Part country store, part cafÃ©, and part wedding and reception venue, Blueberry CafÃ© in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands of South Africa was recently given a total overhaul by South African product and design studio, Anatomy Design.
The redesign embraces the cafÃ©’s rural location, but adds a modern twist. Spearheaded by Andrea Kleinloog of Anatomy Design, the cafÃ© has been given a new startâ€”from interior design, to product design and development, to menuâ€”with the help of stylist and product developer Mia Widlake, graphic designer Wendy Dixon, and chef Bianca Davies. Blueberry CafÃ© is now reopened,and the work of the team will continue to be unveiled as new products get released into the store and restaurant.
Photographs by Samantha Maber.
Above: This glassed-in atrium was originally an open space between two barns. The area was enclosed to create a sheltered reception for guests entering the restaurant and retail sections of the project. Mia Widlake explains, “The glass creates a greenhouse-like effect from an aesthetic point of view as well as encouraging perfect conditions for plant growth.”
Above: A wall of hanging planters. The team selected plants that are happy to grow indoors and require little water, such as philodendron. Edible plants, such as herbs, lettuces, and wild strawberries, have also been added to the wall-mounted planters and will be rotated according to the season. Indigenous olive trees in large wine barrel planters reflect the native plant life of the region and create shade in the reception seating area. The team envisions that as olive trees grow upward, they’ll cast shadows and lend a soft dappled light to the space.
Above: Custom-designed hanging plant baskets of heavy-gauge wire spot welded at the joints are suspended from the glass ceiling. The hope is that the plants will grow over the sides of their baskets and create a canopy of greenery above the reception area.
Above: The hanging and wall-mounted planters were inspired by vintage vegetable baskets and put to use as light covers as well as containers for plants. The team chose copper-plated wire to lend a modern touch to the rustic setting. Read more about the clever design in this afternoon’s DIY: Blueberry CafÃ©’s Hanging Plant Baskets.
Above: Inside the shop, walls are painted a bright bone white and steel elements stand out in black.
Above: Tables and shelves are lined with pottery, wooden utensils, and other housewares, along with locally made comestibles.
Above: The reworked Blueberry CafÃ© logo emblazoned on a wooden crate inside the cafÃ©.
Above: The cafÃ© furniture was sourced from a variety of suppliers. The tabletops shown here were custom-made by a local KwaZulu-Natal Midlands carpentry company called Homewood and set onto standard cast iron cafÃ© bases. The chairs are reproductions of the classic Tolix Marais A chair updated with wooden seats.
Above: The cafÃ© is located on Nottingham Road in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. For more information and driving directions visit Blueberry CafÃ©.
See A Whitewashed Villa in South Africa, Breezes Included for a residential spin on South African design on Remodelista.
For more bistro-style seating options, see 10 Easy Pieces: Outdoor Bistro Table and Chair Sets.