Garreth van Niekerk.
Garreth van Niekerk.
Image: Supplied

The one indulgence you would never forgo?

A morning walk, typically around the botanical gardens near our home with my partner and two Pomeranians, Leonardo Vittorio and Hercules Theophilus — the three most adventurous beings alive. It’s an hour of being together, playing, and nature that I’ve come to treasure. And coffee, of course (preferably from Father Coffee, my favourite in Joburg).

What are your essential grooming and treatment lotions and potions?

Living in Joburg sucks the life out of my skin and hair, so I can’t live without rich, juicy products such as Régim-A’s Daily Ultra Defence, a lip balm (I like the classic lip-burn of Blistex DCT), and a good hand cream for the car.

If you had to choose, what is the single most sentimental object to you?

My engagement ring, which was designed by my partner and made by my friend Geraldine Fenn from Tinsel Gallery.

What is your drink of choice?

I love tequila, so typically it’s the most interesting tequila on the menu, accompanied by soda and fresh citrus.

When you eat out, where do you go?

I love Dos Manos, at Pablo House in Melville — it has the best pizza, and view, in Joburg.

When did you fall in love with design?

I studied architecture, then graphic design, and then classical studies and linguistics, so that’s when I started understanding design across time and disciplines. But I think I fell in love with design when my parents built their first house and I got to experience as a young man how a space can grow from a drawing into something that shapes your life.

The best gift you’ve received recently?

The wonderful guys at Houtlander have given me a bookshelf that I use as a room divider. It has this incredible elegance — a piece I think every home should own.

Houtlander bookshelf.
Houtlander bookshelf.
Image: Supplied

What is your favourite piece of furniture you own?

Dokter and Misses recently recreated its Canteen table for me using a slab of live-edged yellow wood timber passed down to me from my late grandfather’s estate in Knysna that is really special.

What was the last object that you picked up on a shopping expedition that you instantly fell in love with?

1980s Memphis-inspired glassware.
1980s Memphis-inspired glassware.
Image: Supplied

1980s Memphis-inspired glassware from Murano Island in Venice.

A watch brand that you love?

Patek Philippe.

How has the world of design changed in 2022?

The pandemic has forced a lot of us to think differently about the way we work together, which is what gave birth to the cooperative model we built at Always Welcome — something that has grown from a store into a logistics system, materials and manufacturing network, and marketing platform.

The last place you travelled to that captured your heart?

I recently curated an exhibition on the work of architect Peter Rich for the Venice Biennale and got to spend a month in Italy while setting things up. There’s nothing quite like Venice during the Biennale, especially at night when the visitors leave and you get to explore without the crowds.

What books are on your bedside table?

I’ve inherited the library of architect and author Clive Chipkin after his passing (an immense gift from his daughter, Lesley Hudson), and so have spent the past few months cataloguing the hundreds of volumes. And I’ve just finished Voltaire’s The Princess of Babylon, which is probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read.

Which musician really appeals to you at the moment?

Locally, I’m absolutely loving Easy Freak and Ami Faku, but TikTok is messing with me, so I’m listening to an inordinate amount of Doja Cat, FKJ, and Harry Styles. That is a bit wild but uplifting, nonetheless.

What’s next on your list of must-have items?

Wanda Lephoto has just released these super-shiny mules that I absolutely need. I’m also lusting after a Field jacket from the Fields store.

High Shine Mule, Wanda Lephoto x Dakotas.
High Shine Mule, Wanda Lephoto x Dakotas.
Image: Supplied
Field jacket, the Fields store.
Field jacket, the Fields store.
Image: Supplied

An event that’s caught your attention?

I recently attended the BMW Young Collectors’ Co., which was a beautiful collection of people and stories.

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