A word from Robyn, the founder of Rustic Rose

Beautiful homes and outdoor spaces have always been important to me.

Retired from Corporate life I now have an opportunity to surround myself with the things that I love and enjoy. My husband Mark, also thrives on things that are aesthetically pleasing and has enthusiastically supported me.

I am in essence an outdoor soul. As soon as I awake, even on the gloomiest grey day I open my curtains to enjoy the views and the birds. My patio and garden are the most loved areas of my home and it is these areas where I want to create fun, warmth and interest!

Why patio and garden?

In South Africa our patios are often the soul of the house where the family gathers and spill over into the garden and outdoor activities. Sometimes it is also your workplace. A ‘formal lounge and dining room’ are furnished with care, sensitivity and at great expense, often neglecting those areas where your family really lives!

Often a beautiful home’s interior is not carried through to the patio and garden. My objective for the Rustic Rose is to bring you items that will give these spaces interest, warmth and comfort.

Why French?

Over the years the classical Mediterranean decor and style has inspired me. Whenever we travel to those countries I have always dreamt of squeezing everything I see into my already bulging suitcases. There is a market for expensive collector’s pieces, but the pieces that attract me most are the unusual. They are not necessary priceless heirlooms, but items that I want to live with, pieces that make my home feel cosy, comfortable and accommodating, creating a personal happy place.

French décor elements are interesting

France is one of the countries where the outdoor and informal living spaces speak to me. I simply love French décor from various periods. Everything from rustic rural chopping blocks and fireplaces, to the complexity of design with swaying floral motives of belle époque or simple dreamy florals, casual stripes in lovely cotton or linen, stained marble, wood or granite and the shades of faded blue, green or lavender shutters all resonate with my soul.

What we source in France

We decided that we will leave the importing of lovely French antique furniture and graceful armoires to others who are already doing a fabulous job. We chose to rather venture to the French markets for all things patio and garden. Obtaining the necessary import permits and arranging logistics was a nightmare best not spoken of here. Once we arrived in France we found two very interesting and restricting scenarios. Firstly the British also love all things French, and are able to ‘hop across the channel’ and exploit the market, thus elevating the prices and availability and then, as we are exporting to a non-EU country we required ‘official invoices’ that the little old Frenchman at the local flea market is unable to give you. (I could write a novel about this in the style of Peter Mayle’s, A Year in Provence!

We scoured the French country-side and managed to bring back a few delightful pieces. We hope to return annually and always have a few special items in our little shop.

Supporting other entrepreneurs and local artisans

We cannot ignore our talented local craftsmen and women and have sourced items from our own doorstep: beautiful cement and metal items, quality cottons and woven items. The art of creating a beautiful space is by mixing items to create a cohesive look that you are comfortable in.

I photographed beautiful French iron pieces and local craftsmen have copied them. In my opinion, the local people have done a better job!

I have found talented fabric, linen and porcelain suppliers, who’s products fit the French brief perfectly.

Locally, there are already agents and specialist who scour the globe for interesting stylish items. I have selected some lovely pieces which will fit the modern and classical Mediterranean style home. In this way I am able to stock small volumes and change the look frequently.

Enjoy and share the experience

I invite you to pop into the cosy Rustic Rose cottage on Sweetwell farm. Please feel free to simply browse. You may find something that you want to take home to satisfy your need to beautify your personal space or to treat a friend to a treasured gift. If you are looking for a particular item bring me a picture or description and I will try to source it for you.

We offer Gift Vouchers, so allow someone else to select something special.

Do you need help with your look or advice on how to freshen up your décor? We have contacts with decorators who are able to assist you achieving a unique environment to suit your family’s needs.

Visit us at Sweetwell Farm

Sweetwell Farm is a working farm where chickens, geese, turkeys and pets roam, along the R44 just outside of Somerset West towards Stellenbosch. Alongside Rustic Rose you will see sheep, and often a few lambs grazing. There is a very popular butchery, specialising in pork products. Hennie Cronje, the owner of Sweetwell Farm is well known pig breeder, but these are no longer kept on this farm. Alongside the butchery you will find an excellent restaurant. There are some other plans for Sweetwell to become an exciting destination to visit.