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Central is Cape Town’s Cool and Inspiring New Decor Store

Shop some bright ideas at Central, a perfectly petite new decor store in Cape Town

Greg Cox

Picture an old-school laboratory crossed with a plant-filled greenhouse, then add a soupçon of vintage and a little taxidermy on the side, and you’ll be starting to imagine what Central looks like.

Situated in a sliver of a space that’s located alongside Deluxe Coffeeworks in Buitenkant Street, Cape Town, Central is one of those decor shops that’s definitely more than just a store. It’s a haven of interior ideas, where the way the simple metal shelving combines with lab-inspired glassware, special vintage items and cascades of plants and cut flowers will inspire you to reimagine your home as you shop. 

Shop some bright ideas at Central, a perfectly petite new decor store in Cape Town | House and Leisure

Central is the brainchild of the team behind VM Studio, which is one of the country’s top visual-merchandising companies. We chatted to its owners, Sanet Coetzee and Rupert Smith – the people who conceptualised and created the store over a period of just two months at the end of 2018. 

When the opportunity arose to open Central next to Deluxe Coffeeworks in Buitenkant Street, did you jump at the chance right away?

We are regulars at Deluxe and saw the open space ,but only looked at it in the beginning of October. In the back of our minds, we have always wanted to open a shop as an extension of our visual merchandising studio. When we saw the space, we fell in love with the odd shape and the glass windows looking into the coffee shop, and Central was born.

Shop some bright ideas at Central, a perfectly petite new decor store in Cape Town | House and Leisure

How long did it take to put the store together, and what was the biggest challenge in terms of doing so?

We started sourcing and planning immediately from October 2018, and opened on 6 December that year. The biggest challenge was getting the signage and shop fitting done in time, considering that that is the busiest time of the year and everyone was already committed. What we had in our favour is the fact that we have our own creative studio that was able to do a lot of the work, and also fantastic suppliers with whom we have built relationships over the years through our VM Studio.

What is your overall vision for Central?

As we are in visual merchandising, we take a lot of care in the way that we merchandise the store and put things together. We want to create a feeling with people when they walk into Central. Retail is about an experience and we want our customers to leave inspired and excited – in essence, that is what visual merchandising is meant to do. Obviously, we would also like to become the destination for gifting and all things beautiful for your home, especially if you like something a little different.

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Shop some bright ideas at Central, a perfectly petite new decor store in Cape Town | House and Leisure

Any exciting future plans?

To go online soon, so everyone can shop from Central. We are also planning a visual merchandising festival towards the middle of this year.

Shop some bright ideas at Central, a perfectly petite new decor store in Cape Town | House and Leisure
What’s your favourite item in the store at the moment?

We love everything in the store as we have hand-picked every item. Vintage items are great because these constantly change and we never know what we are going to find. And then, we also love all the Wiid Design items, because each piece is so beautifully designed and considered and mostly made locally.

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