When it comes to the interior design industry in South Africa, the results are quite diverse – a perfect reflection of our country's different cultures and languages. It would be hard to identify a single interior design style unique to South Africa, as residential- and commercial spaces reflect a variety of designs such as modern, contemporary, rustic, colonial, and even Asian.
The South African design aesthetic undoubtedly draws its inspiration from the international market, staying up to date with the latest trends while also adding its own flair to it.
Many people may immediately imagine animal skins and rustic/earthy colour palettes when thinking about South African interior designs. However, a lot of interior designers and homeowners strive to move away from these clichéd designs. Don't forget that while interior designers and decorators are there to fulfill the wishes of the clients, the customers also play designer/decorator. The results are uniquely varied, a marriage of designs and styles that are achieved by following the latest trends and applying one's own personal taste to décor, colours, textures and patterns.
Interior designers ensure that interior spaces are functional, safe and (also important) beautiful. They do this by focusing on space requirements and selecting the right decorative items such as colours, lighting, furnishings and materials.
A successful interior designer needs to possess a multitude of skills, from technical knowledge to costing, as they need to be able to read blueprints of an architectural structure, for instance. Communication skills are also valuable, as part of the job requirement of interior designers is to speak with and listen to a client in order to understand the job of a design brief. An interior designer should also possess sales- and marketing skills to source new business for themselves and/or their firm / employer.
Interior designers' skills can be applied to various industries, including residential and commercial.
Although a lot of people use the terms "interior design" and "interior decorating" interchangeably, these are two very different professions that differ in significant ways.
Interior designers create functional spaces within a building (such as a house, restaurant, office, etc.). Interior decorators furnish or embellish a space with furniture and/or décor.
Keep in mind that interior designers may also decorate as part of their job descriptions, but interior decorators never design.
Even though it may sound easy (and fun) to play interior designer for, say, styling up your new living room, remember that interior designers are skilled professionals that study years and years to perfect their craft. And there are quite a few advantages to making use of a professional interior designer:
With homify's extensive lists of professionals, finding the right interior designer and decorator is easier than ever before. Simply click on 'Interior Designers & Decorators' on the 'Professionals' page to see our ever-growing collection of experts, or scroll down and select your city / town of choice for the relevant professionals closest to you.
Other ways of finding interior designers are to visit model homes or designer showhouses in your area, page through designer magazines, browse design websites, or via friend / family referrals.
Never have only one interior designer as a potential professional for your project. Collect a few possible choices while you scope out the design industry.
And even though the style of your project will dictate the relevant questions for the interior designer during your initial meeting / interview, some choice questions to keep in mind can include the following:
Bear in mind that even though every interior design firm will have its own set of prices for design projects, the final fee will depend on various factors such as the size of the project, the timeline, the experience and expertise of the designers, the location of the project, the quality of the materials and finishes, etc.
It is important that the designers' fees are established right at the start of the project, during the discussion at the initial meeting, and agreed to by all parties via a legal contract.