Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Marize. I grew up on a farm outside of a tiny town called Porterville. I moved to Stellenbosch in high school and studied interior design in Cape Town. Today, I live in Stilbaai with my husband and our three cats (Benji, Tilly & Grace).
I’ve worn many creative hats since I completed my studies, but I have been focusing on brand and website design for the past two years. Apart from design and beautiful things, I am also very passionate about women’s wellness and supporting young girls on their journey to womanhood.
Describe your personal style in 3 words:
Light. Evolving. Intentional.
What is your favourite or most treasured item in your home?
Wow, there so many things that I treasure in my home, but I think the things that I love the most are those ones that tell a story of travels, a friendship or a milestone. Like, a small brass incense holder that a friend bought for me in a beautiful little shop in Scotland called The Method. Or our 3 Mauviel copper pans that I bought with my last bit of money before I returned home from New York (and almost broke my back getting it here).
When I was little, we had a big cabinet in our home that used to be a birdcage. It had chicken wire with a bunch of colourful budgies and a mouse called Winston living in it. When we got married, I restored it and put glass panels in.
I am also an avid ceramic cup collector and I treasure my collection deeply. Those who know me well know that I go through ‘cup phases’ and refuse to drink out of a cup if it doesn’t align with my current cup phase. I promise this is my only fetish! But I am a little peculiar like that.
How long have you lived in your home? Where does it draw its character from?
We moved into our Stilbaai home 6 months ago. It is our first time as homeowners and it has been an incredibly special and significant move for us. Our home was renovated by the previous owners about two years before we moved in, so we really had to do very little. What drew us in the most was the copious amount of natural light and the flow of the space. Apparently an incredible local artist lived here before the previous homeowners bought the house and renovated. Our main bedroom was the former garage aka. her studio where she gave art classes.
And that is actually what our home is like, a clean canvas where we can ‘paint’ our life story as it unfolds.
Do you have a morning or bedtime ritual?
I am very big on routine and rituals. It makes me feel calm and comforted. In the summer I am an early bird and I love being awake while my husband still sleeps. It is my time to be quiet, pray, go for a run or simply sit on the couch in silence with a cup of tea. My morning ritual depends on what day it is. On days that I have pilates, I’ll spend some quiet time first thing. On other days I might go for a run or a walk and reserve quiet time for the evening. I am very strict on 10pm bedtime. I usually wind down by cleansing and moisturising my face, then I add some lavender oil to my diffuser and while it mists I do my heel and hand balm, drink water and lights out.
But don’t get me wrong here, some nights I just collapse on my pillow without any of those things (mascara on and without even saying goodnight to my husband, yikes).
I really believe in the power of good rest and therefore I make this a priority. I feel like I am a better version of myself when I rest well, plus, for everything my dear body does all day to keep me going, she deserves a good night’s rest!
What do you love most about the area or neighbourhood that you live in?
We live in a very quiet street that edges on a nature reserve (not close to the beach), so it is incredibly peaceful with vibrant bird life. In the evening when the breeze blows a certain direction, we can gently hear the ebb and flow of the waves.
It is the first time that we have space to grow our own veggies, which is very exciting for us, but our garden is still a big work in progress.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere I go. I really believe in always keeping my eyes open for the presence of wonder and finding beauty in everything around me. It could be a simple object in the local hardware store that sets a creative thought in process, or a beautiful illustration that inspires a colour palette for a project or the texture of a dried leaf on my morning walk.
What it your favourite piece of jewellery and why?
My engagement ring(s) are three tiny bands that Jacques and I picked out from different small jewellers in New York.
One of the three is a VERY thin gold band and the designer, Grace Lee, rightfully named it the whisper ring. People are always amazed that it hasn’t snapped or bent. For me, it serves as a little reminder that even in the times in life that we feel at our weakest or like a mere whisper of ourselves, we are able to remain and it is often these times that make us stronger too. It also reminds me that being an introvert (a whisper) doesn’t mean that I don’t have a voice.
What are some of the places or travel experiences that have shaped you?
I lived in New York for 6 months in 2014 and it was hands down one of the most significant and shaping seasons of my life so far. To this day, I still don’t know how I mustered the guts to pack my bags and live in city where I knew NO ONE on departure. I absolutely fell in love with NY. It remains one of my heart places and I am really hoping to return soon.
I also did outreach in India, which focused a lot on ministering to women. It will always remain a special memory and one that keeps on motivating me to keep my dream alive to serve women.
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I don’t just own black, white and grey clothes and my home is not just neutrals. I also don’t just design minimal brands and websites in muted tones.
I have sensed that a lot of people look at my Instagram and think that, but IG is merely a space for me to showcase my visual strengths and it is carefully curated because I really enjoy telling a continuous story with the images I share.
I am actually working on a personal project that will show the more ‘colourful’ side of me and is giving me a lot of joy to work on currently.
If you could invite anyone to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
I think this is an answer that will change often depending on the seasons I go through.
At the moment, it would be the women closest to me, including my mother and my sister.
Since we moved to Stilbaai, it has become harder to spend quality time with friends in person.
If I could have a dinner party where I could spend quality time with each of them right now, it would make me very happy.
There are of course some amazing designers that I would also love to meet, but to be honest, the above would mean much more to me right now than meeting a design-crush.