Design from South Africa: Source + west elm
Trevyn and Julian McGowan are Source — a husband and wife team that design furnishings and curate some of the best in South African design…
What inspires you?
Designers who have a true, unique vision and who explore and interpret in a fresh, smart and sometimes humorous way. When a design object makes you stop and look again, you start to figure out the various layers of meaning and there is a moment of understanding and connection and pleasure. Ultimately design that continues to grow on you and that you don’t get tired of, where your appreciation and enjoyment deepens, and then becomes about the memories that a certain piece carries with it.
How would you describe your work?
Eclectic, nostalgic, — containing a narrative.
What types of materials do you work with?
All materials. We design in every medium — glass, wood, leather, upholstery, ceramic, steel, textiles etc.
Where do you like to work?
We have a large studio connected to our house with a huge glass wall overlooking the beach and the sea. It is wonderful to feel so close to nature and watch the changing moods of the weather.
Who are your favorite artists and designers?
We are extremely interested in South African designers and the many companies we interact with here. Because we have worked with them so closely over the years, we feel a deep personal connection with their processes and developments and enjoy the relevance that their pieces have in our home, office environment and the work that we do. Gregor Jenkin, John Vogel, Bronze Age, Dokter and Misses, Haldane Martin and many others.
What’s your approach to decorating?
In our own home, and in the houses of our clients, we use furniture, décor and art that have a personal relevance and a particular history, meaning or story. We prefer to collect things over time that are unique, are made by people we like and have a connection to, that make us smile, are comfortable, that you get enjoyment from because they are not bland or generic. Crafted pieces, that just get better with age, and that become part of a bigger story rather than a polished, soulless ‘look’.
Tell us about your collection for west elm. How did it come together?
The Oryx Side Table is made from a replica of Oryx horns — an African Antelope — and the straight, elegant shape simply held together is a simple interpretation of bush design.
The turned legs of the Console Table hark back to traditional cape dutch furniture produced over 200 years ago — we exaggerated the lines for the console for a more modern interpretation.
SHOP SOURCE + WEST ELM