While brainstorming ideas for our upcoming Green issue, stylish planters from Hobby dropped into our inbox; bold as brass and elegantly suspended on tough leather. As guest writer Janine Saal discovers, they are beautiful, practical and right on trend.
Dynamic couple Dieter and Stephanie van den Bergh have design in their DNA. Having studied and grown up with design all around them, it was no surprise that it followed them right into adulthood. They have a passion for what they do, whilst recognising trends like experts and always staying true to their craft and brand – thus, their new craft platform Hobby came to be.
Kicking off by redefining the way you look at the humble planter, this ever-expanding range has plenty more to come. DECO sat down with the pair to discover more about their growing brand…
Can you introduce the Hobby concept in a nutshell?
Hobby is a platform for us to experiment, make and collaborate. We joined the world of employment a year ago, and we both really started missing making things, so on weekends, we’d find projects or hobbies. Our goal is to learn ‘old’ skills and then develop and modernise them, to create small batches of products. Hobby is not only defined to homeware and décor, but that’s how we’ve started.
What trends did you identify early on to make Hobby a success?
We are both in the fashion and design industry; trend-forecasting and observing trends is part of our daily consciousness. The last few years have seen a big return to craftsmanship, and this is what we want to explore through Hobby.
Where in our homes would you say the Hobby range is best suited and why?
At the moment we only have our stylish planters available and there really is no more or less-suited space for them! We made them initially as we wanted to hang a bunch of them in our bathroom. They work so well as the air plants love the moisture and they add that scandi pop to our all-white, tiled, previously sterile basin area. The Macrame hangers (below) look great in a kitchen window, carrying your favourite herbs, or in an empty sunny corner in your lounge.
Where do you see product design trends going in South Africa in relation to home design?
We visited 100% Design South Africa and Decorex SA recently and were so incredibly inspired. It was beautiful to see how South-African design really has its own voice. Wood, glass, brass, stone and natural textiles and craftsmanship and a pride of quality and finishes stood out; also how our country’s mix of cultures inspires a totally different fusion of design. We think and hope that a design philosophy that is organic, eclectic and personalised will be the future, using sustainable material, supporting local communities and craftsman, and investing in custom or handmade goods rather than generic ‘stuff’.
How do you plan on expanding the product range? What is in store?
We have a few ideas up our sleeves… we know a couple of talented people, and want to start working on some collaborations.
What was the design thinking behind the traditional and contemporary mix?
The whole idea behind Hobby was to play around with ideas, revisiting old techniques and giving them a spruce-up, and generally just making things which we like and want to have in our house. There is no set look, but everything we like and make goes together.
How important are sustainable design principles and business practices at Hobby?
We try use only natural materials, everything is 100% handmade and as the brand grows, we would like to work with local crafters and artisans.
How can ELLE Decoration readers purchase your designer planters?
We currently sell online at hellopretty.co.za/hobby. Come and have a look.
All images provided by Hobby.
SHOP THE HOBBY RANGE:
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Deco guest writer Janine Saal is a CPUT graduate and loves anything and everything to do with design and décor. Her passion lies in helping the everyday reader to understand the wide world of interior design. Currently she is working for Collaboration in Woodstock where her passion meets execution. She is a yogi in the morning, a designer by day and writer/avid series fanatic at night. You can follow her on Instagram too.