The South African design industry is booming, with a rich tapestry of visionary artists and spectacularly talented interior designers and architects forming the backbone of the country’s exceptional creative scene. With so many glamorous spaces popping up across the country, more and more designers are making waves and leaving their stamp in the interior history books. In this article, Mema Designs will take a look at some of the country’s design stars, established studios, and upcoming artists to give you a clearer idea of what you can expect for your next project from South Africa’s favourite interior and architectural specialists.
Internationally recognized as one of South Africa’s top interior architects, Tristan du Plessis has relished over 10 years’ experience in the design industry. His aesthetic is varied, with an extensive portfolio highlighting his drive to tackle innovative projects on grand scales. Tristan du Plessis has won numerous interior design awards domestically and globally, each bolstering his catalogue of work and proving the young artist is a force to be reckoned with in the interior design space. He has completed projects individually and as a part of prominent design studios, showcasing his ability to work with and as one of the best in the country. Today, Tristan heads up his own self-titled studio, along with 7 other designers, that tailors to curating signature luxury hospitality and residential projects on a turn-key basis.
Donald Nxumalo is quickly becoming one of the country’s go-to interior designers, having amassed a portfolio that reflects his unique visions within the interior design industry. Possessing an unbounded entrepreneurial spirit and focusing on working ethically in all design projects, Donald Nxumalo’s passion and dedication to curating purposeful spaces allow him to make waves in his professional field. With experience in luxury residential and corporate spaces, encompassing the country’s most discerning clients as well as numerous well-recognized brands, Donald Nxumalo’s interior studio knows no bounds when it comes to South African interior design. Donald has always come away from significant stages in his career with multiple design awards, highlighting his formidable rise in the local interior design industry.
Architecture and interior are married beautifully in the portfolio of Cape Town’s Km2k Studios. The boutique agency has proven time again that they are at the forefront of South African design, both in the architectural and interior spaces. With a focus on hospitality and luxurious residential industries, Km2k has grown in its niche and developed a repertoire amongst some of the country’s most prominent high-end accommodations. But, the scope of Km2k’s work does not stop at the borders of South Africa. The company has completed significant projects in 20 countries globally, with footprints in Europe, the US, and the Middle East to name a few. Underpinned by a philosophy that architecture and interior inform one another, their holistic approach guides every project and is spotlighted in the results. A meticulous attention to detail, commitment to quality, and uncompromising standards are values that ensure Km2k exceeds expectations through their design.
Arrcc pride themselves in being the pioneers of a redefined sense of laid-back luxury, an attractive selling point that aligns with their modern and sophisticated clientele. From extravagant African campsites lavishly hosting esteemed international guests to exquisite residential spaces overlooking iconic South African scenery, Arrcc has a portfolio that explores the company’s close connection to South African interior design. That said, they have refused to settle in one market place and they have kitted out indulgent spaces in both Lebanon and Spain. Arrcc’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of interior design has helped them accumulate a wealth of design awards. The company also believes in supporting local South African designers, turning to design studios including Mema Designs, for assistance in piecing together perfectly curated interior spaces through the inclusion of bespoke pieces and lighting installations.
Visionary interior and architectural design studio, Tonic, continues to rule the design world of South Africa as a result of their extensive experience within the industry and keen eye for contemporary design. The studio’s commitment to their craft has earned them multiple design awards and a trusted client-base of discerning customers. Tonic Studios embeds their unorthodox approach towards materials into each project and elevates work through carefully considered furniture to bring together masterpiece solutions for their partners. The company also has a brilliant reputation with global furniture and lighting solutions providers, allowing them to bring some international flavour to their projects.
Headed up by former South African power couple, Bass Studios has left an indelible mark on the Australian interior design industry. Luxury interiors are the name of their game and they have been quick to develop a brand exceeding the decadent expectations of their regal clients. The company is inspired and driven to craft meaningful work, completing projects on the basis of finding the perfect balance of masculine and feminine design nuances. Furthermore, placing emphasis on perfectionism as well as textile and tactile exploration, Bass is remodelling the interior design industry for the better. For each client, the company nurtures soulful solutions that are founded on design history but challenging the industry’s future. Their portfolio and extensive list of design awards say a lot about their ability to impact the design world.
Delivering solutions in architecture, interior design, and hospitality operations, Fox Browne Creative hopes to leave a lasting impression on the South African design industry. And, one look at their portfolio and enormous catalogue of awards clearly showcase their success in doing so. Fox Browne’s dedication to the service industry space is limitless, with the company tackling a myriad of projects including mini-hotels, retail stores, and lavish lodges. Beyond a range of prominent awards, Fox Browne remains a design studio firmly positioned in the public eye thanks to recommendations and references in South Africa’s elite digital magazines and news sites.
While based in Russia, Maestra’s design footprint is growing rapidly and South African studios are starting to look at the company for inspiration. Mema Designs is one studio keenly anticipating the global expansion of Maestra, especially considering their rapid rise to fame within their market. Maestra is a specialist studio creating projects from scratch and, through cooperating with prominent international brands, Maestra is delivering services of an unparalleled standard. Maestra’s portfolio includes mountain chalets, Meditteranean villas, terraced houses, and so much more. The company’s imagination and determination are strong driving forces, allowing them to see the world and possibilities beyond their current market.
South Africa’s brilliant Renée Rossouw has been paving the way for young designers and artists for years, showcasing the spirit and professionalism of the country’s design industry. The enthusiastic artist and architect has collected an impressive collection of awards during her time creating in the local space and is a fan favourite among some of South Africa’s renowned interior studios and the industry as a whole. Renée has formed partnerships with a range of South African businesses and organisations, from the world-famous Design Indaba to South African staple takeaway joint Nandos and elite wine estate Spier to Cape Town’s jewel of modern art the Zeitz MOCAA.
Simple and sophisticated, Limeline Design Studio has been curating some of the country’s most exquisite high-end interiors for over two decades. Located in the prestigious V&A Waterfront of Cape Town, Limeline is regarded as one of South Africa’s premier studios and the company’s impressive list of partners supports their premium status. Providing residential, corporate, and hospitality solutions, Limeline has been able to capitalize on the competitive architecture and interior design industry and stand out from the competition through clean and clever services. Displaying immaculate interiors in a showroom alongside the first Minotti mono-brand showroom in Africa, Limeline proves to be a cut above the competition.
Quirky Cape Town-based designer Liam Mooney has launched his multidisciplinary design studio that predominantly caters to the residential and hospitality sectors. Interior design, product development, and furniture design are a few of the solutions provided by the studio, whose intelligent team is able to craft distinct services from manufacture to installation. Keywords ‘authenticity, simplicity, romance, curiosity and toughness’ sum up the studio’s design approach and encapsulate its unwavering vision of South African design. With a gorgeous portfolio of inspired interior solutions, Liam Mooney’s artistic and wonderful impression is grabbing attention and elevating the studio within the South African design industry.
From design stars like Tristan du Plessis to up and coming artistic studios such as Liam Mooney’s, South African interior designers and architectural studios continue to showcase their excellence and keen devotion to exceptional design solutions. Each and every one of these studios and designers has worked to craft a unique offering within the South African market and deliver on their promise to exceed client expectations. You may wish to consider any of these prominent studios for your next creative brief.