If you’re looking for someone to help create stylish interior spaces in your home, take a look at our profiles of the most sought-after interior designers in the country.

Back row (standing, from left): Judy de Villiers from JDV Interior Designers, Wanda-Michelle Hadlow from Wanda-Michelle Interiors, Anthony Fourie from A-Z Design Boutique, Donald Nxumalo from DNX Interior Design and Bianca Suttner from Dolce Vita Designs
Front row (seated, from left): Elisha Annandale from Decor Identity, Michael Prinsloo from Michael Prinsloo Designs, Rhona Aves from Seva Design, Lara Roets from A-Z Design Boutique and Farzeen Dockrat from So Ya Designs

Abri de Villiers Architects and JDV Interior Designers

Design and build the perfect home inside and out.

Judy de Villiers & Abri de Villiers, Company Owners

What is Abri de Villiers Architects’ design philosophy? To be honest, practical and new, while respecting architecture, construction principles, the environment and our clients’ requirements.

How would you describe JDV Interior Designers’ design philosophy? I create ultra-luxurious spaces for diverse clients and for all types of activities.

What sets Abri de Villiers Architects apart from others in the industry? We design and build projects. Therefore the design process only concludes when the construction of the building is completed. And the client is part of the process from beginning to end.

What is the first thing JDV Interior Designers likes to do when meeting with new clients? I listen very clearly to what the clients’ needs are because the project is their project and I am there to incorporate their ideas with good interior design.

When designing, what does Abri de Villiers Architects keep in mind regarding the project as a whole? Somebody must live or work in the building I design and build, so it’s my responsibility as a designer and builder to make sure the inhabitants relate to the building.

When it comes to interiors, does JDV Interior Designers feel people are still very trend-driven, or is there a move towards developing personal taste and style? I definitely feel it’s a bit of both – we get inspired by trends, but when it comes to a client’s personal space they tend to have their own style and add trend ideas and items to it.

Trends aside, what is the one thing you’d like readers to take on board when decorating? Be brave, use your own style and build from there. That’s where your uniqueness lies.

What is Abri de Villiers Architects’ stance on the future of eco-friendly building and design in South Africa? Eco-friendly design has always been important in the design of buildings. The concept isn’t new – maybe a little forgotten in the past. By using simple principles, like orientation, shading and ventilation, the designer can design eco-friendly buildings that would not have a major influence on the budget. The challenge in South Africa is not to focus on the green aspects that the high-end buildings allow, but to design all buildings to be eco-friendly. This is a major challenge as a big portion of our population still burn fuel for heating and cooking.

For JDV Interior Designers, good design is… a well-proportioned space, sufficient contrast in texture and colour and knowing when the design is complete, not to over-design…

Contacts: Abri de Villiers Architects: 013 656 3705,082 9210 593, abri@advarch.co.za

JDV Interior Designers: 072 612 2014, admin.chic@mweb.co.za, www.jdvinteriordesigners.com

A-Z Design Boutique

Walk into the home of your dreams.

Lara Roets & Anthony Fourie. Interior Design & Architectural Specialists

How would you describe your design philosophy? Our clients must live superiorly in their new dream home compared to their current one, fulfilling all expectations on every level of comfort, inspirational design and practicality.

What is the first thing you like to do when meeting with new clients? We like to get to know the entire family really well, so we have a three- to four-hour briefing session with all members, including the kids. This gives us insight into their personal living requirements, and we thrive on bringing these dreams to life in each room of the home.

When it comes to interiors, do you feel we’re all still very trend-driven or is there a move towards developing personal taste and style? Trends repeat every decade or two, but it’s the mix of clients and their designer’s personal taste that brings each trend, or reoccurring trend, into a developed personal style.

Would you agree there is a greater appreciation for local design and craftsmanship? In the past decade, definitely. We support local manufacturers as much as possible, and our clients certainly appreciate local craftsmanship within their home’s design schemes.

Trends aside, what would you like our readers to take on board when decorating? Make allowance in your budget for a professional designer; they will save you time and money. If you can’t engage with a professional, be sure to fill your home’s design scheme with excellently manufactured quality items for longevity.

Good design is… creating environments that encourage the ultimate living experience.

Contact: 079 872 4095, lara@a-zdesignboutique.com, www.a-zdesignboutique.com

Decor Identity

Individual design concepts, tailored to suit clients’ needs.

