Decorex Joburg the best vantage point on the world of stylish living

Clashing prints, creative collaboration, uninhibited design and Afropolitan style... it's open season for trend-hunting at Decorex Joburg. Southern Africa's largest trade and consumer exhibition for interior design, décor and fine finishes marks its 18th year with a directional theme 'Beauty and the Basics'.
The biggest and best ever, the five-day event boasts 700 high-end exhibitors and a flourish of new attractions: ten new special show features and trend installations, five halls brimming with newly unveiled products, three 'how-to' theatres, nine pop-up restaurants designed exclusively for the show and a myriad innovative ideas. Plascon is the main sponsor and DStv is the media partner.

Leading lights from the South African interior design scene have been commissioned by Decorex Joburg to create inspirational roomscapes and curate trend-forward concept stands. Says Melanie Robinson, portfolio director of Decorex SA. "Since the debut of Decorex Joburg in 1994, the show has been on a crusade for home-grown design. It is apt that in our 18th year we celebrate not only the show's own growth, but also the design revival of Johannesburg and the extraordinary creative energy of our local talent."

The emphasis on a modern 'Afropolitan' style is particularly strong at the show this year, she adds. "We are thrilled to join a wonderful line-up of designers and fabric houses on a mission to prove once and for all that there's nothing cliché about an African aesthetic. Neutral interiors now pop with wild, crazy and jubilant spots of colour - whether a funky upholstered chair, wallpaper on an accent wall or a patchwork-covered sofa. "

Here's a pick of show highlights, special projects, trend installations, collaborations and new product launches making Decorex Joburg the go-to event for design professionals and passionate homeowners alike:


A host of new weaves, trendy textiles and fashionable colour ways unfold at Decorex Joburg with the most exciting and enlightening fabric features ever - focused on trade professionals and everyone whose really serious about the latest design directions

New Look Africa: The team of Laurence Brick Creative Direction launches their visionary fabrics and trends installation 'New Look Africa' at the show. The LBCD trio - curator Laurence Brick, Timna Russell, a leading trends forecaster and product developer in the South African textiles and home décor industry, and Cathy O'Clery, award-winning journalist and respected expert on interior and contemporary design - take up the cloth to showcase South African design in a cutting-edge context.

This modern mind-set leaves no room for the beige and the bland. Says O'Clery, a staunch advocate for African design: "In modern African homes colour is not held back. It is not wishy-washy or subtle; it is intense and bold. Often used with dramatic pattern and printed textiles, tiles and ceramics, the vivid colours hum with life. If colour is an indication of mood then Africa is wide-awake and partying."

"New Look Africa is a fresh and inspiring celebration of contemporary African style- a sensational style which the world has begun to sit up and take notice," Brick explains. "The stand, commissioned by Decorex Joburg for the entrance to the main hall, will present two innovative and stylish rooms to showcase forward trends in African decorating for 2011."

In the hip downtown-chic of 'The Jozi Party Lounge' LBCD prove that urban life need never be dull. A celebration of the vibrant city, brightly coloured and clashing patterned fabrics from leading South African fabric houses will adorn a long chill-out sofa and the room will be accessorised in trend-lead combinations of black and neon. In a more subdued mood 'The Zambezi Bar' will show that strong colour can be employed in a sophisticated and laid back manner. Threads of rich orange, turquoise, gold and white offer a fresh palette which is distinctly African but with global appeal.

Wallpaper Trends Installation: Think vertical as Hertex, Black Fabrics, U&G Fabrics, Silk & Cotton Company, Wallpaper Inn, Design Syndicate, Décor Wallpaper Company, St Ledger & Viney, Home Fabrics, Fabric Library, Valde and Majestic Wallpapers roll out their latest on-trend wallpaper ranges in a unique gallery setting.

Gabi Gabi 2011: The iconic Shwe Shwe Fabric will be in the limelight at 'Gabi Gabi 2011', a new addition to the South African Handmade Collection, a multi-faceted showcase of South African textiles, curated by craft sector specialist Sue Heathcock. This collection of truly South African products will see textile mavens Ronel Jordaan and the Design Team launching new products through the Gabi Gabi space, together with 40 emerging and established craft entrepeneurs.

Just Unwrapped: Be the first to eye the hottest new products in town at the spectacular 'Just Unwrapped' showcase (Entrance to Hall 3.) Spot the fabulous Square Glass Tube chandeliers by Limelight Design; Funcy Kitchenware in funky colours; Bizous quilts filled with organic cotton; the kaleidoscope of colourful Zak products for the home from Handle Hands; Raw Studio's modular birchwood desks; TX Light's LED technology - and more.

