Halfampieskraal is no ordinary farm. Hidden behind the facade of the 250-year-old homestead is a room so fantastical it’s easy to think it’s an explorer’s tropical forest hide-out. The room’s most impressive feature, a large mural, sets the backdrop for the conservatory’s lush greenery, quirky treasures and curiosities. Owner Jan-Georg Solms tells us more…
What was the inspiration behind the plantation room? ‘I love the idea of plants, and especially trees in a room. I once said that if I could, I would fill an entire room with a plantation – and I guess the idea kind of stuck with me.’
How did the room come about? ‘It used to be one big entrance hall – my parents called it the “leë vertrek” (the empty room) for many years when they lived here. I furnished it, but it still was an unused space. One day we held a wedding in the garden when the weather changed for the worst; all 60 guests tried to cram into the entrance hall to get warm. We realised then that we could change the room so that it could be used as part of the stoep.’
How did you ‘curate’ your pieces in the Plantation Room? ‘The English mahogany cabinet was the anchor of the room. It became our ‘cabinet of curiosities’ and was filled very quickly. Friends always arrive with even more curiosities (such as the wooden skull, for instance) – the only things that shuffle around are the plants.’
To read the full interview with Jan-Georg and to see more of this plantation room, get the latest Spring Issue of Elle Decoration.
* Production by Lin Murray; Photographs by Inge Prins