From the enigmatic sculptures and the bold iconography to the understated and the minimal, South Africa’s largest décor, design and lifestyle exhibition this year presents captivating inspiration from the cradle of humanity. The vivacious prints, artifacts and designs of Africa, from Algeria to Zimbabwe, will come under the spotlight in the brandnew African Inspired Designer Trend Pods installation at Decorex Joburg, which takes place from 5 to 9 August at the Gallagher Convention Centre.
“While previously reserved for high-end hotels and upscale game lodges, African design influences can now be found in homes all over the world,” says Sian Gutstadt, Portfolio Director of Decorex SA. “The Mother Continent is itself a melting pot, reflected in a variety of societal and cultural expressions,” she adds. “In this vast expanse we find examples of the most primitive traditions and the most contemporary art and architecture.”
With concept and colours drawn from the continent’s rhythm and beauty, the Designer Trend Pods showcase sees a pair of leading Joburg decorators; Karen Richards of K Interiors and Elisha Annandale of Décor Identity, present an inspiring celebration of this unparalleled aesthetic.
“African style is no longer limited to ethnic prints and wooden masks,” says Karen, whose boutique interior design agency is based in Kempton Park. “Inspired by the pulse, geography and energy of this continent, African style is modern, fluent and dynamic. It truly encapsulates the best of both worlds: hand-made, artisanal fabrics and furnishings, on the one hand, and high-tech, modern influences, on the other. This gives designers the platform to translate African style into a sophisticated, elegant and eclectic space where one ultimately finds complete serenity.”
For Elisha, whose Randpark Ridge interior design firm offers a full turnkey service for residential, corporate and leisure clients, African design has firmly established itself on the international radar. “A large reason for this is the global move towards all things natural and ecological,” she says, adding, “Increasingly, we’re hankering after the rustic, the handmade and the environmentally conscious. To me, African inspired design translates into vivid colours combined with natural, earth textures and plenty of warm sunset tones.”
Karen, who believes African design is “on the brink of a new revolution in style”, hopes visitors to her stand at Decorex Joburg “will be proud of what our continent has to offer in terms of inspiration, culture and unique lifestyle”, and will leave the show “inspired with the courage to ‘own’ their unique take on African style”.
For her Trend Pod showcase, the designer, who maintains that “decorating a home is not a race, but a journey that evolves over time”, has taken her design cue from a Hertex wall-panel paper – Casamance. “It’s vibrant, opulent colours call to mind thunderclouds on the African horizon,” she explains, adding, “My Decorex offering promises to be contemporary and eclectic, combining a vast array of textures and colours with a combination of design styles. For me, it is important that our South African lifestyle be evident in my design and I hope to translate this with elements of our rich culture coupled with global influences.”
Most agree that what sets modern African décor apart from its traditional precursor is the mix of modern and organic materials in a more minimalistic way. “Black and white with natural brown and green tones predominate in contemporary African design and this is what I will showcase in my Decorex stand,” hints Elisha, who adds that visitors to the exhibition can expect to see “plenty of woven and handmade objects, plus indoor planting and an abundance of ethnic motifs”.
“Designed exclusively to mark the turning point in Africa’s design identity, the brandnew Designer Trend Pods will encapsulate both the innovative yoking of high-tech, high-end design with traditional low-tech African craft, fusing them with an extremely original, courageous, soulful and sensitive – even sexy – interior decorating execution,” says Sian Gutstadt.
Look out for both Karen and Elisha’s innovative ‘pods’ at Decorex Joburg 2016, which, while rooted in our native land, will possess an international appeal that is guaranteed to influence the aesthetic ideas of all who attend the show.
Decorex Joburg details:
Decorex Joburg: 5 – 9 August 2016
Time: 1pm to 6pm
Time: 10am – 6pm
Ticket prices: R110 for adults; R90 for pensioners and students; R80 for trade; R20 for kids under 12 Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre
Trade-only preview morning: 5 August 10am-1pm
Trade focused day: 5 August
To register as trade or to find out more about the trade programme visit www.decorex.co.za
Decorex Joburg forms part of the Decorex SA portfolio and is owned by the Reed Exhibitions.