The Plascon Colour Forecast 2012 shows the way to a luscious line-up of juicy reds and rich plums as they jockey for position on the red carpet alongside lime moss, Black Beard, mysterious hues and muted blues echoing the dusk of day. Looking at the 2012 Plascon Colour Forecast, the highly directional roadmap to fresh new tints on the design horizon, the big buzz centers around optimistic colours, a riot of brights and neutrals doing the fandango with unexpected hues.

The endless possibilities that colour holds is at the essence of the 2012 Plascon Colour Forecast, expressed in four key colour themes: Memory, Expression, Mystery and Origins - running from bold brights to stripped back basics, and everything in between.

Whether you're an enthusiastic amateur or a seasoned interior designer, the possibilities of colour are endless. "It is a simple way to transform or liven up a room, inject your personality, create a mood, a romance to turn a blank canvas in a sophisticated space, create an intimacy or sex up a room." So says Laurence Brick of Laurence Brick Creative Direction (LBCD), curator of the Plascon stand. BCD, together with a brigade of brilliant design maestros from Tonic Design, A Point and Goet set out to delight colour-groupies with their highly individual interpretations of colour's infinite power to transform a blank canvas into the sublime.


Decorex Designer Collection: There's a new swing tag in town! The Decorex Designer Collection, a brand new homeware range under the Decorex SA brand, pops up in time for summer entertaining. Modern form and artisan traditions meet up in a 'you will adore it' range of signature products by nine top local leading lights:

Ceramist Anthony Shapiro; Wendy McLachlan of Homebakes Ceramics; Lisa Firer of Lisa Firer Design; Di Marshall of Wonki Ware; Zander van Niekerk and Georg van Gass of Goet; textile mavens Lise Butler & Amanda Haupt of Design Team; Skinny laMinx, design label of illustrator Heather Moore; Kirsty & Jan Zoutendyk and the team of the Laid Back Co; and the master glassblowers of Ngwenya Glass.

"Launching this unique range under the Decorex SA brand is a dream come true. It's not only a very visible platform for the designers, it also gives South Africans the choice of very desirable pieces everyone would want to live with." So says Nika Smit, Decorex SA senior project and brand manager.

Summer entertaining has been the inspiration for the collection. The golden thread running through the eclectic range is the sense of pared down simplicity and whimsy in a modern, very liveable colour palette of grey, naturals, turquoise and a dash of indigo.
  • Stock up on beautiful handmade Wonki Ware ceramic pasta and soup bowls, made with love and care in the bustling studio situated in the Garden Route town of George.
  • Combine it with Anthony Shapiro's zen snack bowls in delft blues, greys, soft turquoise and sea green.
  • The whimsical platters, condiment jars and sculptural table centre pieces fashioned from ceramic birds, flowers and tea cups by Homebakes Ceramics are highly desirable. She combines pottery techniques from the 18th century with a contemporary edge, fusing the pieces by glazing them together.
  • With wood being the darling of the design world, turned wooden cake stands and candle sticks by master craftsman Zander Van Niekerk from Goet.
  • Made from weathered, recycled French oak, the traditional oak bread boards, giant cheese platters and pizza paddle boards from the Laid Back Co. bring the natural warmth of wood to the range.
  • Contemporary prints feature on napkins, placemats and runners in farm yard- and star themes by Design Team, pair well with Heather Moore's Skinny laMinx aprons, mix and match napkins and tea towels.
  • Ngwenya Glass, known for their strong environmental focus, created an amazing new collection of 4-arm candelabras and red wine goblets made from 100% recycled glass
  • Lisa Firers' delicate fauna inspired see-through porcelain candle light holders and vases complete the mood. The tea light candle holder is a new pattern from the popular Fynbos series, released exclusively for Decorex SA.
The Decorex Designer Collection will be available from pop-up shops at all Decorex shows. Also browse and buy online at the virtual shop which will pop-up on in August.

When visiting the DDC pop-up store at Decorex shows, watch out for the fabulous hygienic and versatile flooring from Quartz Carpets.

South African Handmade Collection: Held alongside Decorex Joburg, this dti-initiative is a window to the heartfelt and the handmade. From highly collectable ceramics, fashionable 'it' bags to designer beadwork, the creations selected for this all-imported trade show is a particularly colourful balance of heritage and innovation. As shoppers stock up on these special South African feel-good finds, the crafters - mostly aspiring entrepreneurs from rural areas - gain access to a high-end market and the opportunity to have their products displayed in a high-design environment.

A new extension to this trade show is in the inclusion of artists. Also forming part of the South African Handmade Collection for the first time is the 'Gabi Gabi 2011' showcase of South African textiles.

"Creative collaboration and meaningful cooperation may well be the mantras of the moment, but for Decorex SA creative partnering has been a mind-set honed over many years", says Robinson. "Through our long collaboration with the South African Handmade Collection, we could work together to reveal and grow the rich, expressive culture of our country's craft."

