John Jacob Zwiegelaar set up John Jacob Interiors in 2005. He has since made his name as the creator of unmistakable, highly bespoke, glamorous work underpinned by attention to detail, a feel for individual clients’ requirements and client satisfaction.

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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.

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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’.

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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.

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