One boutique venue. Multiple services.
Renowned interior designer David Muirhead’s new Parkmore showroom houses his design collection and studio, plus a boutique venue for functions.
A Boutique Venue to Pay Homage
Named after iconic fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, the Westwood room is described by David Muirhead as a ‘boutique lounge-cum-bar’ that can be hired for private events or exclusive high teas. ‘Like Westwood’s fashion, it’s a constantly evolving space,’ says the designer.
Keep it in the Family
‘It has been a lifetime dream to have a store with a collection of lifestyle products. I’ve been thinking about it for many years now. My brother-in-law, Ian Groves, and I combined forces and said, ‘Let’s do a partnership.’ We’ve called it the David Muirhead Collection. My sister, Mandy Groves, is my business partner on the interior-design side, David Muirhead Associates. We love what we’ve created. It’s an exciting time.’
A Space’s Changing Faces
‘The site of our new HQ in Parkmore used to be a Portuguese restaurant and, before that, a bar. Ages ago I mentioned to the landlord, Grant Field of Fed Group, that I would really love the space as it’s so underutilised and in such a great position. ‘Nothing remains. We literally gutted it from one side to the other – it was a massive renovation. We also took up two more stores – to make it a good 600m2 in total. We added all the northern windows, and the garden was designed by Jan Blok of Blok Landscaping. ‘A lot of Sandton corporates need a nice boardroom (we also have a full-catering kitchen), and we wanted to offer something that is also interior-design orientated. Initially, I thought we’d just have the store in the front and our office and studio at the back, but then I thought, let’s add a boutique boardroom and function venue. I realised that the same clients I do interiors for would be our function-venue clients. It will be an ever-changing, evolving space: you might come this month and find the boardroom is ivory with landscapes on the walls, but in three months’ time it could be wallpapered.’
Why a Boutique Venue in Parkmore?
‘I’ve lived in Parkmore for 12 years – my studio used to be part of my house and our new HQ is on the same street. My sister lives within two minutes’ from here, too. I think South Africans are now realising how important it is to live close to work and, business-wise there are still great prospects in Parkmore, an area I consider to have huge investment potential. Newly renovated homes here are fetching upwards of R4 million.
‘For me it’s still position, position, position. Parkmore is set between Sandhurst, Riverclub, Morningside and Sandton Central, which is the wealthiest area per square kilometre in the whole of Africa. So, from a practical and an investment point of view, it was a no-brainer. ‘There’s a huge trend toward village malls… and I’m really not fond of big shopping centres. I think Parkmore has the potential to be the Parkhurst of Sandton.’
The Interior-Design Side of Business
‘We’ve got quite a few hotel projects on the go right now. We work closely with Tsogo Sun, so we’ve taken on the Palazzo Hotel. We did the interiors for 54 on Bath, and we’re working on the link between the hotel and the mall, which is really exciting – it is going to form a gallery space for up-and-coming artists.’
David’s Fave Parkmore Restaurants
- The Johannesburg Eatery: ‘A wonderful New York-style eatery with great food.’
- Thomas Maxwell Bistro: ‘A Parkmore fine-dining institution.’
- Dylan’s Restaurant: ‘A family-orientated café and restaurant across the road from our new HQ.’
- Signature Restaurant: ‘One of my favourites in the Morningside Shopping Centre, minutes’ away from Parkmore.’
- Coobs: ‘An eclectic modern bistro in Parkhurst that I often frequent.’
- David Muirhead: davidmuirhead.com
- The Johannesburg Eatery: Corner 11th Street and Victoria Avenue, 011 783 1570, eateryjhb.co.za
- Thomas Maxwell Bistro: 140 11th Street, 011 784 1575, thomasmaxwell.co.za
- Dylan’s Restaurant: Corner 12th Street and Olympia Avenue, 011 884 7035, dylansrestaurant.co.za
- Signature Restaurant: Morningside Shopping Centre; 011 884 8888; signaturerestaurant.co.za
- Coobs: 4th Avenue; Parkhurst; 011 447 0710; coobs.co.za
- Mungo: mungo.co.za
Interview: Graham Wood Photographs: Elsa Young