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Putting on the ritz

David Muirhead creates his heaven in the heart of Sandton, writes Jenny Andrew

ACCLAIMED interior designerDavid Muirhead has finally realised his long-held dream of owning a retail outlet.As a seven-year-old he played shopkeeper at a little store his parents built for him at the entrance to their Drakensberg farm, and now he has opened the sophisticated Fine Living showroom in Parkmore. The renovation has taken more than a year on a site that used to be a Portuguese restaurant and other stores. After gutting the interior, Muirhead added north-facing windows to flood the space with light, and commissioned Jan Blok from Blok Landscaping to create a garden.

Apart from the showroom, theDavid Muirhead & Associates design studio is on the premises,as well as a bespoke function offering. A ballroom leading on to an open terrace, an intimate boardroom and a chic champagne bar are all available to hire. Muirhead says he “love sourcing and developing new product”, and although he finds travel inspiring, he doesn’t buy internationally; everything in Fine Living is produced or sourced in South Africa. He is currently working on a local range of organic room fragrances, soaps and lotions.He has found people who want interesting pieces in their homes don’t always want to hire an interior designer and often enjoy shopping themselves. The new showroom allows them to make individual choices. Muirhead started his career assisting Stephen Falke before opening a small design studio in Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. An interior he did for a game lodge caught the attention of Trisha Wilson of Wilson & Associates,and Muirhead relocated to Johannesburg to join her,spending five years there. David Muirhead & Associates ’hospitality projects include 54 onBath, and they are involved with the link between the hotel andThe Mall of Rosebank, where Muirhead has envisioned the corridor as an exhibition area for up-and-coming artists. The firm recently revamped The Palazzo Hotel at Monte casino, bringing the rooms up to date and adding antiques and art to passage ways.

Reference: The Times | 3 July 2014

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