She continues: "We are delighted to be part of this dti-initiative that helped establish craft and traditional skills as both a national treasure and a trend-forward design form. So successful has this partnership been that SAHC is now a key date on the buying calendar, bringing producers together with local and overseas buyers in a high-design environment."

A forest of chairs: The goodies aren't only in the halls. The Peter JA Stuart Furniture Forest transforms the Walkway between Halls 2 and 3 into a highway for high design. A collection of evergreen chairs cleverly suspend from trees lining this busy path, inviting passers-by to pause.


Conversations on Architecture (full day conference, 5th August- Johannesburg & 11 August - Cape Town): Has architecture become a fast food art form? Should architecture not return to being a handmade craft? With 2011 remaining a tumultuous year for the global economy, the effect has filtered down to the design and architectural markets, forcing these industries to seriously re-evaluate themselves and the environment.

Architects and designers will be probing burning issues facing the built environment at the 2011 Conversations on Architecture conferences (COA), taking place alongside Decorex Joburg on 5 August at Gallagher Convention Centre, and on 11 August in Cape Town at the CTICC. Seen on stage at Conversations on Architecture in Joburg are: Peruvian architect Javier Artadi of Artadi Arquitectos, Spanish architect Fermin Vazquez of b720 Architects, Pierre Swanepoel of studioMAS , Morne Pienaar of Holm Jordaan , Karlien Thomashoff of Thomashoff + Partner Architects, young architecture graduates Ruann van der Westhuizen and Franco Enrico.

"When countries like Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, battle even with EU support, one can imagine how it is for developing economies," says Hugh Fraser, facilitator of the COA one-day seminars sponsored by CaesarStone. "Therefore the conference - themed 'Revisiting Craft in Architecture' - will look beyond the subject matters of the past."


"True landscaping goes beyond establishing a lawn and filling flower beds. Basic principles such as geometric forms, a harmonious palette and textures - and the blending of these elements- as well as focal points and artistic vision, form the foundation for a successful garden." So says Grant Adam, renowned landscaper of Engadini, one of the exhibitors at the new Garden Pavilion.

Visitors to the Garden Pavilion can explore inspirational themed, landscaped gardens and greened-up walkways:
  • Engadini Landscaping's White on White indigenous, zen-minded garden,
  • The Outside Roof by Blok Design,
  • Gauflora's Garden with Wings
  • Rooftop Retreat by Badec Bros;
  • A garden haven by Strawberry Kids
  • Schafflers on-trend garden 'Sow It, Grow It, Eat It'.
  • Renowned landscapers Abacus turns a ramp into a garden paradise
  • Nursery Wild transforms a barren patch of land into a green delight.
At the Garden Theatre an expert line-up of green gurus - spade, shovel and seeds in hand - will dig into the wonderful world of the great outdoors and organic gardening essentials. Get inspired by the trickle therapy of water features, transform garden décor with clever paint techniques and design ideas, learn to grow your own edible garden and discover the deeper meaning of plants. Also in the Garden pavilion is the Garden Café with food and interior design inspired by the modern locavore movement.


The Sealy Beautiful and Basic Boudoirs debut in Hall 4 with an exquisite collection of bedroom-settings by six style-shaping decorators merging the hottest trends in fabrics, textures and patterns. In association with the IID and Bedroom Basics, these inspirational concept stands can be translated freely in the visitor's own decorating style.

Taking part are Janet Welthagen of Simply Splendid, Susan Hughes Interiors, Tanja Beyers of Profurn Contracts, Leigh-Anne Shillaw of Simply Abundance and Bernard Baxburg of House of Baxburg and decorator John Crawley.

"This is indeed the Year of the Luxury Lie-in," says Sian Gutstadt, Decorex SA marketing manager. "Discover the House of Baxburg's soulful bedroom where cerise, chartreuse and peacock blue combine in baroque style. Then revel in John Crawley's exotic, sexy and passionate Chinese themed bedroom. Have some pillow talk in Simply Splendid's bedroom where warms plums, purples and silver have a fling with luxe lighting and a plush headboard; or be seduced by Tanya Beyer's bedroom with drama, a cheeky twist, crushed glass and lots of black. Susan Hughes' take on glamour and luxury also interprets the theme Beauty and the Basics to the tee."

The DStv Theatre of Ideas: Visitors get the inside scoop on inventive solutions to decor dilemmas while brushing up on DIY-skills. Emma Halford of Odd Chair praises the hot patchwork trend. Clutter bugs will find room to breathe with Leanne Host's organising solutions. Elan Systems make life beter with home-automation systems. Keen home entertainers can learn the art of creating affairs with a difference from eventing-maestro Otto de Jager. A treat for trend-enthusiasts is the IID Nemeth Trend Report for 2012/2013, presented by trend analyst Dave Nemeth. 'Green queen' Lorraine Jenks shares the ropes of marketing yourself as an eco-designer.


