"A sophisticated design direction that draws from traditional elements but also exudes an edgy twist and leaves behind the expected."
This is how KwaZulu-Natal interior designer Frans Alexander describes his signature style, and it's this quirky fusion of classic and contemporary that visitors to Decorex Durban can expect to see from the special installation he will be creating at the forthcoming event.
Image credit: Clarke & Clarke
Frans is collaborating with leading local textile house, Home Fabrics, on the space, which he has been invited to create in this year's prestigious "Decorex Designer Spotlight" feature. Decorex Durban takes place from 19th to 22nd March 2015 at the Durban Exhibition Centre.
"I've always favoured a style that is at once refined and daring," says Frans. "The friction that exists between traditional and modern is what drives me creatively."
Frans, who has chosen a lounge-dining room scene for his stand, will combine seemingly unsuited raw wood and earthy, organic textures with futuristic Perspex, opulent metallics and pops of electric colour. "The palette will predominantly indulge the dark, smoky side of the spectrum, with shades that are neutral but still a bit gritty," he explains.
"Frans's glamour-chic style has an easy affinity with the stylish new collections on offer from Clarke & Clarke in the UK," says Marc Shotland, Group PR and Marketing Executive of Home Fabrics, local stockist of the exclusive product range: "Think rich embroidered damasks, luscious velvets and woven jacquards in sophisticated neutrals like chartreuse, ebony and ash, all brought to life with bold geometrics and metallic weaves."
"Superimpose these, then, onto walls dressed in Clarke & Clarke's Reflections range of embossed vinyl papers," continues Marc. "With designs inspired by natural forms and landscapes and names like Tree Bark, Sandstone and Chinchilla, this stand-out collection is grounded in neutral shades of ivory, taupe and grey and then printed with metallic highlights of copper, silver and gold, making it a sophisticated choice for walls and bang on trend for 2015."
Image credit: Clarke & Clarke
It is important to Frans's design philosophy that spaces be both functional and multi-layered in order to reflect the eclectic personalities who will use them. "Reflective surfaces are an ideal way to achieve this in that the manner in which they distribute light differs significantly from that of ordinary, flat surfaces," he explains. "So you'll see strategic touches of chrome, copper, gold and glass in my installation, with the showstopper feature undoubtedly being the stylised chandelier I've custom designed as a centerpiece over the dining-room table."
With a 13-year business that offers a full turnkey service, be it designing from the ground up, coordinating with architects and contractors, or refreshing a pre-existing interior with creative inspiration, Frans will bring a wealth of experience to his "Decorex Designer Spotlight" showcase.
The collaboration with Home Fabrics is not a first, either. "Frans's sophisticated decorating style is a natural fit with our product range," says Marc, adding that Home Fabrics' products are a frequent feature in the Frans Alexander Interiors showroom in Umhlanga.
Frans's design mantra, meanwhile, is to create "interiors that are unique and reflect the client's personality, but still remain functional, timeless and comfortable." Never one to shy away from rocking the design boat, however, he says that visitors to this year's Decorex Durban should prepare themselves for a "gutsy approach that stylises the traditional with a tension of dramatic, moody tones and glamorous, shimmering surfaces."
Decorex Durban details:
Dates: 19-22 March 2015 19 March: 10am-8pm 20 March: 10am-9pm (featuring the Upmarket pop-up) 21 March: 10am-8pm 22 March: 10am-6pm Trade focused days: 19-20 March
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