Curators of Cool
Beyond the ordinary facade of another lllovo apartment block, the home of Angie Batis Durrant and Shane Durrant is an eclectic stage for their passions and pastimes. The young couple could be considered one of Jozi's key style-influencers: Angie is an art director and serial collector, and Shane’s front man for Desmond and the Tutus as well as a copywriter, designer and furniture maker. The pair have a string of popular businesses behind their names – Illovo's Wolves café, Asian eatery Good Luck Club, and Braamfontein’s Father Coffee – and are the adoring parents of Nina James, their young daughter.
Rather than branded items, Angie and Shane appreciate vintage finds, commissions and one-off pieces, particularly local. 'Customised' is a notion they live by, with the majority of the furniture and accessories in their apartment either commissioned or made by Shane. 'He has never done it professionally but he has serious skills. He just YouTubes things and makes them,' says Angie with visible pride. Their belongings are backed by stories, given by friends, or sourced from the most unlikely places. 'I'm a collector. I have a lot of knick-knacks,' Angie admits. And at over 180m², the apartment can comfortably accommodate them.
'We were looking for something to renovate, something we could put our stamp on.' - Angie Batis Durrant
The tale of how the three-bedroom corner flat came into their possession is a serendipitous one: after struggling to get a bond and losing the flat to another couple, they were called just seven months later by the same couple, who were emigrating and offered Angie and Shane first dibs on their dream apartment.
Always on the hunt for special finds and rising talent, Angie has a dedicated following of design disciples via her blog, Lucky Pony, which highlights anything from trending tiles and under-the-radar antique stores to unsung artists and artisans.
Her love of art is palpable, with local work by the likes of Amber Smith and Nina Torr cramming wall space, plus a portfolio bag full of collected works that she’s stockpiled for a rainy day. Among her favourites is Ali Aschman's 'Hooded Girl', who animates a living room corner with her bashful presence.
'I like a house to look like someone is living in it. Stuff makes me happy, so I don’t want to pack it away all the time.' - Angie Batis Durrant
A scan of the shelves tells a rich story of the places Angie and Shane have seen and the people with whom they share their lives. A row of snow globes on the bookshelf nods to the cities they have visited, while Angie's inventory of retro ceramic animals, totalling around 200, brings a sense of humour to each room. Her ball-and-claw bath, carefully restored and teamed with an old ceramic basin, reveals her knack for salvaging elegant pieces; set against moody black bathroom walls, it caused a buzz when she posted its photo on her blog.
Two of Jozi's best-loved creatives, Angie and Shane have curated a home whose assembled originality reflects their sense of style and devotion to all things unique. She comments, 'It's taken years for us to find and collect our things. They all mean something to us, otherwise they wouldn’t be here.'
Lucky Pony, luckypony.co.za
Originally published in HL Jan/Feb 2015