The editor of Condé Nast House & Garden on the Superbalist gear to elevate your home
Having worked on several titles covering all aspects of lifestyle, fashion, design, decor and the luxury sector, Leigh Robertson is currently at the helm of Condé Nast House & Garden, where she's been tasked with taking a successful, established heritage brand from a print title to a resilient, multi-platform force in an increasingly tough publishing environment.
Leigh's home is a case of life imitating art, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. Ultimately her home is a sanctuary rather than a showpiece, which, like many of the best homes that appear in her magazine, is personal, intimate, eclectic and reflects her and her husband Nick's fascinating lives.
“I live in an apartment, so I don’t have the luxury of a lot of space. Unlike many of the homes we feature, there’s been neither architect nor interior designer involved here, but rather a balance achieved (not without a few skirmishes along the way) between my partner’s taste for minimalism and my own penchant for collecting things.”
We asked Leigh to curate a selection of Superbalist's best homeware and proffer her tips in making our homes more stylish spaces.
“Go for quality over quantity. Always. Channel the Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetics, which both tend towards the less-is-more philosophy. Make the most of well kept wooden or parquet floors, using rugs as accent features and to bring warmth into your space. Invest in a few special pieces with longevity. Buy the best bed linen you can afford. It makes all the difference.”
“While this is neither ‘new’ nor a ‘trend’, the focus on authentic, ethical craftsmanship, with an emphasis on the maker and the materials used, does seem to be gaining traction, which is a really good thing. We’re seeing this approach right across the design milieu. Something exciting to watch is the intersection of craft and technology, past and future, where new processes allow for incredible artistic expression. The beauty of craft and the skill of the maker are no less valid when enhanced by 3-D printing, for example.”
“I’ve gone for simple, classic shapes and a minimal palette. I also looked for more rustic, textured pieces using good materials and displaying a level of craftsmanship, rather than anything that might look too trendy or throwaway.”
“There’s definitely a Scandi influence, which would work well with my own white-painted wooden floors and white walls – although I can see these items working just as well in a room with a lot of black: black or dark-stained wooden floors, charcoal walls, and, of course, masses of plants. A couple of plants would look really good in those baskets.”
“Our May issue is all about getting inspired for winter, so if you were thinking of splurging on a wood-burning fireplace, for example, we’ve done the necessary research to make the hunt a little easier. There are some particularly good decor ideas for the season, as seen in a spread we’ve called ‘Cabin Fever’, which features lots of bare wood and organic forms layered with textured plaids and velvets. Of the houses we’ve selected there’s one that really stands out: a cleverly reimagined Victorian cottage in Cape Town with a mind-blowing collection of art and one-off pieces of furniture. It’s a master-class in how to curate a soulful modern interior.”