Thursday, May 23

At one with nature

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A fitness expert wanted a calming space for her baby and sophistication for herself .

Gender neutral is how Wardah Hartley describes the environment in her perfectly decorated ­nursery. The baby’s space, which took three months to create, is an elegant reflection of her style and take on her approach to being a new parent.

“We didn’t want the usual themes and wanted to change it with natural colours. We knew it was a boy, but chose to decorate with a natural theme using taupe and blacks and white. When I told my mother the room was going to be black and white she was shocked,” laughs Hartley.

The result is a calming place for a baby with a sophisticated feel for mom with all the necessities required for caring for him.

Wanting to avoid clichéd themes like cars and looking for something less obvious, Hartley, 35, sought inspiration from the Scandinavian styles of light wood and bold black, and the soothing silhouettes of the forest.

The nursery the TV personality and sports journalist created with her husband, Kashif Samodien, is a calming space that boasts muted tones and clever use of black and white contrasting colours.

Their son Esa is three months old. Hartley alternates between breastfeeding and bottles, and returns to work soon as a sports anchor on eNCA.

Married 10 years ago, the Cape couple moved to Morningside, Johannesburg in 2010 and rented the double-storey cluster home. They now own it and plan to renovate over time. The nursery was the start and with generous support from brands she presents, the furnishings and feature wall allowed them to spend their budget on a solid cot and compact.

“The wall mural was custom-supplied. It is a unique design we loved for its earthy look. The decal includes a stag and bunnies hidden behind the cot.”
Hartley feeds Esa in the living room of their Morningside home. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA Pictures
She says the three-dimensional tree trunk decals can be used later to install LED lighting if Esa needs a night light.

“We were also fortunate to receive sponsored linen and soft furnishings.

“The soft furnishings match the block-out curtaining and double bed where Hartley can sleep or I can feed him. I love the idea of a bed in the room so I could relax when nursing and have him sleep next to me.”

Born in Cape Town, Hartley started as a sports journalist and enjoyed a stint as communications manager at a listed company. 

In addition to her news reading and presenting roles, she runs a successful blog, Fabufit. The fitness expert was surprised at how quickly her blog has grown.

“It has gone from strength to strength and I’m excited to see where it goes from here,” says Hartley. 

She plans to build on the interest she is getting for her parenting advice and continue expressing her passions and experience about lifestyle, wellness and health.

“We work out to be healthy, but we also do it to look good in our clothes. That’s why Fabufit is also about fashion, beauty and looking fabulous.“The blog is my other baby and I tapped into a whole new audience since being pregnant. 

“It is a reflection of me so it features fitness, wellness, fashion and now mommy advice.”

There are plans for a baby brother or sister for Esa.

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