Once upon a thyme...



Nothing speaks more to the test of time than a mother passing on her legacy, talent and experience to her daughter. Style House is just that – a timeless legacy of experience and natural talent coming together to create perfection. Mother and Daughter duo, Donna and Kate, are the backbone of this extraordinary business who have been taking their talent and skills from one success to another. 

Donna grew up on a farm in the Northern Cape, with her love of flowers and nature deeply rooted in her genes. Donna, like her mother before her, has always been a keen gardener. Her mother, Emily Pedlar (fondly referred to as “Nanna”), always managed to maintain a beautiful yet simple garden, often in drought-stricken times using borehole water. At the age of 95, she could be found arranging flowers from her bed. Like an oasis in the desert, she told fond stories of Donna as a little girl, rallying in the whole family to help enter flower arrangements into the annual agricultural show that came to the district. 

Growing up, Kate was always intrigued by her mum’s magical creations and green fingers. Just like Emily and Donna, Kate’s love for flowers bloomed at a young age with fond memories of her childhood garden. “Our childhood garden was always picturesque with dainty footpaths and fountains - any child’s dream! It was a burst of colour which turned into an annual show garden that was open to the public every Spring”, commented Kate. She dreamed of the day when she could follow in her mother’s footstep and pass on that little bit of magic and wonder that touched her life so deeply as a child. 

This happened in 2015 when Kate moved back to her hometown in Pietermaritzburg. From grandmother to mother, to daughter, this legacy and love for flowers clearly runs in their blood with even Kate’s little daughter starting to take a keen interest. “It is definitely a passion that is in our "wiring" as my now 5-year-old loves nothing more than helping out”, says Kate.  

Donna completed the Garden and Home commercial floral artist course in 1995 and excelled at it. This gave her the confidence to help out at friends and family weddings which is where Stylehouse (previously known as Blomme) was born. She went on to pass her passion, skills and knowledge onto her daughter, Kate, who considers herself incredibly lucky to have learnt from such a passionate, skilled and naturally talented floral artist. 

These two, highly talented women find solace in nature and flowers. For them, life seems incomplete without flowers. When asked what they love most about what they do, the answer was simple: “First and foremost, we love playing a role in one of the most special days in a person’s life and being able to provide them with something that makes them beam with happiness. Sometimes, it is hard to express one's feelings or emotions, but giving flowers speaks volumes and often expresses what our words fail too”. 

Donna and Kate’s skill and strengths complement each other perfectly, and this dynamic pair find their inspiration from an array of places, largely through experimenting, time of the year, magazine trends, colour swatches and their surrounding environment. While Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration, they tend to sway away from "cookie-cutter", run of the mill wedding and event styles. 

Along with unique designs, the pair enjoy sourcing unusual decor items that they are able to mix and match to create exquisitely bespoke looks. Their passion for textures, scents and colours is what makes their creations and designs unique and special.