (Stop the bus!)and with that the age-old custom of putting up a Christmas tree and decorating your home with all things shiny, bright and twinkling.

This week we wanted to share a few ideas on how to inject a bit more flair, glamour and creativity into your festive lair….

  • Ditch the conventional Christmas tree – As South Africans we are so spoilt for options when it comes to Christmas trees, just look to nature. Think driftwood and seashells for a beach-inspired Christmas…… Agave bloom stalks sprayed gold for a natural-meets-glam Christmas (this is a personal family fav!) What about supporting local craftsmen and going for a wire Baobab tree? If nature as inspiration is not your thing, how about this contemporary take on a Christmas tree….a Washi tape silhouette?
a driftwood Christmas tree

a driftwood Christmas tree


an agave bloom tree – looks amazing when spray painted gold or silver

a south African beachy inspired xmas tree

a south African beachy inspired xmas tree

  • Drape fairy lights instead of tinsel – Nothing shouts glamour more than fairy lights everywhere… you can’t really go overboard with fairy lights at Christmas! Drape them on your kitchen island, stairs, over mantles, mirrors, up banisters and over paintings. They are so twinkly and glamorous and really create a magical atmosphere (It’s all about ambience remember!)
drape fairy lights everywhere!

drape fairy lights everywhere!

the more the merrier

the more the merrier


  • Add some sparkle – it’s the one time of the year when you can un-shamelessly go wild with glitter! Up the ante on your table displays by applying glitter to your flowers. Simply spray the flower or leaves with hairspray, sprinkle with glitter (say a wish!) and voila! These looks amazing twinkling in candlelight and will be sure to make your guests smile!
glitter roses

glitter roses

  • Display baubles in interesting ways- Christmas baubles are so sparkly and twinkly so it’s a shame to just hang them on your tree! A fun way of incorporating them into your Christmas decor scheme is to put them in glass cars. Consol jars, Vases, bell jars and cloches (normally reserved for storing Christmas treats and nibbles) are the perfect vessels….. Fill the glass jars with baubles and place them all over the house on different surfaces. It’s something so simple, but oh-so effective!
baubles in glass vases...

baubles in glass vases…




  • Play with texture – Yip it’s time to throw out some design lingo here! Whilst we are all about sparkly and twinkly at Christmas, what will really set that off is mixing the shiny and glittery with other unexpected textures.  Think paper mache’, raw wood, felt, concrete…..
don't be scared to add a few rustic elements to offset all the shine

don’t be scared to add a few rustic elements to offset all the shine

  •  Deck the halls – Think beyond your floor and table surfaces!  To make a real statement we suggest suspending decorations from the ceiling. By doing this, it really defines your entire space and makes it oh-so dramatic and wow!
suspending decorations really adds depth to your interior and makes for a very spectaculars scene

suspending decorations really adds depth to your interior and makes for a very spectaculars scene

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  • Be bold with colour – Gone are the days when Christmas strictly meant green, red, gold and silver! There are no rules anymore when it comes to colour, and Christmas is no exception! Think neons, orange and pink, chartreuse and petrol blue!
a mustard yellow Christmas colour scheme

a mustard yellow Christmas colour scheme

orange and pink

orange and pink

  • Say it right! – If you follow our blog, you would have read our post about using text in interiors.  Text is a graphic, fun and playful tool to use in a modern decor scheme and Christmas is no exception. Surround your space with words highlighting the festive season. Merry, festive, love, family, bright, shiny, holidays, relaxing, friends, fun…. just seeing the words capture the feeling!
say it with text

say it with text


all the festive words help create the atmosphere

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With such a stylish, glamorous Christmas scene created, the only thing left is to make sure to have the perfect outfit to complement it……………..

nothing says Christmas more than a pair of sequined sparkly pants!

nothing says Christmas more than a pair of sequined sparkly pants!

Have fun creating your festive wonderland!



You know you love me. Gossip Girl.” We are sure you’ve heard that line before!

What about the theme song to Friends? Pretty much imbedded in your memory? … We thought so!

Television has infiltrated the hearts and homes of masses across the globe, and even for those who wouldn’t consider themselves fans, the popularity of TV series is too hard to ignore.  According to a survey done by the UK’s Daily Mail, an estimated 4.6 million UK homeowners are so obsessed with interiors seen in sitcoms and dramas that they’ve spent thousands of pounds filling their own homes with identical furniture and interior design features.

If you are a Gossip Girl fan you will know that the interiors on that show are just AMAZING! Every set created for the show manages to express the character`s personalities – from Blair Waldorf’s Parisian boudoir to Chuck Bass’s contemporary ultra-cool bachelors pad. An eclectic mix of classic and contemporary help build the stories and encompass the luxurious and glamorous lifestyles of the Upper East Side. Some design features that totally stand out for us is the striking butterfly wall installation over Serina’s bed, as well as all the modern art in Chuck’s penthouse and The Van der Woodsen home. (Hello Prada sign!)

Serena's bedroom from Gossip Girl

Serena’s bedroom from Gossip Girl


The Van Der Woodsen Living Room – look at all the art!

Chuck Bass's penthouse

Chuck Bass’s penthouse

Blair Waldorf's bedroom

Blair Waldorf’s bedroom

The interior designer that designed the Gossip Girl sets also did set design for another Manhatten-based fav of ours: “Sex and the City“. According to the Daily Mail survey, the TV home that’s held in the highest regard is Carrie Bradshaw’s aspirational apartment from Sex & The City. Carrie’s closet. Need we say more?! (Her shoe collection can stay too!)

Carries closet

Carries closet

Other living rooms from TV sitcoms that rank high up on replications are the apartments from Friends, Big Bang Theory, How I Met you Mother, Will and Grace, Frasier and even The Simpsons! And it doesn’t stop there. The TV series The Good Wife has even inspired a range of furniture and accessories aptly called The Good Wife Collection. The modern-luxe interiors gained such a following that the collection was launched. It includes sofas, chairs, desks, tables, as well as scatters and other accessories. These are available to buy here

Alicia's living room from The Good Wife

Alicia’s living room from The Good Wife

If you not into buying the actual furniture or artworks from your favourite show, then you can buy the plan and have it forever framed on your wall! A Spanish interior designer has become famous for drawing up floor plans of all the popular TV shows, and sells them online. ( So even tho shows like Friends or Sienfeld are no longer, they can be immortalised, and in this way, they serve as a link to the past… a memory.

the apartments from Friends

the apartments from Friends

It’s not just living rooms that are inspirational! What about Harvey ‘s masculine, man-pad, contemporary office in Suits? The modern-classic furniture, contemporary styling  and open plan office layout of Pearson Hardman makes for a very on-trend office space. The warm timbers and luxurious marble in the foyer are high up on our office style radar. The Spectator’s office interior from Gossip Girl is another office interior that is full of designer furniture, bold colours and contemporary styling.

Harvey's office from Suits

Harvey’s office from Suits

The lobby of Pearson Hardman , Suits

The lobby of Pearson Hardman , Suits

the boardroom of The Spectator in Gossip Girl

the boardroom of The Spectator in Gossip Girl

Given how much time we spend watching TV shows it’s perhaps not surprising that those same spaces leave an undeniable impression on us!

We would love to hear about your favourite interior from a TV ! Have a super weekend! xoxo

the perfect living room as inspired by TV shows- Daily Mail survey

the perfect living room as inspired by TV shows- Daily Mail survey