Elisha Annandale, Interior Designer & Architectural Consultant

What is your design philosophy? We always try to create a space or a home of high quality. A design that each client feels they can live in, and be involved in the decisions to make them happy and comfortable in the space they call home. It must reflect the client’s taste, personality and budget.

What’s the first thing you like to do when you meet with a new client? I think it is very important to get to know your client and understand their view and their specific needs. You can’t design a space if you don’t know who will be living in it or what their design ideas are.

When it comes to interiors, do you feel we’re all still very trend-driven or is there a move towards developing personal taste and style? It’s important for us as designers to know what is new and happening in the world of design, colour and trends. But that being said, most of our clients are moving towards developing spaces using different elements more in line with their tastes and needs.

Trends aside, what’s the one thing you’d like readers to take on board when decorating their homes? That they try to use what they have but avoid over-cluttering a space. Also, to follow a few basic design rules – like creating a focal point, colour and proportion – while always remembering the space should work for them and not everyone else.

Good design is… making use of simple design rules and your taste, put together to reflect your personality in your space.

Contact: 082 777 6600, info@decoridentity.co.za, www.decoridentity.co.za

Dolce Vita Designs

An interior architecture, design & décor firm.

Bianca Suttner, Owner

How would you describe your design philosophy? Dolce Vita Designs, meaning ‘the good life’, believes in creating interior spaces that inspire and motivate clients and their guests to excel or relax in their surroundings.

What is the first thing you like to do when meeting with new clients? I like to spend the first 30 minutes asking them about their lifestyle, needs and desires. Engaging with the clients on a personal level allows them to relax and open up about more than just their interior design or décor requirements, which assists me with 80% of the brief. Certain keywords direct me to a solution without the client having to elaborate further.

When it comes to interiors, do you feel we’re all still very trend-driven or is there a move towards developing personal taste and style? In my 14 years in the industry I have never believed in following trends. I design according to Frank Lloyd Wright’s design philosophy: that form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union. But I do think that fabric designers are trendsetters, as they dictate what colours, textures and designs (themes) will be rolled out each season.

Trends aside, what is the one thing you’d like readers to take on board when decorating? Never compromise on quality and your ultimate design solution! I would suggest that the client rather wait to decorate or design a space than install an alternative because it is more affordable or readily available.

Good design is… unobtrusive.

Contact: 082 308 1653, www.dolceb.com

DNX Interior Design

An interior design firm based in Kramerville, Johannesburg.


Donald Nxumalo, Owner and Interior Designer

How would you describe your design philosophy? I would describe it as very client-centric and a source of joy. We are an organisation that thrives on providing happiness to all our clients, be it for an entry-level project or a multi-faceted undertaking.

What is the first thing you like to do when meeting with new clients? I always crack a joke first and talk about a whole load of things besides the project. By the time we start talking about the project, the client is relaxed and our design process just flows.

When it comes to interiors, do you feel we’re all still very trend-driven or is there a move towards developing personal taste and style? I have noticed a lot of interiors are quite trendy at the moment. I believe this goes for the industry because, just like fashion, trends keep changing and a lot of design houses have adopted this. What we do is a bit different – we always look for the personal touch and find ways we can combine that with modern styling and design.

Trends aside, what would you like our readers to take on board when decorating? When used properly, colour and lighting make a significant difference. Also, don’t be afraid of wallpaper and 3D wall-boards. These create a different mood just on their own, and in turn create a beautiful ambience for homes.

Good design is… Donald Nxumalo Studios.

Contact: 011 262 2097, donald@dnxinteriordesign.com, www.donaldnxumalo.com

Michael Prinsloo Designs

MPD offers corporate and individual clients an exclusive, comprehensive service.

Michael Prinsloo, Owner

How would you describe your design philosophy? My philosophy has always been ‘clients first’. In other words, I put the practical needs of our clients first, followed by design function and form. Interior design has to have the wow factor but, most importantly, it has to work for clients in their everyday lives.

When it comes to interiors, do you feel we’re all still very trend-driven or is there a move towards developing personal taste and style? Great interior design is timeless. So, even though we keep a close eye on global trends, we always put a bit of ‘Michael Prinsloo flare’ into our clients’ designs – which is more of a contemporary look than a classic one. This is what MPD has become known for and why clients choose to work with us.

Would you agree there is greater appreciation for local design and craftsmanship? I have always been a massive supporter of local suppliers and talent, whether it’s furniture, soft furnishings or art – we always tend to shop locally first. The talent that is coming out of SA now is world-class and what better way to showcase it than in our clients’ homes?

