We spoke to Lise du Plessis of Dark Horse about her brand new interior design store and creative space in Cape Town:
Between 10and5: Can you please give us a little Dark Horse history?
Lise from Dark Horse: I worked and studied as an interior designer before going overseas for a working holiday. When we returned to Cape Town we really needed some furniture for our home and thought it would be a great opportunity to design some pieces instead of buying cheap imported furniture.
I began the lengthy trial and error process of designing and sourcing local manufacturers in metal, timber and upholstery and started the first furniture prototypes. The designs got great feedback from all who saw them and I needed a design space (as our flat started to turn into my own little workshop), so I found the Kloofnek shop and started the journey of Dark Horse.
10and5: Where is your space?
Lise: 83 Kloofnek Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town
10and5: What is it about the area that appeals to you?
Lise: I love the vibe in Tamboerskloof- the streets are always buzzing with activity. There are always people walking their dogs, taking their kids to the park or walking home from work together – it just feels good to live and work here.
10and5: Did you always want a store of your own?
Lise: I have wanted to be a designer since I was 5 years old. The idea of owning a store seemed like something I would only achieve when I was old and grey so I feel very blessed to be here so soon.
10and5: What do you love about it?
Lise: I love creating things. Whether its a sketch, a piece of furniture, a bag or renovating a home – it’s a hugely enjoyable process for me. I’ve always wanted to carve a career out of my passions so a day in the shop is a day living my dream.
10and5: Who designed/decorated the space? Was there a concept?
Lise: I wanted something dramatic that would offset all the colours of the furniture and bags. So we painted the walls a dark navy. The feature wall needed a bit of texture so I sourced the recycled tyre rubber and had tiles made up. The floating timber shelves are wood offcuts that we sanded and stained ourselves. We are environmentally conscious so we wanted that to carry this through into the shop.
Lise: I love the little port hole window- it sold me on the space.
Lise: Always! I can’t concentrate without music. I’m normally singing along to Regina Spektor, Bat4Lashes or Minus the Bear
Lise: Everyone! (especially people smuggling small fluffy animals)
Lise: Michael Mol’s cheesy smile (my Mom loves him) or anything croc related… but never say never.
Lise: We design all of our own products from scratch. We also sell cell phone pouches by Urban Africa, cards by Growpaper and jewelery pieces made by the Bethany shelter.
Lise: I am about to start on a lodge renovation in Hout Bay that I’m amped about. We are also making some exquisite quilts and colourful poufs in the shop at the moment, and have a new side board/server design and dining room chair on the go.