Interior design lover, creative and mother, we chat to the lovely Tash South about her design consultancy South Place Studio, home styling and her new graphic art prints.
We are thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with Tash and learn about how she designed her own home, her career and her brilliant brand South Place Studio. With a shared love for all things design, Tash talks to us about her interior influences, creative projects and more. On top of this, not only do we talk decorating advice, but we also discuss the launch of her fabulous new Art Prints at Rockett St George. So, if you want to know more about how Tash built her dream family home and interiors business, read below to discover more...
Let’s start at the very beginning, tell us about yourself and your interior design brand South Place Studio?
I live in North London with my husband and 2 daughters, in a house that we self-built from scratch. When we started the self-build process, I started a blog and Instagram account to document the progress, after a while, I started getting enquiries from people to help them with their renovations, and it all grew from there! Unfortunately, about four years ago, I was having a difficult time at my current job position, so I decided to take the risk, leave my job, and start South Place Studio. Our philosophy is to design beautiful, live-able, modern spaces with a highly functional base, which brings ease to our clients’ busy, daily lives. It has always been my vision to grow the brand and branch out into other areas, like workshops and a homeware range.
Have you always been into design and interiors? What did you do before you set up your interior design consultancy?
I have been involved in design in one way or another since I was very young, I studied advertising, marketing and graphic design in Cape Town, South Africa, where I was born, and worked at various design agencies in Cape Town and London for over 16 years before making the change over into interiors.
Talk us through your most recent project. What was your inspiration behind the project?
Our most recent project was a complete 3-storey home renovation and reconfiguration in Highgate, North London. It was such a fun project! I took inspiration from my clients for this project, they had a fun sense of style and totally trusted us with the design. We were bold with colours and wallpaper in places, and designed many bespoke items for them, like oversized circular gold-leafed door handles, and a kitchen island with a cut brass detail.
When decorating or shopping, what influences your own personal style at home?
I love natural and organic forms and materials, like wood, marble and brass, but prefer them to be more toned-down and patinated, rather than shiny and ostentatious. Clean, simple lines and architectural forms also catch my eye, I think this is because of my many years as a graphic designer! My personal style is also inspired by my South African roots,well-designed homes, hotels and restaurants in Cape Town, exude a kind of easy, beachy, relaxed luxury that I just love.
Which room in your home do you and your family spend the most time in? How have you worked your interiors to suit the space?
We definitely spend the most time in the open-plan kitchen-diner, I designed the space to function, flow and adapt well to testing, daily family life, and entertaining! The engineered wood floors are beautiful but practical and will gain a few knocks over time, I chose a composite worktop over real marble as you can’t be too precious about anything with kids about! I love cooking, so having a large dining table for big get-togethers was a must-have. The small snug is painted in off-black to intensify the cosy feeling and create contrast between the living area and kitchen-diner. The kitchen island is clad in natural brass and is slowly gaining a lovely patina, I designed it to be on castors so we have the flexibility of moving it around the room.
What piece of art, artefact or furniture in your home has a special significance to you and why?
I have a few special pieces of sentimental value, but one of my favourites is a hand-painted Ostrich egg from Cape Town – a birthday gift from my mum, who still lives in Cape Town. Every time I hold it I am transported back to the buzzing craft markets there. Seeing what people do to earn their daily bread is humbling and amazing, people literally make art out of trash. From artwork made out of soft drink cans to intricate basket weaving, beadwork, pottery, art to music, dancing and drumming, the wealth of talent is beyond belief.
For someone who is thinking of redecorating their home, what top tip would you give to them?
Think about function first. Plan your layout well and always make sure you include enough storage – and then you can layer the fun stuff on top.
We simply adore your new modern graphic art prints, now available to shop at Rockett St George! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind these boldly beautiful pieces of art?
Beyond excited that Rockett St George will be launching and selling my new boutique collection of prints!
I wanted to combine my South African roots and my graphic design background, but still have that link to interior design, so this is how the boutique collection of art prints came about, including the shape of the African continent and strong Silhouettes of African women, but in a modern, graphic way. I still hold a strong connection to South Africa despite it’s difficult past, there is endless, raw creativity, skill and talent that exists there. The visually stunning landscape, the sea, and most of all, the light and the glorious African sunshine, all inspire me. The African sun is something I wanted to portray in my work. I spent a long time experimenting with different gold finishes and print techniques to finally settle on the hand-finished gold leaf in the ‘African sun’ print
What is next for South Place Studio?
We love helping homeowners improve their homes to make the absolute most out of what they have. We’re currently working on a couple of whole home renovation projects, as well as some smaller interior design projects. We also continue to add to our blog, where you will find inspo, collabs and lots of info and advice for your home renovation project, and of course, we plan to grow our new artwork range and expand into other homeware items as well.
Finally, name three new Rockett St George products that you love!
- I am happiest when… I can feel the sun on my face
- My favourite magazine is… Any interiors mag!
- My dream holiday would be… Back to beautiful Cape Town to see family once we can travel more freely again
- My ideal day would be spent…. I feel very lucky to live in London, it’s such a vibrant city with so much to do, we are spoilt for choice, but a really good day would be, going for an early morning swim, doing something fun in London with the kids, then heading to one of the city’s fantastic restaurants with friends and our partners for dinner and drinks, followed by a live music gig.
- My personal motto is… Failing is OK. Take the risk. Even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll always learn something.
- My guilty pleasure is… Watching any property or interior makeover shows - particularly The Property Brothers!
- The last film I saw was… Sound of Metal
- My favourite book is… I don’t think I can pick just one, but the last book I really enjoyed reading was Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog
- In five years’ time, I want to be… Happy and healthy, with my family, and continuing to grow South Place Studio into a fun and creative place to work.
- The three things I can’t live without are… Family & friends, good food and champagne!