After showing Rupert Smith and Warren Matthee’s home in Wednesday’s post, I thought it might be interesting to show you more of their boutique store,, Chemistry of Living. I went to the store to take some snaps, and also managed to pin Rupert down and get him to answer a couple of questions:

What is concept behind ?
Warren and I started about 10 years ago, and the idea was that is would be an outlet for local creatives, and also somewhere we could show the things we are attracted to. It started out as a tiny shop that was going to be a “hobby” for when we were not busy. But 10 years later, i’s become something a lot bigger and more time consuming.

I’m always unsure how to pronounce Can you help? is pronounced like the word “olive”. The spelling is a play on words, highlighting the word “live”. We included the unusual punctuation as a bit of a joke, because we came up with the name at the time of the .com boom.

How much of what we see at reflects in your home?
There is definitely a crossover between our house and the shop. Both are filled with things that we love, and we’re often torn between what to keep and what to put in the shop.

What are you noticing in terms of trends, reflected in your store?
I do think that retro / vintage is very big, and combining it with new and old makes for an interesting mix. Of course, these days we need to be thinking green, and embraces this by finding and updating old furniture, as well as having tables and benches manufactured from reclaimed wood.

What are some of your favorites in right now?
Vintage gold porcelain tea set , framed vintage horse prints , feather inner pillows for lounging and elongated reclaimed wooden table and benches re upholstered 50’s and 60’s lounge suites.

Thanks, Rupert (and Warren too)! Visit, chemistry of living at the bottom of Kloof Street in Cape town.