When asked to describe their home, married wedding photographer team Travis and Maike McNeill say they are inspired by the beautiful lines of the Mid-Century Modern era and the simplicity and warmth of Scandinavian living. They have combined with those inspirations with a mix and match of things handed down to Maike by her German grannies, lots of flea market finds and a variety of art and design created by friends and local South African artists. The McNeills live in the Observatory suburb of Cape Town, South Africa where they run their photography business, welovepictures, specializing in weddings and portraiture. Thank you Travis and Maike! -Shannon
Image above: Our living room is our favorite room! The light is always amazing in there and we’re suckers for beautiful light :) The lounge suite was our first ‘serious and grown-up purchase’ and we found at a thrift store while we were still dating. Travis said to me that this is the kind of lounge suite he can see us having in our home forever. He kind of gave himself away because he proposed a few months later ;) We bought the suite for next to nothing – it was standing in a corner all by itself, looking really shabby and sad. We took it home and with a lot of love, imagination and help from great upholsterers, turned it into the lounge suite that we’ll have in our home forever :)
Image above: The dining room table and chairs are from my grandparents. The table was built by my granddad for their kitchen. My dad grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere and most of the furniture they owned was built by my granddad. After my granddad passed away, my grandma moved closer to my parents and she gave most of the furniture to Travis and me since had we just moved in together. She told me that every single piece of furniture has a story and I should never take sitting at a table for granted. We love that our dining room is open plan to our kitchen and then opens up onto our small back garden. In summer we have the doors wide open and it’s great for having friends over and entertaining!
See more of Travis and Maike’s South African home after the jump…
Image above: The radiogram was my great-grandmas. She moved from Düsseldorf, Germany to Pretoria, South Africa in the early 80’s after my grandad passed away, to be around her great grandkids. My gran and my mum helped her move (my mum was pregnant with me at the time) and they had to carry most of the furniture down 8 flights of stairs because the apartment she stayed in didn’t have an elevator. After she passed away, the radiogram got passed on to my aunt, who emigrated back to Germany about 10 years ago and didn’t want to move with it again. That’s when I snapped it up. This is one of my favourite pieces in our home because it tells a beautiful story – a story of our German-South African family.
Image above: I found these lab glasses at a flea-market in Cape Town. I love succulents and cacti and I often just break a little piece off, stick it in water, watch it sprout roots and then plant it in our garden.
Image above: The picture was taken on our honeymoon in the States whilst travelling along the Route 101 through Oregon. We both love the ocean and Travis is a surfer. We had it printed on beautiful fine-art cotton paper and we added a quote by Isak Dinesen: “The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears or the sea.”
Image above: We support local South African artists and designers especially because there are so many ridiculously talented and amazing folks in Cape Town. The ‘Come back to me’ artwork is by a local Letterpress Company called Essie Letterpress and I have their artworks all over our home. Their prints are amazing and always make me smile. The lampshade and cushion is by local Capetonian illustrator and designer Heather Moore // skinny laminx. We love her scandi-inspired designs and she is a really lovely lady too. We have a few random air plants all over our home because they’re easy to maintain and so, so beautiful! :)
Image above: Our kitchen is the heart of our home. It’s the space we all end up in when we have friends over. We both enjoy cooking and we usually cook together. The fact that the kitchen opens up onto our dining room makes entertaining easy and fun although it’s quite a small space so our dinner parties are usually small and intimate – just the way we like it.
Image above: I love bringing the outdoors inside and I’m always excited to watch a new leaf uncurl on my Delicious Monsters. Delicious Monsters are also amazing to have indoors – especially since they are known for cleaning the air at night in turning CO2 into O2 which is why we have a few in our bedroom :) I also believe that a beautiful plant can be the easiest and sometimes the most affordable way to decorate a home. Add a plant to a room and it immediately feels more homey and beautiful :)
Image above: We love commuting by bicycle. It’s cheap, healthy and fun. No other form of transport has the ability to make you smile as much as a bicycle does. We also both love riding the Moonlight Mass. On every Full Moon all of Cape Town’s bicycle commuters meet up at the Greenpoint Stadium for a chilled ride around town. It also aims to raise awareness for cycling in the city and the safety of cyclists in the urban environment.
Image above: The ‘Home Sweet Fucken Home’ is from a local artist and friend Lauren Fowler. We have a whole bunch of works by her, as well as local artist Andy Wyeth, Ruschka du Toit and Maaike Bakker. The letterpress works are from Essie Letterpress.