Based in Cape Town, John Jacob Interiors will undertake the entire design process, from architectural design as well as custom furniture design, to the decoration of the interiors and the treatment of the garden. If individual projects require it, furniture and decorative accessories are sourced further afield - in the United Kingdom, France or wherever else is appropriate. Zwiegelaar works with South African artists to procure the right paintings or sculpture for particular projects. Particular relationships with antique dealers, galleries and fabric houses ensure that the interiors are contextualized precisely to clients’ requirements and the project’s location.
No two projects are ever the same in the sense that his individual solutions each have their own particular style and character. ‘They can’t be the same. Clients have unique personalities and they want their spaces to do something for them, particularly, and say something that’s personal to them. And so, in order to do whatever it is the client wants, I try to evaluate the project’s context - and I’m talking about the architecture as well as the surroundings. And then you have to manipulate those parameters to create the lifestyle the client is seeking.’ His interiors have integrity and layers of meaning. He hasn’t simply gone on a shopping trip and indiscriminately filled the rooms with disparate objects. He’s searched for things he believes are right; he’s gone the extra mile, thoughtfully, cleverly and with panache. ‘I believe I’ve added value to my client’s life’.
At John Jacob Interiors, Zwiegelaar’s style of work is characterised by its range of references. From period French neo-classical to contemporary Belgian haute-decoration, to Roberto Cavalli-esque rockstar style, each of his projects relies on authentic furnishings and a desire to create comfortable accommodation that’s both functional and aesthetically satisfying. To date however, his particular forte is a contemporary classic look defined by a series of monotones ranging from dark chocolate, to black and grey, each matched with white.
Projects include: the decoration of a formal Atlantic Seaboard (Cape Town) villa in neo-classical style – all in black and white; the makeover of a 19th century farmhouse in contemporary-classic style (Cape Winelands); a 'Mediterranean' beach villa for a European rock star (Cape Town); new and refurbished homes for some prominent South Africans in finance, fashion and design – both in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg; new wine tasting facilities at a Cape wine estate, Graham Beck Wines; public areas and landscaping at Cape Royale hotel (Cape Town); and new guest lodges, sitting rooms and landscaping at Samara Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Under development are olive oil tasting cellars at Mardouw (Western Cape); the restoration of 2 historic houses in Graaff-Reinet (Eastern Cape) He is currently working on homes in London, Berlin, Oslo and Lisbon as well as numerous projects around South Africa. To date none of the above has been photographed. Each year Zwiegelaar undertakes the redecoration and partial refurbishment of a southern African game camp for the Saudi Royal Family's annual African holiday. John has also been selected for the Andrew Martin directory for 2010.
John Jacob Interiors, 233 Bree Street, Cape Town 8005.