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10 Great Spaces To Visit At Rand Steam

Indie boutiques, heritage design and a creative neighbourhood come together at Rand Steam, Richmond's new lifestyle hub in the historic Rand Steam Laundries.

Sarah de Pina

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

Joburg may be replete with cold, poorly designed malls — much to the chagrin of many residents who are passionate about community — but the newly opened Rand Steam development has put paid to many mistakes that haunt other retail centres.

The new hub in Richmond has carefully incorporated heritage, art, design, independent boutiques and cafés alongside anchor tenants like Woolworths, Pick n Pay and Clicks to ensure that the charm of the neighbourhood, as well as the significance of the historically important site, isn’t lost. 

ALSO READ: Melville, Joburg's Little Bohemia

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

At one end of the development stands a giant 100-year-old pepper tree, whose bark and leaves once staved off flies attracted by animals kept in stables nearby.

Underfoot, a concrete ‘stream’ winds through the parking lot, echoing the path that the Braamfontein Spruit used to follow, which led to the site emerging in the first place.

And, right at its entrance, visitors to Rand Steam encounter the complex’s old water-filtration tower, which once billowed out clouds of steam created by the AmaWashas — a guild of independent Zulu laundry men who made a thriving business doing the washing for miners working on the nearby gold reefs in the late 1800s. 

ALSO READ: Braamfontein Revisited

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

Rand Steam is full of little design details like this which give the place a richness so missed in other places around the city, and which took the Moolman Group, in collaboration with others like Group 44 (who also gave the area its beloved 44 Stanley), nearly 10 years to develop.

The passion behind the project, combined with its exciting new tenants, is the sort of thing we hope to see more of throughout South Africa. Our House and Leisure tour of Rand Steam introduced us to a few of the site's favourites.

10 Stores to Visit at Rand Steam 

1. Rialheim

Rand Steam | House and Leisure
Rialheim's Rial Visagie in front of one of the store's handmade-tile installations.

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

House and Leisure has long been a fan of the Rialheim ceramic studio, long before it even collaborated with big names like Woolworths and @home. This new space is a shining example of what its designers do best.

Expect larger sculptural ceramics like its monkey lights and cheeky 'bum' planters, as well as smalls such as mugs, candleholders and crockery.

Also keep an eye out for its fantastic range of handmade tiles, installed throughout the store. 

2. Boho Cafe & Co.

Rand Steam | House and Leisure
Megan Ralph of Boho Cafe & Co, a coffee shop that shares space with the Rialheim ceramics store.

Inside the Rialheim space you’ll find Boho Cafe & Co., 'where ceramics and cappuccinos mingle'.

Its wonderful coffee is served alongside handmade pastries and other treats — the perfect accompaniment to a tour of Rialheim's offerings.

The coffee bar's bohemian decor perfectly celebrates Melville’s famous boho vibe. No surprises here, as the brand is the brainchild of interior designer Megan Ralph of Meg Ralph Spaces, who has designed hotspots such as the Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel in Zimbabwe and Madikwe Safari Lodge on our Botswana border. 

3. Tapenade

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

If you’re looking for charming local bits and pieces ranging from children’s clothes to cosmetics, kitchen supplies for yourself or something special for the four-legged animal in your life, then Tapenade is your spot.

It’s one of the only places in Joburg where you can get beautifully woven You & Lou dog beds and Benji + Moon pet-food bowls, for starters.

ALSO READ: Pet Furniture to Suit Your Stylish Space

4. Re-Trend

Rand Steam | House and Leisure
Larushka Mare, founder of Re-Trend.

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

Linden may have lost its favourite store, but Melville is all the richer for the arrival of Re-Trend, one of the city’s very best spots for Mid-Century Modern and retro furniture.

Founded by Larushka Mare, the brand has partnered up with indoor-plant brand Cart, so expect a lush forest of greenery when you stop by, with many plants hanging in intricately woven macramé baskets.

This is the perfect place to start a collection of furniture, with regular appearances by the likes of Ercol and G Plan. Make sure to come with a loaded wallet or you’ll mourn missing out on some highly sought-after pieces. 

5. Candice Berman Gallery

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

One of the most surprising arrivals at Rand Steam is the new Candice Berman Gallery, which has ditched the glitz of Sandton for the more discerning art crowd in Rand Steam's surrounding areas.

The space, which also includes a unique framing offering, hosts a constantly evolving roster of artists and exhibitions, and has frequently partnered with House and Leisure in the past to create once-off, bespoke art evenings that have brought together a diverse groups of artists and creatives.

The Candice Berman team is working on a whole new range of art products, so keep checking in on what they’re up to there — you’ll be amazed and inspired by what’s going on behind the scenes. 

ALSO READ: Berman Contemporary Hosts Artists Elsa Duault and Akudze Elsie Chiwa

6. Hers, His & Home

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

If you’re on the hunt for Maxhosa homeware, blankets by Something Good Studio and Slow Down Studio, a few Gold Bottom Pots, prints by Baba Tjeko or even some Hertex pieces, then Hers, His & Home is the perfect place for you.

We’re very taken with its own range of Malian indigo home accessories, which includes scatter cushions and ottomans.

In the clothing department, Hers, His & Home has some great pieces by local makers, such as denim by Tshepo The JeanMaker, who has his workshop down the road at Victoria Yards, and a truly enviable range of sneakers by Nike and others.


7. Famke x August

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

Silver and pink collide in the wonderfully designed Famke x August space — a collaborative store that's the brainchild of talented silversmith Famke Koene and August clothing designer Robyn Victor.

We’re in love with the Milanese-style arches and all-pink-everything approach to the interiors. It perfectly frames the clothing and jewellery inside, which make for great gift-shopping ideas and self-love treats.

8. Cowfish

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

At Rand Steam you’ll find familiar favourites like Col'Cacchio and Bootlegger, as well as some modern takes on Indian cooking by Curry Up, but it’s the arrival of Cowfish – Pretoria’s favourite surf-and-turf sushi/burger/dim sum spot – that's really got us salivating.

The interiors mix a bit of lush emerald velvet with the industrial flavour of Rand Steam's historic setting, so there’s also something good to look at while you enjoy your meal.

9. Bonafide Barbers

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

No new neighbourhood spot would be complete without a decent independent barber, and Bonafide Barbers Rand Steam is full of that rock and roll spirit.

Everything from the vintage salon chairs to the stylish staff and (of course) the fresh cuts make it a worthwhile stop when next needing to freshen up your look.

10. Urban Apiary

Rand Steam | House and Leisure

The Urban Apiary container space may be small enough to miss, but this hive-to-bottle beekeeping business is doing very big work.

Run by partners in life and work, Rob Brine and Karen Dunn, the business has set up hives all over Johannesburg. The couple work together with homeowners to get these hives up and running, and then trade once the honey is ready to be collected.

‘We want to show Jozi how remarkable bees are, and generate greater respect, care and appreciation for bees and the contribution that bees have in society, especially toward food production,’ says the duo. Like we said: big work!  

You’ll find Rand Steam on the corner of Barry Hertzog Avenue and Napier Road in Richmond, Johannesburg. It's open seven days a week. For more information, head to the website