20.07.2020

Simple Living

The small things that make home, home

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Words + styling: Sanri Pienaar | Photography: Inge Prins

Every house needs a solid foundation and good basics make for a warm, well-functioning home. As we navigate our "new normal", purpose and longevity have become even more of a priority – and rightfully so, since we're spending most of our time in our homes. Here, we talk basics... and that doesn't have to mean boring. Crisp white sheets, durable jute rugs and neutral kitchen utensils stay timeless, but the things that make up our must-haves depend on who you ask, since they're unique to each of us. We turned to our Home + Living team to share what's always at the top of their lists.

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Nandi Kona, Content Manager

How do you define basics?
Those go-to items that make you feel at home. They are the first things you buy when moving into a new space. They form the base of your home decor and are the items you replenish time and time again.

What are the key factors you consider when buying basics for your home?
Quality is important – these are items I use on a daily basis, so I need them to last. And style. Whatever it may be, whether it’s scatter cushions or simple white linen for my bed, it’s always specific to my taste and needs to complement the room.

What basics do you feel make your house a home?
Aroma diffuser, candles, curtains... when I go to people’s homes, I always remember their curtains for some reason. Candles, because there is something so cosy about them. They say "I love it here" by just being there. And wall art. I have paintings I bought when I moved to my first apartment and these have been with me everywhere.

What are your top essentials for the following rooms:
Kitchen?
A solid pan. I recently bought a new grilling pan and it’s my favourite thing to use in the kitchen. I can prepare an entire meal with it. Lounge? Scatter cushions – it’s all about cosiness, warmth, comfort and adding character. Bedroom? Soft bed sheets and pillows that are comfy and good on your skin. Bathroom? Good white towels and bath sheets.

What comfort do these items bring to you?
They’re reliable, bring joy to my day and again, they offer great quality. That's one less thing to worry about when I'm at home, so I can get on with the business of enjoying it.

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Leila Petersen, Writer

How do you define basics?
Something I can't simply live without. Timeless and durable, they bring me comfort and ease.

What are the key factors you consider when buying basics for your home?
Quality is key for me. I don't believe in buying loads of things and rather concentrate on buying the best. In the long run, it saves you money as it lasts much longer.

What basics do you feel make your house a home?
Filling your house with pieces of furniture and accessories that tell a story instantly make a space feel more welcoming and authentic. I always buy something interesting for my house on my travels and many times they have become conversation starters. Hanging art and pictures, adding plants and introducing prints by way of rugs and cushions also instantly make a house feel like a home.

What are your top essentials for the following rooms:
Kitchen?
The perfect pan to fry my eggs and a great mug filled with my coffee. Lounge? A comfortable sofa. Bedroom and bathroom? Lots of storage baskets. My bathroom is not the biggest, so storage baskets help me organise the chaos.

What comfort do these items bring to you?
They all help make my life so much easier. A good cup of coffee in my favourite mug helps me start my day or tackle a task. And nothing beats relaxing on a comfortable sofa reading a book – pure joy!

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Chris Viljoen, Fashion Director

How do you define basics?
At home, they have a different meaning to how I see basics in fashion. Somehow an interior space needs more: more feeling, more warmth, more personality.

What are the key factors you consider when buying basics for your home?
Quality and uniqueness are the main requirements, and then only do I consider practicality. I know that's back to front, but the mood of items and what they look like are very important to us (...yes, we need consensus in our house or it doesn't enter the front door).

What basics do you feel make your house a home?
"
Life" in our house is super important and since lockdown, our three cats and a huge number of plant pets have become an integral part of what we feel home is. I love flowers. Even just a leaf or something fresh in a vase makes me feel good. I am a sucker for a scented candle. An appealing scent in a room can create a very inviting and unique mood. They all help with the feeling of a place for us.

What are your top essentials for the following rooms:
Kitchen?
The stove. Nothing smells more like home than a roast chicken in the oven. Lounge? Good comfortable seating. I don't want things to match, but they must live very nicely next to one another. Bedroom? Bed linen is super important. Buy the best you can afford, then your bed looks good even if you didn't make it. Bathroom? I like a good bar of soap – something that smells like old-fashioned clean.

What comfort do these items bring to you?
I believe a handsome house that feels good is more important than a lot of stuff that only fulfils a purpose or ends up looking clinical. We need houses that feel good and that we want to spend time in, especially now.

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Deon Petersen, Head of Digital Design

How do you define basics?
A good set of dining plates, because I enjoy cooking. I believe a nice, clean, simple plate finishes it off and makes the food taste better.

What are the key factors you consider when buying basics for your home?
They need to be able to match any tone and colour scheme I create.

What basics do you feel make your house a home?
Beautiful crisp, clean bedding for resting on and a great set of whiskey glass for those long days.

What are your top essentials for the following rooms:
Kitchen?
Glassware. Lounge? Couch. Bedroom? Bedding. Bathroom? Plants and candles.

What comfort do these items bring to you?
They make coming home each day more rewarding.

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Nhlanhla Masemola, Platform Content Editor

How do you define basics?
Something that every home needs. To me, it's an item that is ostensibly functional and will last many, many years. I think it’s also an item that has a versatile appeal. A simple chair or beautiful lamp are essentials that could give a room function and flair.

What are the key factors you consider when buying basics for your home?
I’m boring and really easy to please when it comes to choosing essentials for my home. I place function before anything else. For me, if something does "exactly what it says on the can", then I’m happy. Naturally, everything tends to be clinical looking, which is good since I tend to get creatively overstimulated.

What basics do you feel make your house a home?
Whatever makes it a place that I can relax and feel safe in. Some of my home basics include a sofa, comfy bed, desk, coffee table rug and lamp. But really, it’s family or friends that transform a place of residence into a home.

What are your top essentials for the following rooms:
Kitchen?
A good kitchen is one with helpful utensils, so a sharp paring knife would be one. Lounge? A three-seater couch. Bedroom? (Besides a bed.) It’s important to have a quality duvet cover. Bathroom? I'd include a braided basket. It’s a simple storage solution.

What comfort do these items bring to you?
With these items, I know I have a few of my bases covered. I don't necessarily have to be concerned with whether they pull a room together or that they’re on-trend.

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