I always encourage my clients to follow their hearts when it comes to their interiors, and not to be too distracted by the latest design trends, although I must admit that some of them are quite appealing and many do have longevity.

A few months back I blogged about sustainability and environmental interiors, and it seems a trend that is definitely here to stay. Another favourite is something that we term as ‘contemporary vintage’ that sees some family heirlooms or favourite antiques being incorporated into a contemporary interior. This concept of mixing the old with the new is also evident through the incorporation of beautiful and culturally unique aspects into our interiors - via the textiles and fabrics used on curtains, furniture and rugs. Oriental rugs and Persian carpets are extremely popular accessories, not only for their myriad of elaborate colours and artistic designs, but also because the good ones are made to last forever. Contemporary African rugs combine traditional geometric patterns and zigzags and can really finish off an otherwise clean interior. Also, buying a hand-woven, locally made item contributes to the sustainability of those who lovingly handcraft these pieces of art.

I love having an area in my house that’s just for me. A place that I can disappear to, where it’s okay to be a little bit untidy, to get really comfortable and inspired, and to just let my creative juices flow. However, just as much as I love the private sphere, I know that having an area to welcome and entertain extended family and friends, without needing to restrict the numbers, is an important part of our South African culture. We love to entertain, and in light of this, many South African homes have been, or are being built, with grand hospitality in mind.

Impact on the environment has become a key topic of consideration in the building industry, and the trend of constructing, using greener methodologies and technologies, in particular for office and even hotel developments, is growing around the world. Many sustainable construction principles have become popular for home owners too, with environmental awareness informing the architectural design, materials used (wall flooring, windows), room placement, the landscaping, and of course the interior design as well.

The obvious objectives of green building are to support the efficient use of our natural resources, to reduce waste and pollution, to disturb the natural habitat as little as possible; and to use locally procured or natural materials where applicable.

Interior Design - A peek in the master-bedroom

If you have, currently are, or are planning to build a new house as a greenfield project, then it really pays off to know what you are committing to financially from the outset. Especially when you have set your expectations of the finished product very high.

When I’ve been invited to participate in new home projects that are well underway, more often than not, I have found myself consoling disappointed clients that have had to revert to plan C, D or even E when it comes to feathering their nests. Their building projects reach a point where all of a sudden, hidden or unforeseen costs raise their ugly heads, and clients find themselves in the unfortunate position where compromises must be made.

Interior Design - A peek in the master-bedroom

In our last post on Facebook in June we asked for your thoughts on designing the interior of the master bedroom. Should one create an interior that speaks only to you and your partner? Or one you’d be all too happy sharing with friends who are taking a tour of your home?

The master bedroom, in my opinion, is definitely a private space. One that is not shared with friends or family, and one in which both partners feel entirely comfortable. Your bedroom is a place for rest and romance and you should create a space where you feel well in your skin.

Interior DesignWhen I first enter a room my attention is immediately drawn to paintings, loose carpets or rugs, vases, ornaments and any unusual items of furniture. These items usually tell a story about the home-owners - where they are from, where they have been, and what is important to them. They are usually also great lead-ups into riveting conversations!

Works of art and loose carpets are definitely investment items, and if my clients’ intention is to invest, I’m happy to advise them on how, and where, to spend their money wisely. Collectibles (such as wine and antiques) and passion investments (art) are respectively ranked as second and fourth highest global investment choices, and people with the desire to invest in visible and tangible pieces are certainly spoilt for choice.

Interior Design - It’s not about me, it’s all about you

We’re all individuals, with our own stories to tell, and our homes are an extension of this unique tale. I guess if I had a signature style it would make my vocation easier, but I really do prefer seeking and finding the perfect fit for my clients.

There are designers who survive on a signature style, and there are clients who want to be associated with that. However, to be very honest, I don’t want people to walk into a house and immediately think “Aha, Audi from Drapers’ designed this”. I want them to walk into my clients’ homes and think “Wow. You have the most beautiful place, and it fits you like a glove.”

touching quality