• South African designer flair is celebrated by Essential Life, whose creations can be found at the White House in Washington DC and Robert De Niro’s New York apartment.


    Adrian Lombard explains that he established Essential Life in 1999 toshowcase the country’s rich design resources and to offer a unique lifestyle retail experience.

    Based in Parkhurst and Parys, his team produces hardwood furniture, ceramics, handmade gifting, art, bathing cosmetics, decor, clothing, scarves and bags, organic teas and coffee. “Our products are made locally and sold all over the world.” The company has grown into three divisions and draws inspiration from unique places around South Africa, from rich African botanicals to urban landscapes.

    Essential Furniture, produced by Clinton Holloway, reflects nature, from hardwood finishes to high-tech engraved furniture pieces. Essential Earth offers a lifestyle range, including natural and organic products which feature responsible manufacturing and production methods. Essential Wear, designed by Corlene Furstenberg, provides comfort, practicality and an earthfriendly approach to unisex lounge wear, aprons and artistic scarves.

    A collaboration this year with textile design business Design Team has resulted in the Young at Heart range of handmade furniture and hand-printed fabrics. In line with the home-grown focus, the table setting was inspired by South Africa. A generous white wooden table is surrounded by six chairs upholstered with a yellow and black Bok Polish imprinted fabric from the Design Team. A bench covered in fabric featuring rabbit prints completes the quirky seating arrangement.

    Adrian looked to nature to re-interpret the festive colour pallet: the green dinner plates and herb pots echo the tones in the overhanging trees, touches of yellow come from the cheese being served and the lemons in the water, while the figs and strawberries add a touch of red. Sunlight beams off the fynbos serving set, glasses and the acacia-inspired cutlery moulded from real acacia branches. With nature as a theme, the browns of the raw wooden lasered fynbos underplates, cheese board and floor solidify the look.

    “The interactive salad starter is used to break the ice. Guests can pick herbs from the pots placed in from of them and add to their salad as desired,” says Adrian. “The festive season is about being with people you love and being surrounded by things that make you happy,” says Corlene.


    • Always offer good bubbly on the table, it makes guests happy.
    • Create personalised name cards for your guests to take home.
    • Set your table outdoors under the trees and enjoy the sunlight.

    Essential Life Showroom, cnr 4th Avenue and 9th Street, Parkhurst, Johannesburg. Call 011-447-2142 or visit www.essentialearthorganicsalon.com

    Get the look

    1. Wooden pillar candle holder, R159, Loads of Living
    2. Graphite placemat (set of two), R99, Loads of Living
    3. Crystal card holders (set of four), R69, Loads of Living
    4. Green fynbos dining plate, R250, Essential Lifestyle
    5. Elephant salad servers, R189 each, Loads of Living
    6. Champagne flutes, R13,99 each, Clicks
    7. Antique grey tray, R369, Loads of Living
    8. Grey Versailles napkin (set of two), R99, Loads of Living