Kare Johannesburg 2021
Kelly Adami, Misha Levin, Copperleaf Studio collaboration, Bedroom decor, Interior decor, Natural colours, Earthy tones, Casual aesthetic

A local collab to lie in for

In the bedroom of Misha Levin; a Copperleaf Studio collab we’re lusting after. 

Beloved influencer in the lifestyle sector – and she of The Browery fame – Misha Levin recently unveiled her Joburg home bedroom makeover to an eager audience on Instagram. Collaborating with interior designer Kelly Adami of Copperleaf Studio, the small collection of bedroom essentials is everything a grown-up bedroom calls for but in the pair’s understated, classic casual aesthetic. 

“For me, the bedroom space should be a sanctuary – a serene and rejuvenating escape from the outside world that calms the mind and lifts the spirit. It’s where we start and end every single day of our lives, so it is vital that it inspires and nourishes, rather than doing the opposite,” Kelly explains.

Those who follow Misha on social media will know her weakness for the natural end of the colour (and material) spectrum. She lives in and surrounds herself with a palette of taupe, camel, rust and all the warm earthy tones in between. So, it comes as no surprise that the collection – which includes a terracotta table lamp, headboard and base cover, bed end and arched mirror – follows suit. That it’s all hand made by local artisans gives the range major pull factor. 

We chatted to the pair to get the low down.

Why the bedroom space focus specifically? What does this space mean to you personally?

Misha: We moved into our rental property three years ago and I’m embarrassed to admit I hated the space so much that I just ignored it and pretended it didn’t exist. During lock-down, the room’s lacklustre aesthetic and lack of calm got the most of me and I decided it was time to take the plunge and make a change. Ironically, it was a green stripe in a plaid curtain that was both the source of my misery and also my inspiration. This was one space I just didn’t want to be left to my own devices with. I felt I needed another creative brain and sounding board on the project and Kelly was the perfect partner. 

Why have you chosen the specific products you have?

Kelly: The range of products that we designed fill the specific needs of Misha’s bedroom redo, but they also happen to be the items you’re likely to need and use in any bedroom. What we had both noticed is that these items, particularly the lamps and bed end, are not easy to find ‘off the shelf’ and therefore we wanted to fill a gap in the retail space for other people looking to solve similar problems.

Tell us more about your desire to use local artisans; did they inform the products or did the products you envisaged determine which artisans you worked with?

Kelly: We had a very clear vision of what we wanted but creating the products did require quite a lot of research and development and we obviously had to work within the limits of what was possible to do, locally. The artisans and craftsmen that we partnered with also brought their expertise to the table in terms of materiality, allowing us to enhance the strengths of our designs and to create products that were vastly improved upon compared to the original version in our heads. So the end results are even better than we had anticipated – this is why collaboration is so powerful!

COVID has amplified the focus on manufacturing and buying locally; why is this important to you both as consumers, creatives and influencers?

Misha: Not only was this project about supporting local, but it was about supporting our local neighbourhood and the artisans and makers within the Johannesburg city limits. When you take a little time to research and investigate what’s available to you on your doorstep you’ll be amazed at what you can find. There’s something special about knowing the person and people you’re supporting by choosing local makers and artists, and it just felt like the right thing to do given our current economic climate.

Can you elaborate on the colour palette and materials used?

Kelly: The colour palette was actually the starting point for this bedroom makeover. Since Misha and her family are renting their beautiful home, they didn’t really want to replace the existing bedroom blinds – which are a kind of green and cream checkered print. This was a sore point for Misha and one of the reasons she had avoided focussing on her bedroom. We decided to embrace them instead of fight them and so the green tones in the blind inspired the wall colour. We then paired the green with rusts, dirty pinks and terracottas – which are so big right now and work so gorgeously with green – and of course lovely textured light-coloured neutrals to lift the scheme and give it character and depth. Earthy materials including clay, rattan, chunky textiles and wood were also important to create a feeling of warmth and cosiness in the space.

Misha: We also wanted pieces that are transferable to our next home and won’t date. A wall colour is easy to change, and scatters are very easy to recover, but the other pieces are big, mature and timeless in their design, so they will travel well when we eventually move and are faced with a new space. 

What is your favourite item in your own bedroom that isn’t part of this collection?

Kelly: We live in a home that was built in the late 80s and so has lots of funny angled-walls, which are just so hard to design around! We had two of these behind our bed, which meant we didn’t have a nice flat surface to put the bed and bedside tables against. So, I designed a built-in headboard with a shelf at the back to cover and smooth over this awkward shape. And, it has completely transformed the space into something not only beautiful but also functional, with the part behind our backs upholstered in a luxurious Philip Pikus weave. It’s now my favourite part of our room. 

Misha: Our big mid-century modern chests that serve as bedside tables. I’ve always hated the idea of small, pokey units that don’t have enough surface area nor storage space. These chests make for the perfect bedside tables because they’re high and can accommodate not only an over-sized lamp but also books and other pretty bits that one uses on a daily basis. I bought my first one at Modernist in Parkhurst a decade ago and then recently found a near perfect match at Re-trend in Auckland Park. I absolutely adore these two investment pieces. 

Misha, why the expansion into the décor realm?

Decor and design have always been something I’ve loved and played with, they feel very much like an extension of who I am. It has been a dream of mine to work with local makers to bring decor pieces to market that I felt there was a gap for and this collaboration with Kelly has allowed me the platform to do that. We’re on the same page and our partnership has been a dream. 

Might this just be the start of more collaborations to come?

Kelly: I certainly hope so! For a start, we’ve chatted about expanding and adding to our range, which we’ll come back to once I’m back from maternity leave in the second half of the year. We have a few ideas in the pipeline…

Misha: Oh, you bet! Revealing our room and project has underscored for me how excited I am to work on new ideas and pieces we think the market will love, while supporting local creatives and their families. Watch this space.

www.copperleafstudio.co.za

Words: Mila Crewe-Brown
Production: J-P de la Chaumette
Images: Annalize Nel and Misha Levin