Story of a chair

I once had a chair in Africa...Well, more than one. I had them made there and then I brought them home. Did you know that I lived in South Africa for two years? I was in Cape Town - I had the city experience with my old corporate-y career and I had the overland, out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere experience with many trips to Botswana and Zimbabwe. 

They say that once you breathe the dust of Africa, it never leaves you. And it doesn't. It really doesn't.

I had wanted to live overseas for quite some time. I wanted the adventure, the challenge, the new. I considered Australia and London but I thought that in either of those cities it would have been too easy to hang out with other ex-pats. I settled on Cape Town because I wanted something REALLY different. There weren't many expats living there then so I was completely immersed - if I was to have any friends, it was going to be locals. 

When I travel I try to find something different, something that I can use daily so that my home doesn't end up looking like a souvenir shop. Something that's not made just for the tourists - something that locals would own. And when I was living in southern Africa I saw many examples of their unique furniture. Here's one of the chairs that I brought back.

The leather straps are called riempies. And the style of the turned wood is typical. This is one isn't an antique but was made by someone who also made my dining room table. You can see that the riempies need to be replaced - I don't know if I can find someone locally to do it but it cannot be that difficult.

When you travel what do you bring back?



Sandra Harris

I'm Sandra Harris, a food & lifestyle photographer based in Vancouver, Canada who also writes about creativity, art, food, photography & travel. Fan of film festivals too.