All I want for Christmas

There’s a song that I grew up with. My mom used to sing it to me all the time. It was made famous by Doris Day and it went a little something like this: “Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see, que sera, sera.”

This sing-song wisdom of my mom’s has been especially helpful in times when my future seemed uncertain and at the same time so full of promise. I recall numerous life plans that never left my to-do list. After the usual tears and chocolate indulgence I simply remembered what my mom told me as a little girl: what will be will be.

As if reciting a mantra, I’ve been humming these familiar French words under my breath again recently. See, I’m after something else that’s French – a job with a publication that at once exudes French elegance and South African charm. I’m talking about Elle Magazine, specifically, Elle Decoration.

All I want for Christmas – making magic with words for Elle Deco

All I want for Christmas – making magic with words for Elle Deco

I’ve always had a fascination with this interior mag. Its name, meaning ‘her’ or ‘she’ in French, may have been what drew me to the magazine at first. But its pages and pages of exquisitely styled interiors is what got me hooked. Paging through my Elle Deco was such a soul-nourishing experience that I usually got up from my couch inspired and energised.

Only a few minutes of reading transported me from my arid rural surroundings to a tastefully furnished penthouse suite in the heart of a big city. These stylish surroundings, even if only from the corner of my mind, left me feeling as though I could take on the world. Thinking of it now, this was a strange side-effect of leisurely reading, but one that makes so much sense now.

Just think about the effect that colours can have on you – hues of blue can calm you down while red will almost always send your heart racing. And have you ever noticed how your mood changes when walking into different restaurants? It’s usually the interiors that cause you to either straighten your back in fearful respect or make you loosen up and free those belly laughs.

I must’ve known all along that my surroundings influence me. That would explain why I MUST tidy up before I can sit down to work or why I MUST rearrange the furniture every month to freshen things up. It would also explain why I’ve always ended up renting spaces with a brilliant view – luscious vineyards, a shimmering ocean and the Cape Town city bowl, to name but a few. In fact, right now is yet another charming view – Delicious Monsters, Indian Mynas and Japanese Chows.

My gravitation towards beautiful surroundings reached a notable peak when I became attached to a man whose very livelihood depends on the interior design and decorating industry. Now, instead of just having a very green, vibrant and minimalist space, I have grey walls that form backgrounds to gold-flecked paintings and ceramics, pops of colour and statement pieces. I’ve since also become a pseudo expert on trend forecasting. The trick is to closely watch big brands and, based on what I’ve seen from Adidas and Lamborghini, a trend to look out for is space-inspired and futuristic fashion design, decor design and architecture.

A cherry on the cake of this gravitation of mine towards all things interior and beautiful would be to make a living from searching out and writing about what sets South African designers and design apart from and on a par with international trends.

To quote another song, especially appropriate at this time of year … “All I want for Christmas is Elle!”

Whatever your Christmas stocking holds this year, I wish you and yours a happy one and the knowledge that what will be, will be.


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