A South African Home in Bucharest

What surprised me when I walked into Vicky’s flat was the air of calm. Well, alright– surprising because it was full of a melange of art and craft yet it was all in complete harmony !  I mean, it is not easy to achieve this-and having lived and collected things from different parts of the world-believe me, I know !
Meet Vicky and Pieter Swanpoel’s home !  And the residence of the Ambassador of South Africa to Romania !

The fact that Vicky is an Art History graduate and almost grew into a life in different parts of the world is quite visible in their home- a penthouse in the top two floors of a building in Bucharest with beautiful views of Herastrau Park. The flat is kind of long rather than wide, has pillars- made perhaps as room dividers and could have been difficult to manage but for Vicky’s skills.  Paintings- small and large-  dot the walls in interesting groups- sculpture and craft collected from all over are arranged cleverly. I found myself walking to many little corners and exploring the pieces.That is what an ideal home or garden( or human nature !) should be- a place with many interesting little corners to discover..

 I do this often , and, at the risk of being seen as overly inquisitive, have many questions (and admiration!) for the owners !

Vicky grew up on a lush, tropical, avocado farm in Tzaneen, South Africa . She was 23 years old when, newly married, she happily went off with her husband Pieter, a young diplomat, on their first posting to Australia. Since then she has traveled the world and has had two lovely daughters. What strikes you about her is her air of calm and contentment. Maybe that is why she is able to bring these important qualities to her home.

Their posting to Mexico left a very strong impression on them. Vicky says they arrived in Mexico City ‘without any of our daughters(they were in boarding school), feeling very sad and depressed.  But then we were face to face with the chaos that is Mexico City . It was love at first sight; everything about Mexico I loved- the people, the food,the history, the music, the art, the craft, the sights, the sounds, the wonderful riot that is Mexico.’

And this impression is visible in Vicky’s home- in the pieces of sculpture, alebrijes-which, as I learnt and all you non-Mexicans can, too- are wood sculptures of mythical creatures, and pottery from Mexico . And, I almost missed it- food ! She always has something fabulous and Mexican on her table !

A piece I loved was the clay sculpture below. It is a copy of a work of a well known Mexican sculptor, Zuniga, made by a talented gardener in a small Mexican town and bought by Pieter at a fraction of the original price !
In transit to Romania, parts of the sculpture broke into small pieces -it IS clay,after all-  but Vicky could not bear to throw it. She decided, instead, in a determined and wise move,  to restore it with Plaster of Paris and paint. There was nothing to lose, was there?!  and viola !  Great success !

Below is the sculpture with beige sofas and bold black and white patterned dining chairs in the dining area visible at the back.  Amazing, don’t you think, how well the beige and black and white pattern go together ? !

                                                     Don’t you just love this grouping ?

                                                                       And this ?

                                                         And this ..

A mixture of cushions- in different prints and colors sit in harmony on the sofa- a few embroidered by Vicky herself and her daughter.
 Below is the most exciting part- the dining table !  Set with glass lamps, pine cones and lots of tinsel stars . And- do you see it ? There is a view of the pillar behind- wrapped cleverly with small framed paintings and prints.

And what is the special thing ?  You CAN have odd, unmatched bits and pieces but it IS possible for them to live in beautiful harmony !  A lesson be learnt !
Thanks so much, Vicky and Pieter, for sharing !

Hope you have enjoyed seeing this post as much as I have putting it together .

To those of you subscribing to my posts by email– Thank You. You can comment(please do-I would love them) and see my other articles at-     http://aditysixtyone.blogspot.ie/


About Adity

Hello ! You are either already a friend or will become one--through this medium! I am an artist and jewellery maker, a wife and mother to two lovely children. Beautiful homes, food, nature and wonderful things happening around me make me ecstatic. That is why I started to write this blog-- to share with you all of these things. After all what good is any experience if not shared !
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6 Responses to A South African Home in Bucharest

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lovely to 'visit' my cousin Pieter and Vicky in their home. What an amazing collection of beautiful art and memoribilia from all your postings around the world. Vicky I admire you sense of style and taste, and the incredible way in which you 'mix and match'.Relaxed and beautiful! Thank you for the opportunity! Lorraine

  2. Beautiful and inviting!

  3. It has been a pleasure ,Lorraine !

  4. It is, isn't it ? Even the cushions are a melange- but they look so well together!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Adity! It was lovely to meet you at the Estonian Embassy event today. Great blog, well done! Looking forward to having a cup of tea in the evening and admiring all these beautiful interiors and pretty places. Best wishes and we might meet again, Dublin is a small city! 🙂 Kind regards, Moonika (Estonian School in Ireland, info@eestikool.ie)

  6. Thanks,Moonika- happy this has given you a bit of joy! It was, indeed, very nice meeting you.Be in touch.

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