Decorex Joburg 2011 brings the pop-up trend to food with restaurants and luxe bars throughout the show, each with its own mood and menu - from the glamorous and green-inspired to the fantastical and the visionary. Designed exclusively for the show, you can feast on taste trends and fashionable flavours in an ambiance to fit your mood and appetite:

The BOS Bar: Fuelled by the creative spirit of this cool South African organic rooibos iced tea brand BOS, Nicholas de Klerk designed a bright, modern meeting spot with inventive cocktails InniBOS, BOSquito and BOSfontein Punch to match. Talking point? The fantasy flying up above...

The Garden Café in the Garden Pavilion is where the food and design are inspired by the locavore movement. Step into a world where 'modern make-believe' is the mantra; where trees are umbrellas, and umbrellas are trees! Sponsored by Schafflers Landscaping, Alpha Creations and The Lighting Warehouse.

Villiera Wines Cap Classique Bar by Forest Flooring takes its cue from the French-Karoo design style, this is where the landscape and cityscape from two continents come together. Rustic wooden tables and white washed floors echo the simplicity of the austere Karoo, while contemporary furniture present Europe's edgy design sensibility. High-design craft made by hand in the heartland stand shoulder to shoulder with objet d'art and Gallic flair.

New to the show, the Sunday Times Shebeen in Hall 5 is a meeting place of fun, food and drink in celebration of all things South African. The buzz is quintessential township with contemporary design details, the ambiance creative, colourful and vibrant. Head for the reading corner stacked with newspapers, while staying on the lookout for the fold book pendant lights by the Shaw Sisters, painted chair stumps by Goet and Feeling African's wire tables and bar stools.

Plascon Palate Café is the spot to relax and rejuvenate with on-trend organic, wholesome food in a rustic and natural setting. Enjoy the four new Plascon colour themes integrated with this food experience. Desire the furniture? It's by Peter JA, Stuart!

Decadent Diner: Get tickled pink in this designer space devoted to sweet delights and seductive treats. This delicious-looking collaboration is by Young Cherry's Designing, Stucco Italiano and Craft Steel's furniture and lighting. Fabric by Hertex.


District Delicious: Botanical cuisine! Food cocooning! This food haven is dedicated to the senses and includes a blend of gourmet food, wine, kitchen gadgets and home entertaining have-to-haves.

A melting pot of culinary styles and kitchen design by Curves and Bevels, the Kaya Fm Kitchen is kitted out with the latest Whirlpool appliances. This foodie hub is where local chefs and Kaya FM presenters take to the stage to whip up fashionable dishes full of Mzansi flavour. Nicky Gibbs of The Westcliff Hotel inspires with her Contemporary Conscious Cuisine for Spring, while Jodi-Ann Pearton of The Food Design Agency brings the art of cooking to beautifully set tables. Arnold Stuurman of The Palazzo Montecasino dishes up Italian favourites; Chef Morné Stroh of the SA Chefs Training & Innovation Academy calls on all reluctant cooks to get back to basics while mystery chefs cook up a storm from baskets of mystery ingredients.

Kitchens and bathrooms: Visitors can browse the luxe line-up of kitchen and bathroom essentials, and experience expert advice and money-saving ideas on tap. From blissful brassware and the latest in bath tubs, to tools for cooks, the lineup of exhibitors is extensive.

"Functionality, luxurious comfort and eco-awareness are still key to modern bathroom design, but the big trend is to personalize this functional space," says Gutstadt. "It's all about the one statement piece: an antique cupboard or mirror, anything bespoke or restored. "And," she adds, "the colour green which has been long maligned due to the avocado-green bathrooms of the '60s and '70s is making its way back to the bathroom - and so does pink."

Fine finishes and rejuvenation area: For options and answers on fine finishes, this area is dedicated to making sure visitors leave with a plan and clear direction. From smart surfaces, sustainable floor coverings and window treatments with the wow-factor, expect nothing less from our top-drawer collection of expert exhibitors.

Go global: A must-attend for trade visitors eager to search the globe for new opportunities and trade connections is the comprehensive International Pavilion dedicated to China, Ghana and Indonesia.

Decorex Joburg practical details

Decorex Joburg, Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand

Show days: 5-9 August (5th and 6th are trade focused)
Time: 09:00 - 17:00 daily
Entrance: R 70 adults / R60 pensioners and scholars / R5 Children under 12.
DStv Subscriber special: Buy one, get one free (see for terms) 12

For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit
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Decorex SA is proudly owned by Thebe Exhibitions (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thebe Exhibitions & Projects Group (Pty) Ltd.

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