The House of Chommies: A concept store for dogs and the people who love them. Like me.

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I’m all for a good concept store, and one combined with colour, design, loads of panache and dogs brings all of my favourite things together under one roof, as is the case with Chommies on Hatfield Street in Cape Town.

Located in an elegant refurbished heritage building which now serves as a destination and escapist city oasis. The Chommies’ brand ethos has always been to connect people with a passion for dogs, design and Africa and here they do just that. For dogs, Chommies makes high-quality, eye-catching accessories: leashes that promise long walks, harnesses for the more curious, and collars to show they belong. For people, it’s colour-soaked casual wear and novelties that make every day feel like a holiday.

As a company that’s inspired by a life lived with dogs at the tip of Africa and lucky enough to call Cape Town home, it specialises in contemporary design and artisanal novelties that are handmade to the highest standard in South Africa. Wanting to create a feel-good, welcoming space that is a sensory experience and allows exploration of new ideas and products in the home, fashion and accessories space is the ever-evolving dream of founder Nathalie Klijn.

Traditionally known as Ravenswood House, the stately national monument dates to the early 1800s and was built in the late classical Georgian style. Now made even more remarkable thanks to Klijn’s vivacious visual style and touch so visible in the unconventionally coloured ceilings, the walls adorned with patterned murals and commissioned wallpaper featuring playful illustrations of Cape Town living. At the entrance, natty-painted stripes exude sophisticated gaiety, hand-painted in swathes of moody teal, salmon and terracotta that she artfully sourced from a combination of Farrow & Ball and Plascon swatches.

The House of Chommies has a secluded courtyard with dog-friendly benches and a water fountain that seconds as a dipping pond, with the garden that was originally designed by Cape Town landscaper Franchesca Watson. You can take a seat at bespoke café tables with custom beaded surfaces and original metal outdoor chairs inspired by Malawian basketry, both of which were developed specifically for this space. ‘We want our customers and their dogs to feel inspired but also at ease as if in their own home, helping them to unwind from today’s busy world,’ says Klijn.

The name ‘Chommies’ is borrowed from a South African term for ‘pals’, encapsulating the joie de vivre of this playful brand. The House of Chommies presents a vibrant array of collars, leashes and harnesses fit for every size and fur colour. To mix and match are a range of innovative accessories and gifts for people to include keyrings, woven basket bags and ‘sunny side up’ phone necklaces. For the ultimate in artisanal luxury crafted in South Africa is ‘Mo-Hey! by Chommies’ – a range of ultra-soft knitwear, designed and hand-knitted from luxurious mohair yarn as jerseys, cardigans and puff blouses in playful stripes or unicolours.

All products are handmade using the finest materials to the highest quality in the Chommies studio situated across the road from the store in a beautiful Victorian townhouse, which Klijn sensitively renovated to bring it in line with the brand aesthetic. Thanks to local artisans who form part of the Chommies’ team and work with pride and precision, traditional African craftsmanship such as whipping, weaving and macramé live on and are cleverly reimagined, whilst adding soul and story to each product. Customers can make an appointment to visit the workshop.

The Essential Details

The House of Chommies concept store is located at 110 Hatfield Street, Gardens, Cape Town.  The store is open Monday to Friday from 10h00 to 16h00, but opening hours may change so double check to be sure. For more information visit or email

** Text and images provided.

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