Toast & Co

There’s so much we love about Toast & Co in Joburg’s Craighall Park. It’s not just the calming sage and green décor, the peaceful atmosphere, and the buttery biscuits that accompany every cup of tea and coffee. It’s also the perfect manicures (every time!), the way everyone knows your name, and the curated selection of retail therapy on offer (think classic cashmere, handcrafted bags, brogues and delicate jewels).

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Julie and Karen, sisters and the owners of Toast & Co, have been crafting a salon that is more than just a salon for 10 years. It’s grown in physical size, number of therapists, and offering, but the absolute attention to every detail remains the same. Julie and Karen are utter perfectionists, and are fastidious about offering consistent quality and experiences to their clients (many of whom are regulars and long-term supporters). It’s this thoughtful attention and authenticity that sets Toast & Co apart.

“We test every product we sell, from skincare to cashmere scarves”, says Julie. “In this way we can sell a treatment or product to our clients knowing that it works, and that we really believe in its quality.”

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Along with assured quality products, Toast & Co is known for its quality therapists. In an industry renowned for its staff turnover, many of the women working at Toast & Co have been employed there for years, and are true professionals. Specialising in particular areas of interest or flair, therapists at the salon hone their skills in certain areas, be it nails, eyelash extensions, facials or massages, and clients are assured of consistent, excellent treatments every time.

“We see our staff as true professionals and trust them to deliver,” says Karen. Toast & Co offers continuous training opportunities in new products and skills, allowing therapists to constantly enhance their abilities.

“Everybody specialises in what they are good at,” says Pearl who has been at Toast & Co since 2009 and enjoys learning about new facial techniques, new products and the latest ingredients. “It’s such a confidence boost when you get a new client and you learn that they were referred by another client! It makes me feel like I’m good at what I do and that I make an impact, and that’s really important to me.”

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Along with training, the sisters are good at spotting talent when they see it, and giving people opportunities. Nqobile began working at the salon in 2013 as a cleaner, and is now responsible for bookings and merchandising of stock. “Julie and Karen saw my potential and trusted me,” says Nqobile.

This is perhaps why Toast & Co is a Joburg favourite. You can find a pedicure just about anywhere, but there are few salons that match consistently high quality with an atmosphere of utter relaxation and calm. We put it down to Julie and Karen’s touch – tireless attention to detail, the empowerment of their staff, and the authentic nurturing of relationships.

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Luxurious velvet

Nothing says luxury and opulence like velvet, especially if you’re after a warm and cosy interior during the winter months.
With its unmistakable beauty and lustre, velvet has earned its place as a covetable fabric for use in home spaces. Below we’ve showcased velvet’s appeal and versatility, from romantic pinks, to royal blues and punchy citrus.  What colours will you be introducing into your home this winter?
All velvets from Tessa Sonik Fabrics.



 

 
All images via Pinterest.

The soundtrack to your wedding

When it comes to organising a wedding, everything seems important!  And while the right dress, the right guest list and the right venue are key considerations, we think three things make a truly great wedding – enough delicious food, interesting and plentiful cocktails and drinks, and the right soundtrack.
Honestly, the right music can make or break a wedding. A skilled DJ will put together a playlist that matches the different moods of a wedding – from romantic and introspective, to festive and celebratory.
We’re mad about these two wedding moodboards below!  Don’t they just capture the right amount of fun, whimsy and romance?  And you can just imagine the music was an essential element in creating just the right atmosphere for a celebration into the small hours of the morning!
 


 

We’re also smitten with Marie and Johan’s Mooi River wedding, captured by Elephants Belly, with music by Sonic State Productions.
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Images via Pinterest.
 

Timeless Classics

We love the winter range from Alexandra Classics. Filled with everyday essentials, which you’ll be wearing for years to come, to a capsule collection under the name Alexandra Limited, which is a small range of statement pieces.
Sandra Sin, who is the brain behind the brand, has been dressing women and working in fashion since 1987.  Over the years her pop-ups have been closely guarded secrets by those in the know, but now with the launch of her online shop, we’re all able to get a few classics into our wardrobes.
Below are few of our favourite pieces. Shop the range over here.
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Colourful Kitchens

While we are fans of the all white, minimalist look, nothing makes more of a statement than a bright and delightful kitchen.
The kitchen is where is all happens, and because it’s so action-packed and full of life, it’s the easiest place to add colour in your home. Whether it’s a tiled backsplash, or a wall painted in a saturated hue, let your kitchen tell a story.
We love the below Mexican tiles, all from Hadeda.

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Kitchen via House & Garden


Mexican tiles, kitchen backsplash

Kitchen via Home Decor Ideas


Mexican tiles, kithen backsplash

Kitchen via Muramur


Mexican tiles, kitchen backsplash

Kitchen via Pinterest


Not just a stockist of Mexican tiles, Hadeda is also a treasure trove of authentic, imported Mexican homeware – basins, pots, blankets and more. If you’re looking to inject some colour into your home and life, this is the place to visit.
 
Mexican Tiles

Door via


Mexican tiles and homeware, Hadeda

Frida image – source unknown


Mexican tiles and homeware, Hadeda

Images via and Lauren Conrad


Mexican tiles and homeware

Bag via Pinterest


Mexican tiles and homeware, Hadeda

Left image via


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Hygge your home this winter

Some refer to hygge as an “art of creating intimacy” (either with yourself, friends or in your home). While there’s no one English word to describe hygge, several can be used interchangeably to describe the idea of hygge – cosiness, charm, happiness, ‘contentness’, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship, and simpleness.
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So how can you bring this cosiness into your home this winter? The simple act of lighting a candle while drinking your coffee in the morning, enjoying a home-cooked meal with friends, or making a ritual of brewing tea in a teapot with a china teacup, can all make a big difference to one’s spirit, and lift domestic life from drudgery to art form.
Apart from candles and crackling fireplaces, there are other ways to make your home a refuge this winter. Lighting is very important (think floor lamps and soft, indirect lighting, rather than harsh, bright light), and layering with comforting, warm textures (wool throws, velvet scatter cushions). Choose a warm colour palette for extra cosiness, and display those nostalgic vintage items – the Danes believe that household objects should be more than just things; they should have emotional value.
 


Finally, invest in natural fabrics in neutral tones, like sisal or jute rugs to create a warm, comforting atmosphere.

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