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Your Life: Justin Van Breda

The South African interior and furniture designer splits his time between London and his beautiful country house in Gloucestershire, which he shares with his husband Alastair and their two Labradors. We chatted to Justin about luxury design, his community projects and entertaining at home.

By Leigh Herringer
Justin enjoys cooking and gardening in his free time

To me, luxury is time and space.

Interior and furniture designer Justin Van Breda

My most treasured possessions are our dogs. We have a gorgeous new puppy called Michael.

The newest addition to the family, Michael

Recent holidays: Machu Picchu, a wonderful family reunion in Skiathos during the summer and a recent walking week in Scotland.

My essential travel items are as little as possible, but I always travel with a big scarf.

On most days I wear chinos and a John Smedley knitwear top. My go-to sneakers are Superga in every colour.

My cologne is Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel.

Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

A recent purchase: vintage pins for my jacket lapels.

My favourite room at home is the new conservatory, but generally it’s the kitchen.

Justin’s kitchen at home

I am inspired by people.

To keep fit, I have a gym at home where I cycle and use the ergo machine. I also do cold water submersion therapy.

My favourite restaurant is at The Rectory Hotel in Crudwell, Gloucestershire – it has the best chef, and everything is completely fresh from farm to table. The artichoke velouté is unbelievable.

When we entertain it’s very relaxed with lots of flowers, silver, and good homemade food.

One of my favourite coffee table books is Taschen’s Her Majesty – it’s filled with unseen images of the Queen. I could look at it for hours.

The podcast I’m listening to is The Business of Home, which features interviews with creatives, entrepreneurs and leaders, and the challenges facing the interior design industry. The others I listen to are about politics or history.

My favourite place to visit when I’m in South Africa is Cape Agulhas – it’s where I come from; my family has lived there since 1850.

Projects I’ve worked on this year: An amazing house in Marlborough in the UK and a wonderful legacy furniture collection for famous designer Nicky Haslam, who walked into my Pimlico Road store on the day it opened and bought two bedside tables. The collection captures the essence of Nicky in 12 autobiographical designs.

My Cape Weaver Rattan Collection is a collaboration of furniture designed by international interior designers, such as Nina Campbell, Amanda Lindroth and Veere Grenney, which are handwoven by The Society of the Blind in South Africa.

My guilty pleasure is Amazon.

In our fridge, we always have feta and avocados.

My favourite places to shop are the antique shops in Tetbury.

The last series I enjoyed were The Diplomat and Zadok the Priest.

My evening tipple is whisky.

When I’m not working, I enjoy gardening and cooking. I’m more of a baker and love anything with orange in it – I make a rather good, caramelised orange cake.

On Sunday nights I do nothing at all.

I am excited about my community project Cape Looms in South Africa. We have created a co-operative where wool and mohair are hand woven into traditional flat-weave rugs; we use fibres from the nearby farms and it’s an outreach programme that I’m really passionate about.

Interior design now is layered, textured, patterned and full. Frills are back.

The best gift I’ve ever given was a Labrador puppy.

This Christmas we will be at home in Gloucestershire.

At home in Gloucestershire

@justinvanbreda; www.justinvanbreda.com

Leigh Herringer

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