Textile developer and interior designer Ilze Swart shares her ideas to create a stylish, soulful space. As seen in our September Heritage issue, Ilze’s home and showroom in Stellenbosch’s leafy Jonkershoek channels the classic elegance and quiet restraint of a more antique aesthetic.
Describing herself as ‘a simple girl from the farm’ Ilze attributes her country upbringing to the understated style and aesthetic of both her textile company Ithaca Fine Homeware and home decor.
Ilze Swart’s top five tips for creating a stylish, soulful space:
1. Narrow your focus
‘A home is like a canvas: you need to decide what you want the eye to see. The canvas should therefore be as simple as possible. Then you make things pop. You walk into a room and suddenly you see something – not necessarily because that piece is special, but because it’s been placed in the correct space, in the right light, and it grabs your attention above the other things in the room.’
2. Less is more
‘When you remove the clutter from your space, you make things more visible. The eye must always be pleased.’
3. Pay attention to lighting
‘It’s actually an art in itself. I’m not a fan of downlighters, which need to be spaced very carefully. Make sure you never have a downlighter above a couch. It’s all about layering. Even the lighting on a piece of art can be used to illuminate the room for a subdued effect. It’s all about creating an ambience.’
4. Go easy on older pieces of furniture
‘My rule in a space is, not too many. Rather go for one piece that grabs your attention.’
5. Choose artworks that complement your palette
‘Colour in the artworks I choose is very important to me because I work in muted tones. I like the art in a room to blend in, rather than overwhelm the space, although there are always exceptions. There are also those pieces that need to grab your eye.’