Originally published on Superbalist: The Way of Us, here.
Photography x Anthony Bila
Khumo Moshimane (33) is a nomadic trend analyst for Edcon. Although moving in a corporate space, her particular skill set and insider knowledge of what’s hip and happening in both the local and overseas design industries, make her one of the most valuable voices behind the scenes in the retail market. ‘My department is basically in charge of staying on top of international trends and finding ways to integrate them with what’s happening on the local scene, it involves a lot of travel and research.’
With 8 years experience in the game, she’s a woman who knows her stuff; evident in the modern and very trendy styling of her home and the seamless integration of fashion and interior design, Khumo takes her keen eye for beauty and wears it like a badge of honor. Situated in Newtown, just opposite heritage site The Mills, her building, rather aptly titled The Newtown, has recently become a residential attraction for like-minded creatives moving out of he suburbs and more towards the cultural hub of the Johannesburg city center. ‘Ontha (who works at And People, better known for her work with Adidas Women) and G moved in like last week downstairs, and Vuyo from I See A Different You is somewhere in the building too. I don’t really know my next door neighbors, but it’s nice to know some of my people are close.’
Her 6th floor 1 bedroom is bright and breezy, thanks to the two, double door, floor to ceiling balcony doors in the living room and bedroom. The light cast across the kitchen is clean thanks to her unobstructed views of Fordsburg, a feature she attributes to her calm, steady and reasonable state of mind. ‘One of my favorite things about this neighborhood is the Mosque across the street, the sounds of prayer are so serene, I like to stimulate my creativity with what’s going on around me.’ The theme of serenity runs right through the spacious apartment. White dominates the walls, with neutral accents and subtle soft pastel details peppering the uncluttered space. ‘I try to keep my place as minimalist as possible. White walls keep the mind clear; your creativity needs space to breathe so your living space should leave room for that. I keep my bits and bobs for work in little jars on the shelves to keep organized, it’s a habit I carry through my job and normal life.’
Khumo has lived here for just over a year and a half, settling on Newtown after trying out Maboneng when she first arrived from Durban. ‘When I moved from Mr. Price, to Johannesburg, I wanted to be as close to what was really happening in culture as possible, for research purposes, and to acclimatize to the new place. I tried Maboneng but my place was quite small and the neighborhood was too noisy. I prefer it here; I plan on staying for a while. Because I have moved a lot on recent years, most of my furniture is kind of pack up and go. The crates that make up my desk double as packing containers, and most of my big furniture comes apart. I always think about how I will move from one place to another when buying furniture.’
Key pieces in the space include a custom made bike rack and matching bed frame made expertly out of shipping crates, and a set of industrial metal shelving units for bookshelves. The kitchen is immaculate, with subtle floral details and repurposed wine bottles for the island centerpiece. Continuing the white motif with fresh flowers and trinkets, rows of CONSOL jars and quirky décor elements populate the open shelving. ‘I love white; I can only sleep in white sheets. Some people think it’s OCD but I like to keep my energy clear. The spaces I move in are filled with artisans and craftsman, so I like to support by having the big furniture pieces made by them, otherwise I thrift for really interesting finds like my dressing table, and that funny little reading chair by the window.’
She fiddles with an interior design mood board layout on her desk that she’s stuck color-coordinated baubles onto, arranging it neatly next to her laptop. ‘My friends has asked me to help her with the design of her new place. I’m also doing a logo for her. I have no graphic design experience, but I know my way around Photoshop.’ It’s clear Khumo’s work is an integral part of how she lives her daily life, and it seems those closest to her trust her vision and opinion; I know I would, have you seen the place?