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In the latest Big Idea Issue 95 we introduce you to the new service guard; a group of skilled and resourceful artisans who will assist you in making all your ideas for your home a reality.

Too many designs are being abandoned because people don’t know how to implement them, or where to find what they are looking for. There are people out there who can help.


Meet the vivacious Sandalene from Miyabi. She custom-made us the most exquisite copper chairs and table for our Design Indaba stand. We sat her down and found out exactly what else she can do for you.

Describe your service.
I make chairs for homes, restaurants, shops, offices etc. using natural materials and lots of different textures and colours. I have turned the concept of the old traditional ‘school chair’ on its head by using different materials and textures.

How did you get into this line of work?
My husband Luke told me that he was opening another restaurant, The Pot Luck Club (he had one already – The Test Kitchen). I’d had an idea of a chair and begged him to let me try it out for his new restaurant. After much persuasion, he eventually let me show him what I had in mind. It worked perfectly for the space and I haven’t stopped making chairs ever since.

What makes custom/bespoke services so important?
I think that it is very difficult these days to have something that is unique and made exactly to your taste and exists only in your space. You end up having a much greater connection to your space if you’ve had a personal hand in creating it.

What is your dream commission?
 Oh goodness, maybe to furnish Kate Moss or Lily Allen’s homes.

What is something people don’t know about your line of work?
I don’t think people realise how much work goes into making a chair. The amount of thought, planning, running around etc. that goes into manufacturing is quite something. I really love making chairs, but there are a lot of herbals along the way.

Any advice or tips when commissioning, designing, decorating?
Try not to be too fixed on one idea or look, as you will be depriving yourself of so many wonderful options.

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Sandalene Dale-Roberts