Share on...

Spotlight: Meet Elna Wessels From Paintsmiths

When it comes to choosing paint and colours for our favourite spaces, we rely on the knowledge and expertise of the professionals to help us make the right choices. Today we chat to Elna Wessels from Paintsmiths about living and working in an industry of colour.


Tell us about your background?

Small town girl with big dreams. I was just born to do what I do today. To be in the creative marketing field of colour!

As a little girl I was always designing, thinking about words and pictures and the meaning of them. I have always been known for being artistic and as such my journey sent me to complete a degree in Business Communication majoring in Visual Design from where I continued on to Masters level. I am currently also studying towards a PhD in Visual communication and specifically looking at the very intriguing world of marketing colour in a multi cultural South Africa.

What is it like living and working with colour?

I think in colour, I talk in colour, so it is only natural for me to work with colour. I find that there is a never ending story to be told when it comes to colour and I so enjoy being part of the Paintsmiths’ tribe, and to be telling such a unique colour story to South Africa. Paintsmiths brings depth and heart to the story of colour.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by those pockets of unexpected beauty that jumps out of nowhere when you least expect it. I almost want to call it the ‘undesigned’ beauty of real life. When you want to grab your phone and take a quick pic, but I guess that is something that is different for everyone. I am also inspired when a visual idea meets its word partner. My two favourite toys when working on marketing concepts: visuals and words. Other than that, oh I love the sound of rain, bamboo music, French jazz cafes and while we are at it, let’s add chocolate:0)




What role does interior paint play?

Selecting the right room colour and focus wall is one of the most important steps when designing a space. It is the colour that gives the room the right mood, personality and function-ability.

Light – what impact does it have on colour?

An often over-looked factor when choosing a wall colour is to take into consideration what light sources are available in the space. Natural light plays an integral part in how we perceive paint colours in a space. It is also important to remember things like matt or gloss. Gloss will reflect light, while matte will absorb it and give a very different look.

When faced with 100 shades of white at the paint store, finding the perfect hue seems like an impossible task?

Oh I am so glad you are asking this. You will often hear that someone will say that white is white, but oh contraire! There is a wide range of ‘whites’ from chalky to crisp and blue, through to green and even pinks. The best advice I can give here is to make sure you test an area in your space. Even a hint of colour in a white paint can change its feel significantly – and that’s usually down to personal taste. Some people are drawn to warmer colours, others to cooler colours. Layers of white is such a stunning décor trend and one of my favourite styles for sure.

Tip: Choosing an off-white like Paintsmiths’ “Arniston White’’ can help a room feel more welcoming and characterful in a very subtle way’.

Arniston White

Will dark colours make a room feel smaller?

Well, some books and your grandmother will tell you that yes, but I am an huge fan of dark walls and don’t think that is makes a space feel smaller. It is normally the first thing that I do in my house; to pick my dark walls. It brings a sense of earth and emotion into a space that can just not be denied. The dynamic colour of a dark shade gets interesting: as the light in a room changes throughout the day, so does the colour.

Colours we can look forward to seeing in Spring?

Colours are optimistic, happy and full of hope. Just what we need after a strange year behind us.
Expect bright yellows, reds but true to our heritage range at Paintsmiths, there will always be enough sophisticated natural tones to choose from.

What interior colours are your personal preferences?

I love a greige and layers of white with a dash of unexpected colour.

Any exciting projects or collaborations you are involved in ?

We love collaborating with respected décor brands and have been working on campaign with Weylandts, Incanda, Mia Melange etc. for instance and we look forward to unpack these project over the course of the next year. We also have a very unique brand ambassador for a new range, but for that you will have to stay tuned over the next 3 months to discover the answer.

Any awards?

There have been a few art awards but most recently I have been nominated for the Solidariteit Designer of the year award, but we will have to see who wins?

I guess to win more one has to enter competitions more, which is not something that I have ever really focused on.

What new products are being launched this year?

For Paintsmiths there is a whole lot coming this year. New redesigned fandecks: Midas 300, Paintsmiths Timeless 100, The Heritage fandeck and our Industrial Greys collection. I can also say to watch the product lines as there are quite a few exciting product developments in the pipeline.

I know very few of us are travelling right now but if you could where would you go?

If I could travel right now, I would love to go to Montmartre in Paris or perhaps to Vietnam…or maybe just to Paternoster.

What’s your personal Motto?

To fully embrace every beautiful moment, to give it your all and to truly stay humble.

Discover more at Paintsmiths.

1 Comment

  1. Lois+Carol+Wessels

    August 13, 2021

    Very inspirational!


Leave a comment/Ask a question

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Visit SA Decor & Design on social media

Interested in advertising with us? Find out how