Lucie Bartlett - new kid on the block at Elle Decoration South Africa

We’re quite sure you’ve noticed how exciting our website and social media platforms are looking. And just wait until you read our feature stories in the upcoming Winter Issue, #Winter102. We’ll tell you our secret; we have a new wunderkind on the team.

Meet Lucie Bartlett, our new digital/virtuoso/wordsmith. She wears a lot of clashing prints and patterns, has a darling accent and we’re thrilled to have her on the team…

What is your background?
Storytelling, really. Since I was 5 when I wrote my first ‘book’ (6 pages long about rabbits), I’ve just loved words. A 10-year Marketing & Comms career has led me from sporting celebrities, through red carpet film premieres and landing, with a passion, in fashion and design.

I’ve also blogged for the love of writing since 2009 – essentially WordPress is my second home – and at DECO I get to combine the lot. Oh, and I’m a Brit, fresh off the boat from London, so I suppose that qualifies me in tea-drinking and surviving rain-soaked summers too.

Lucie Bartlett | Elle Decoration SA

What do you find most exciting about the SA decor and design landscape?
For me, everything is new, so it’s all exciting. I’ve found there is a tremendous entrepreneurial spirit here – if you’re creative, driven and can monetize your idea, then it seems like the sky’s the limit. The rich cultural histories make this country a melting pot of disciplines and in a landscape this pretty, even the sunset on the daily commute home offers an inspirational colour palette. There’s an insatiable appetite for new design and home improvement – just keeping up with all the new kids on the block is an effort in itself.

Best shop for décor, locally and abroad?
That love of storytelling makes me most at home rooting around antique and fabric stores, so in setting up our new Cape Town home I’ve lost days to the independent stores lining the main roads through Woodstock and Kalk Bay. Though my one true love in London is Liberty – possibly the greatest store in the world – and the colourful alleyways of Covent Garden’s Seven Dials.

Lucie Bartlett | Elle Decoration SA
The colourful corners of Seven Dials in London’s Covent Garden | Lucie’s must-have bedside tome, Gretchen Rubin’s ‘Happiness Journal’

A whole bunch of things. I’m good at picking up new books and scattering them, unfinished, around the house. Current half-read tomes include Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love and Bill Bryson’s At Home. I’m also busy keeping Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Journal up to date and I just ordered Carson Ellis’s adorable picture book Home from the States, which is just darling.

What are you listening to at the moment?
The toe-tapping gypsy jazz sounds of Manouche. I discovered them in February when they played at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill and their album has been on repeat in my car’s CD player ever since.

Game of Thrones, season-by-seasonI finally succumbed to the hype from all of my friends and I’m pleased to say that they weren’t wrong. It is utterly mesmerising.

What are your favourite websites for inspiration
A bit of a mish mash of interests here… | colourful, crafty lifestyle tips | cultural happenings in SA | mindfulness and living right | my life guru | for those setting up home away from home

Lucie Bartlett | Elle Decoration SA

Top 5 people to follow on instagram?
@graymalin | for inspiring images from a fine art photographer
@wishwishwish | British blogger Carrie Harwood whose personal aesthetic I just adore
@LaurenConrad | reality star turned entreprenur, my life guru
@100_layercake | colourful craft amidst wonderful weddings
@instacptguy | Heinrich Knoetze capturing my stunningly beautiful adopted home city

Favourite quote from a book?
“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Best advice you ever received?
‘Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good’. It’s a Voltaire quote that absolutely sums up my best and worst qualities in one fell swoop.

Worst decor trend?
Clutter-free minimalist kitchens where everything is lost behind identical doors. I’m a messy cook and I like to be surrounded by the essentials; it’s more inspiring. Give me utensils hanging above my work surface and a spice rack within arms’ reach and I’ll be happy.

Lucie Bartlett | Elle Decoration SA
Lucie’s parents’ kitchen back in the U.K. is her favourite dinner spot in the world 

Top restaurant in the world?
My parents’ kitchen. It’s now 6,000 miles away which has given me a new appreciation for its culinary delights.

Bubbles or beer?
Other than with a Jerry’s burger, which has to be a half of London ale, it will be bubbles, every time.


Follow Lucie @luciebartlett on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Read more about Lucie’s journey as a Brit in South Africa at