I have complained here (and elsewhere) before about the fact that in the modern age, good quality furniture is hard to find and underappreciated. In a small urban centre like Grahamstown, the search for furniture that is on-trend, well-made, and inexpensive is like the search for the holy grail.
Castim furniture (pronounced ‘custom’ with the classic South African ‘a’) fills this niche in the market for homeware. Cass Wilmot and Tim Cooper are the power couple behind this brand. Tim does the technical design and woodwork, whilst Cass, doing a PhD in Fine Art, decorates the pieces and plays the curatorial role in the brand. Their style is minimalist and geometric, and Tim particularly likes the contrast between painted and wooden elements. Their philosophy is eco-conscious. They use invasive species like saligna, wattle and blackwood in their designs. The paint and varnish used to finish items is water-based – reducing the number of toxins in exposed to the environment and humans.
Castim, as the name suggests, do custom orders. They make personalized furniture for a variety of needs. Affordable furniture for student digs is a big seller, as are bespoke items for local residents. The Castim range has also expanded to include other homeware items. Wrapping paper, crockery items, salad servers, chopping boards, planters and vases have become popular items in their repertoire. In addition, Cass has branched-off with a new brand, Trove, selling vintage clothing and accessories.
If you are interested in some unique furniture and homeware items check them out on Facebook or at the monthly SupUrban Market in Grahamstown.