Creating a fresh look with preloved materials - Styling with Tara Sloggett

To me, decorating sustainably means (amongst other things) thinking about the origin of each piece you bring into your home, and using preloved and recycled materials whenever you can. The danger in this, some might say, is ending up with a home like your old Aunt Dorothy's. Hush hush, that needn't be. Tara Sloggett is a super exciting stylist because she demonstrates how you can decorate sustainably, using preloved materials, whilst creating a modern, fresh and vibrant look. Tara sneaks preloved pieces very subtly into her home, and gives them a new lease on life. A rejuvenated chest of drawers next to a modern bed, an antique mirror above a sleek sink, an old wooden reel whitewashed and converted into a side table. Mixing it up with a few modern (but equally thoughtful) pieces is the key.

Originally from London, Tara relocated to Cape Town, South Africa, only a few years ago, and now uses this beautiful country as a backdrop for her inspirational styling work. Tara was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about her sustainable decorating style, and give us a little sticky beak into her gorgeous yet relaxed Cape Town home.

What is your decorating philosophy?
Don’t be frightened to try something, playing safe is boring! What’s the worst that can happen? So you paint a wall a crazy colour….there’s always a tin of white waiting in the wings!

What's your favourite piece?
A few things actually. I’m really into dark grey at the moment. I’ve painted two walls in a deep deep charcoal colour and also have a new retro grey sofa (so friends don’t have to sit on the floor or lined up on one sofa ‘waiting room style’ any more - yay!). I’ve also added some more storage space in the kitchen and painted the cupboards grey and added a few painted doileys. I just found an old ball and claw foot dining table that I’m itching to do something to, but just haven’t decided what yet. I still want to keep its history there, so I think it’s gonna end up a bit of a mix, something I’ve come to call ‘tradcool’ – corny but it works for me!

What does sustainable decorating mean to you? Why is sustainable decorating so important?
I think if it’s possible to create something beautiful knowing that you’ve only added to what was already there and not taken from it, then why not? Take the natural beauty of wood. It’s something that you will never tire of, it has history and will always be a classic - we definitely need more heirlooms to pass on to the generations to come.

What are you passionate about?
I love creating something from almost nothing. Some of my favourite pieces of furniture or creations have been things I’ve found along the roadside and given a home. It seems to be the things I spend money on go unnoticed and the ones that have been given my undivided attention and dedication seem to catch everyone’s eye - I think love must shine through!

Three words to describe 'home'.

Images courtesy of Tara Sloggett.
Visit Tara's beautiful website


  1. what a gorgeous post full of inspiration! by the way i just checked out your sidebar and i too am in love with Lisa Madigan's house, art, design, styling and collection of knick knacks from her shop.

  2. Thanks Luisa, yes, totally in love with Lisa's cottage! Just had a look at your blog and it's gorgeous, love the photography! Would love to keep hearing your feedback.



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