Michael Chandler.
Michael Chandler.
Image: Supplied

What are your essential grooming products?

A bar of our Chandler House “The Cake of Good Soap”. It’s made from olive oil and wonderful essential oils.

Favourite scent?

Old Spice. It’s honest and nostalgic.

What about a building attracts your eye first?

Proportions, ornamentation, colour, and material.

Coffee or tea?

Black coffee in the morning, builder’s tea in the afternoon.

A bar of our Chandler House “The Cake of Good Soap”.
A bar of our Chandler House “The Cake of Good Soap”.
Image: Supplied

The ultimate luxury?

An empty calendar.

What is your all-time favourite place to eat out?

Bocca [in Cape Town] was a real favourite, but sadly it closed down during Covid. Luckily, the city’s Pizza Shed emerged from the Covid era and it does one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had.

Wayne Pate artwork.
Wayne Pate artwork.
Image: Supplied

If money were no object, what would your dream buy be?

I’d love to buy a massive piece of farmed land in the Cederberg and re-wild it. I’d need a place to stay, of course, so I’d build a home for myself and my loved ones to visit. It would be reminiscent of Villa San Michele, on Capri. And I’d live happily ever after.

Your all-time favourite clothing brand?

Scotch & Soda.

And what are you listening to?

The Frida soundtrack.

The visual artist you’ve got an eye on?

Wayne Pate.

Your favourite way to spend a Sunday morning?

Coffee and Wordle in bed with my partner and pup, followed by cooking something slow and delicious for lunch.

Your favourite room in the house?

I have a wonderful, large living space that has two tiny courtyards and a kitchen leading off it.

The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthe.
The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthe.
Image: Supplied

Your design icon?

Axel Munthe [author of The Story of San Michele, for his approach to space, but also for his way of living. The two are undeniably related. Bad design = poor living.

Are you a collector of anything?

Ha! I collect collections! Some include glass bottles in the shape of buildings, spoon warmers in the shape of nautilus shells, Lucie de Moyencourt ceramic shells, Kraak and Arita porcelain, enamel souvenir paper clips from Greece, Stapelia, etc, etc.

What makes you happiest?

If there is a pleasure greater than cooking for people you love, I’ve yet to discover it.

Minimalism or maximalism?

Maximalism. Things make me happy and give life more flavour.

The Wild Coast.
The Wild Coast.
Image: Supplied

Last travel destination that knocked your socks off?

The Wild Coast. I grew up there and recently returned for the Easter break. It’s one of the last uncelebrated parts of the world. As South Africans, we have no idea how special it is —wild, gorgeous, and untameable.

A great gift you’ve been given recently?

I was gifted some Nerine sarniensis bulbs by a very special human last year. They’ve been flowering and bringing me immense joy. I like to have plants that come from unusual places or special people.

What inspires your work?

History, nature, whimsy, and joy.

What is the one indulgence you would never forgo?

Deluxe coffee in my moka pot. I travel with both wherever I go.

 From the May edition of Wanted, 2023.

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