Trends aside, what is the one thing you’d like our readers to take on board when decorating? It doesn’t matter how big or small the project is, it’s always worth having a budget in mind before you brief your chosen decorator. This helps your decorator to get the most out of your budget in a way that suits your needs and their recommended style.

Good design is… showcasing a client’s individuality.

Contact: 082 490 9662, m.prinsloo@vodamail.co.za, www.mpdesigns.co.za

Seva Design

An independent design company that creates aesthetically pleasing features.

Rhona Aves, Owner

Tell us about your background. For the past three years we have been involved in the design of homes, offices and retail spaces, sourcing and negotiating the best pricing for high-quality finishes. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide a service to suit any budget, yet at the same time not compromise on the quality of our work.

How would you describe your design philosophy? I love contemporary design, but also appreciate opulent finishes, with comfort being the focus.

What is the first thing you like to do when you meet with new clients? I like to get to know what works for them, as well as their family dynamics.

When it comes to interiors, do you feel we’re all still very trend-driven or is there a move towards developing personal taste and style? I believe there is room for both, but I love putting a personal touch in the mix.

Would you agree there is also a greater appreciation for and support of local design and craftsmanship? I am excited when I get to see what local suppliers have to offer. I make a point of visiting their factories and showrooms to see the dynamics of their operations. I believe they can compete with the best in the world.

What is the one thing you’d like our readers to take on board when looking to decorate their homes? Sometimes clients feel that a decorator could be too expensive and would prefer to save by doing it themselves. If that’s the case, I am able to advise on a consulting basis, making the client feel like they did most of it themselves. I take the hard work out of finding the right pieces to complement their design style.

Good design is… watching the joy on a client’s face when a project comes together better than expected.

Contact: 082 454 8924, rhona@sevadesign.co.za

So Ya Designs

An interior design company offering custom-made furniture.

Farzeen Dockrat, Owner

How would you describe your design philosophy? Simplicity is essential, but no one has ever met their demise because of a little sprinkle of gold.

What is the first thing you like to do when you meet with new clients? My purpose is not to plant an idea in my client’s mind – I need to get to know the person and for them to get to know me in return. Progress through mutual creativity is the ultimate objective.

When it comes to interiors, do you feel we’re all still very trend-driven or is there a move towards developing personal taste and style? I do not fear trends; rather I fear the power of trends. They have a tendency to halt our ability to want what we like, and instead end up liking what we’re told. However, trends give us a glimpse of something new. There is plenty of room to merge both personal style and inspiration.

Would you agree there’s a greater appreciation for local design and craftsmanship? South African design and creativity is one of the reasons I got into this field. By embracing Mzansi, we are all assisting in easing the discovery process and stimulating the machinery that helps unearth our local design superstars.

What’s the one thing you’d like readers to take on board when looking to decorate their homes? No matter the size of the project, allow your space to be an extension of your personality. That way, it will remain unique and timeless.

Good design is… aiming for a “wow” factor without breaking the bank.

Contact: 082 373 7862, soyadesigns@gmail.com, www.soyadesigns.com

Wanda-Michelle Interiors

An exclusive and thoroughly extraordinary interior design company.

Wanda-Michelle Hadlow, Owner

How would you describe your design philosophy? I believe an environment should cocoon its inhabitants, offering a soul-soothing reprieve from the world. For me, this means soft neutrals on textures that beg to be touched, lighting that seduces the soul and artworks that inspire dreams.

What is the first thing you like to do when you meet with new clients? I like to establish a connection on an emotional level. Working with a client, particularly on their main residence, is a journey of discovery. The deeper the connection with the client, the closer you get to their desired outcome.

When it comes to interiors, do you feel we’re all still very trend-driven or is there a move towards developing personal style? Although I wouldn’t classify my own style as trendy, I find myself drawn towards the latest colours and textures, new innovations and style that adds a “pop” away from the mundane. Trend evolves and renews and adds a measure of anticipation for things to come. It’s important, however, not to be defined by trend rather than one’s own unique style.

Trends aside, what is the one thing you’d like our readers to take on board when decorating? That individual furniture pieces may, in their own right, be sculptural and create a focal point; but it’s really about the layering, the elements around it that are necessary to create the whole.

Good design is… a sublime and sensuous coming together of form and function, a celebration of an idea given the freedom to “become”.

Contact: 0861 WMI 181, wmi@wmi.co.za, www.wmi.co.za