Located a stone’s throw away from the trendy Woodstock Exchange, Sussex Studios is a new creative concept that fuses living, lifestyle and design in a unique way. Kara Furter and Mary-Anne Grobler of design studio King Juliet, in conjunction with Wessel Botes of Nest Living, are launching an interactive lifestyle destination slash residential space as well.

ELLE chatted to Kara and Wessel about what to expect:



You define Sussex Open Studios as an interactive lifestyle destination and residential development. How do the two concepts go together?

King Juliet was inspired to create an interactive lifestyle pop-up community in Cape Town. Thinking outside the box, real estate company Nest Living and Dawie Swart Developments was looking at innovative ways to sell property and loved King Juliet’s idea of a lifestyle pop-up, and so the idea was born – a combination of design, lifestyle products and property. However, finding the ideal space proved difficult. And then Sussex Studios came along a couple of months ago: the development is part of the Woodstock Urban Renewal Zone, where old buildings are redeveloped into new creative spaces. So, together, it made sense to find a common goal in aiming to market property in a new and exciting way.

Where does the idea come from?
A visit to Spazio Rossana Orlandi in Milan during Design Week sparked our interest to curate a similar interactive design platform in Cape Town. Spazio Rossana Orlandi, a former tie factory, was transformed into a space to showcase limited-edition design pieces from up-and-coming designers from around the world. We translated this concept to be locally relevant by focusing on local designers.

Tell us about the residential development Sussex Studios?
Sussex Studios consists of 19 beautifully crafted apartments designed by Boukuns Architecture and Design. The industrial origins of the building creates very unique spaces, with 6m-high ceilings and large steel-framed windows facing the harbour and Signal Hill. The industrial feel of the property is contrasted by additional finer details. Each of the apartments has built-in antique sideboards sourced from all around Woodstock, forming the sink units as part of the glossy white and oak kitchens. Local accessories designers Pedersen and Lennard designed the bathroom fixtures.

What are 3 reasons to be excited about Sussex Open Studios?

  1. The opportunity to invest in these incredible New York-style apartments while supporting local designers’ high-quality designs.
  2. The chance to sip on tequila cocktails and enjoy tasty tacos from Salud Taqueria.
  3. The chance to meet like-minded people and interact with local designers in a space that is soulfully dedicated to this.


The article was first published on elle.co.za