DJ Lindy Hibbard loves the light, bright De Waterkant apartment she shares with her Finnish fiancé
Born and raised in Durbanville, Lindy Hibbard – a household name in the Western Cape – is celebrating 13 years in the radio industry, a job she dreamed about as a 10-year-old when she was given a pink radio tape player for Christmas.
While listening to it every day, she thought to herself: “Those DJs sound like they are having the best time of their lives and I want to do that!”
Hard work and perseverance paid off for Hibbard, who now co-hosts the breakfast show on Smile FM with Bobby Brown.
“There is something magical about working in radio; it’s fluid, it’s intimate and it’s immediate,” says Hibbard. “It’s just you and the listener, and you get to touch people and form relationships with them without even meeting them.”
A self-professed fitness fanatic and animal lover, when she’s not on air, Hibbard is also a voice-over artist, emcee, guest speaker, and Ambassador of Hope for the Sunflower Fund. She lives in a one-bedroom apartment in De Waterkant with her fiancé, Peter Lehto, and their cat, Arwen. The couple plan to marry in November.
“We love De Waterkant. This is the fifth year we’ve lived in the area and it really feels like home.” Not surprisingly, one of the best parts of it is the proximity to her work: “It’s literally a two-minute walk down the road to the Smile 90.4FM studios. Peter takes the MyCiTi bus to work and for him, it’s just a quick trip to the Foreshore.
“We walk almost everywhere – from grocery shopping at Cape Quarter to the restaurants and coffee shops in the area. By driving less, we save money on petrol, get some extra exercise and reduce our carbon footprint. It’s a win-win.”
For now, the small apartment is ideal but after they are married, Hibbard and Lehto plan to have children in the next two years, so then they’ll need something with more bedrooms and a garden. “Plus, then I’ll be able to get a dog,” says Hibbard happily.
With its view of Table Mountain from the living room window which she loves, the property is a rental which was furnished by the owner, but it’s exactly what she and Lehto would have chosen for the space, says Hibbard. “There’s a great deal of white to maximise the light streaming in, a neutral-heavy colour palette, natural textures like a stone feature wall and the use of shutters instead of curtains. The decor is uncluttered and simple, giving the entire space a cosy feeling.”
Lehto is Finnish and the couple share a love of Scandinavian design, says Hibbard. The result is a decor style of simplicity, minimalism and functionality, along with understated elegance described by clean lines and modern furniture.
“I like to have fresh flowers at home as often as possible; they bring a soft, feminine energy into the space and always lift my spirits,” says Hibbard. “I also have functional souvenirs that remind me of my travels overseas – like a porcelain platter from Croatia, a coffee table book from New York and a cheese board from Amsterdam.
“I don’t like ornaments but the one piece I do have is very special to me. It’s a little white glass bird by Finnish designer Oiva Toikka. His collection of Iittala Birds has become iconic over the past 30 years and each piece is individually mouth-blown. It was a gift from Peter and I treasure it.”
The kitchen is Hibbard’s favourite place in the home. “It’s a nice big space to work in, with lots of cupboard space, and I love how the appliances like the fridge, dishwasher and washing machine are ‘hidden’. They’re disguised as cupboard doors which creates a clean, minimalist feel. Perfect for me since I’m a bit of a neat freak.”
Light is extremely important in a home, says Hibbard. Her advice is to choose shutters instead of window treatments to maximise that. To achieve a look similar to hers, she suggests opting for earthy muted tones, honest materials and minimal ornamentation.
“Select wood or tiles instead of wall-to-wall carpets and use a rug to create warmth. Incorporating cladding on the walls adds texture, and make sure there are clean lines from the architecture right through to the furniture.”
* Hibbard co-hosts Smile Breakfast with Bobby Brown and Lindy Hibbard on Smile 90.4FM every weekday 6am till 9am.