Cape Town agency – Instant Grass

In 2011 when this project started, I promised to post a proper BEFORE&AFTER, so here it is. The revamp shots of Cape Town agency Instant Grass. All this fun was the doing of interiors man Jaco Janse van Rensburg – thanks also to the supakeen (and hugely trusting) Instant Grass agency bosses who gave him carte blanche to do whatever – along with some interesting licorice-like paint from the people at Earthcote.

BEFORE: lobby meeting room

AFTER: lobby meeting room

BEFORE: The viewing room

AFTER: the viewing room

AFTER: the viewing room – coated in Midas Envirolite, customised turquoise ‘Song of Norway’.

BEFORE: storage and executive meeting area

AFTER: storage and executive meeting area. Earthcote Dorado textured metallics were used on the cupboard fronts.

BEFORE: studio area

AFTER: studio area

BEFORE: kitchen

AFTER: kitchen

Paints by Midas & Earthcote: Customised turquoise keys with the viewing room curtaining / Gritty Earthcote in charcoal ‘Ja Boetie Johan’ was used on most walls. Ceilings painted in flat matt Midas Envirolite ‘Liquorice’

Go to to see more and see Jaco’s moodboards on 

All ‘After’ images by Russell Smith

Check out Instant Grass at


Go to the Elle Decor blog for the How To tweet and win one of these droolsome jars by Frauke Stegmann.

Gold remains on a skyward path. So too does the desire to surround ourselves with things glinty and sparkly. So when you’ve sent your tweet, pick up a copy of Elle Decor and see how to do a gold doily wall covered in sparkly Earthcote Frost. Scroll down to my earlier post, Frost In December, to get a taster.

Also scope out how five South African creative celebs are interpreting Earthcote’s earthy urban look – all in the 48 page Freeworld wall decor ideas section, at the back of Elle Deco. It’s Christmas. Time to turn our lights on.

IMAGES: Elle Decor


Earthcote shimmer fx at The Reserve

Slide down to my earlier postcard if you’d like to see all the bubbly people having fun at The Reserve. Or stay with me if you want to get the How To for doing walls that look like they’ve been hosed down with Moët.

The champagne effect was achieved using a base coat of Earthcote Dorado, a shimmery, metallic textured paint, in the very palest silver-white colour. Then on top of that, a layer of Earthcote Frost. Frost can be applied over any colour you like, and it looks quite literally like snowfall on a wall, all opaque and twinkly. Simon Fraser of Earthcote, who worked on the idea with interior designer Manuela Candido, said the insider tip here was to mix glitter into the Frost, to turn up the sparkle.

Here’s how Simon’s ‘Methode’ looks on the plaster mouldings next to the very solid old marble inlays. It’s pretty. And at night, in flickering light, these walls sing like Nina Simone.


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My Joburg friends are asking where they can go. What they mean is, new and interesting places to go to when they get to Cape Town for the Chirstmas hols.

My day job led me to some fun discoveries last month when I had to go see about some walls in Adderley Street. So I’m happy to be able to add value to their to-do lists.

Look, up top, at the people partying at The Reserve. This place is fun on toast and it’s now finally open.

The press release said: ‘Cape Town had an urgent need of an up-market club for discerning patrons that want to escape, live the dream and have fun.’ I wasn’t aware of the urgency but I am glad someone’s taken it seriously.

The Reserve, 130 Adderley Street, Cape Town

The Reserve is in the historic 150 year old ABC building that used to be a bank, with ceilings that are nearly twelve meters high, walls done in marble, brass wherever you look, chandeliers to swing from. The interior concept is by Manuela Candido.

As you enter the building into the bar, you get swept away by a wild Tony Duquette styled room. The walls of the first bar bar are painted in both flat colors in various shades of green with palm tree murals and the odd parrot and monkey. Lots of leopard skin and floral fabrics with palm tree cocktail tables, pink duco-ed accents and colour that keeps popping to the sound of champagne corks. The Bar is also pure fantasy, with its proudly kitsch 1950’s Palm Springs vibe. The actual lounge is reminiscent of a Munich-style 1930’s  burlesque room. Plush banquette seating is surrounded by dance floor podiums for whoever feels like leaping up and shaking their booty.

The piece de resistance is the DJ birdcage done in gold leaf.

There is no cover charge but you have to call or email to be guest listed. Invitations are sent out to a ‘select market’ on The Reserve’s database. Themed dress-up parties happen every weekend and you have to be on the list to get into one of them.

Like I said, because work demanded, I had to go there to see how it’s possible that a wall could look like the inside of a bottle of Bollinger. So I snuck in.

Next, I need to tell you about party walls and how to make them using a couple of tins of Earthcote and a tube of glitter. But first I need a disco nap.

The Reserve111 ST Georges Mall, Cape Town021 424 0102,info@millerprive.comVIP HOST MIKAEL 071 1515166


I bumped into this lovely stack of tyres, winking at me from the side of the road in Palmer Rd, Muizenberg.

It’s outside the studio of Riaan Chambers, who makes beautiful chandeliers, screens, mosaic frescos and other remarkable things out of bits of found stuff, mostly. Riaan is famous for his lights. Designed to go places, many end up in swanky hotels and homes all over the world. He makes eye-boggling lightships with twigs and shells and things. Like this one:

Or anemone-like clusters of shells like this.

If you like Riaan’s tyres or want to shine up a few things of your own, you’ll achieve something similar with Earthcote’s metallic Dorado paint in bronze, copper, silver or pewter.

Metallics also work nicely on walls. This playful loo at the Olympia Cafe, Kalk Bay (famous for its seafood) was done in Earthcote metallics by designer-artist Alistair Palmer.