I stuck my head into Cape Town agency Instant Grass over the weekend to see some of the w.i.p. that I scribbled a post on last week. [Instant Grass Revamp] Jaco Janse van Rensburg, designer in command of the new look, was busy experimenting with Earthcote patinas in bronze, copper, pewter and granite on some of the built-in office cupboards. These will key with Paul Smith vertical striped curtains in close proximity. You’ll get the picture soon – just as soon as I can snap and send. Coming up. The curtains are still with the curtain makers, but bits of happy hipness have started to trickle in, and it’s looking hot. The dominant wall colour is Licorice by Midas, against which bright elements leap out at you with pops and pings. Black is the bass guitar of colours. It allows other colours to play so nicely. Even the red electrical cover plate looks like it owns that wall. Jaco and I had a chat about the effect of black, and how it redeems aesthetic crimes like electrical wiring, conduit covers and the ghosts of past inhabitants. We’re knocked out by how black does a ‘white-out’ of such stuff. When using black in a big and peculiarly angled interior such as this one, it’s a nice idea to use different textures on different surfaces – but all in the same depth of intensity and tone. The light plays differently on each surface, giving the place much more interesting dimension and a softness that’s completely unexpected, for black. Have a look at the walls above. These are all painted in the same tone of black. Jaco used blackboard paint, Earthcote Windswept and Midas Envirolite Zero VOC acrylic. Yet in certain shots the colour seems more taupe than black. I’m looking forward to seeing the angle poise lamps looking poised in situ, and the Mary Poppins umbrellas flying high. I’ll send more soon.

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