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Opulent Glamour that’s well priced make for Fine Living

If you love classic contemporary furniture, you’ll know about interior design David Muirhead, who recently took his first step into retail space in Parkmore, Sandton, with a showroom filled with beautiful, tasteful furniture and objets d’art.

Sumptuous couches in dove grey or duck-egg blue, buttoned-back chairs upholstered in top-quality paisley or houndstooth fabrics, old world brass chandeliers in contemporary black and white setting…

Muirhead’s new retail-cum-events space, Fine Living, is all about the understated luxurious interiors that evoke English yesteryear with a modern African flavour.

The clincher with Muirhead’s furniture is that it’s comfortable – you can really see his pieces in your lounge. It’s bespoke, but it’s affordable. I spotted a gorgeous blue couch that could seat four with a price tag of just over R6000.

“People can be a bit intimidated walking into top-end furniture showrooms,” says Muirhead. “You can see they love what they see, but they’re thinking it’s beyond their budget.

“In short time since the opening (in July), I’ve had the pleasure of seeing people look at price tags and getting that expression that says, ‘Hmm, I could actually afford this.;”

In a furniture economy that reflects the squeeze on buyers’ pockets, Muirhead’s “bespoke beautiful yet affordable” philosophy is perfectly pitched. “There’s a definite niche for unique, one-off pieces, and the sales since opening have proved it. My pricing is what makes it accessible.”

“The toilets were all facing north for some reason, so the overhaul has been significant,” he says.

The showroom is adjoined by a café-bar called The Westwood, inspired by fashion icon Vivienne Westwood – look out for her gorgeous tartan wallpaper – and which resembles a swanky Manhattan apartment. It’s ideal for high teas or intimate birthday parties.

The Fine Living Ballroom, also next to the showroom down a passage, is a theatrical space that can be transformed for any occasion, accommodating up to 65 people seated.

It can open out on to a courtyard that can seat 16, elegant for a cocktail party.

Also for hire is an executive boardroom, designed for boutique corporate functions, with space for 14 seated. “it’s well suited to blue-chip companies working in the Sandton central business district.”

Muirhead followers will recognise his sassy but easy style. He was the designer who transformed the 54 on Bath boutique hotel in Rosebank, in the spot that once housed The Grace.

He trained the former grande dame’s charm, creating a classic yet modern ambience, again matching chandeliers with black and white lacquer backdrops. He likes detailed wallpaper and rich textures, but defers to Jozi chic style, so there’s a tangible city buzz in Muirhead’s interiors, appealing to a young aspirational market.

“Since opening Fine Living, we’ve booked a number of 40th birthday parties, which seem to be the flavour of the month,” he says.

The beauty of this venue is you can drift in and find a great piece for your home. You can also book it for a birthday party, private board meeting or hire the entire place for a cocktail event with live music.

The full-day cost for the entire Fine Living space, including The Ballroom and The Courtyard, is R25000. A half day package (four hours) at The Westwood is R10 000

Fine Living provides a kitchen for catering, and it’s preferred caterers are the Word of Mouth and Vicky Crease. Recommended for even co-ordination is Otto De Jager Events.

Reference: The Star | 24 September 2014

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