Designer Spotlight at Decorex Joburg: Meet Donald Nxumalo

Donald Nxumalo, winner of the SABC3 Win a Home design competition, is a driven, grounded young talent who’s excited about the growing influence of the African continent on interior design.

Donald Nxumalo, Decorex Joburg 2019 Designer Spotlight. (Image: Supplied by Donald Nxumalo)

“Having discovered his passion for design at a young age, Donald Nxumalo has swiftly made a name for himself as an incredibly talented interior designer who infuses the enduring spirit of Joburg into all his work,” said Sian Cullingworth, Portfolio Director at Reed Exhibitions. “His local roots and impressive work across Africa make him the perfect embodiment of this year’s theme, ‘Designing for Africa – feels like home’.”

“I believe that Africa is finally finding its place as a global influencer because – since the beginning of time – Africa has been the birthing ground for creativity,” explains Donald. “This is evident in the historical discoveries of ancient artefacts within Africa, the rock and cave paintings, braiding and weaving of the precious jewels of the Nile, and even the great pyramids of Egypt.”

DNX Showroom. Credits: Photography – Sarah De Pina; Artwork – Justin Dingwall; Furniture – Donald Nxumalo.

Donald said that the global design market has been saturated with influences from Western culture and is now poised for something bold and vibrant, but not entirely foreign.

“I think that what has been happening in the design industry is nothing new, but a re-introduction of something familiar,” he continued. “However, this time it is on a much grander scale and the world ready to embrace it. Africa is finally finding her place!”

Trends in African design

Embracing the African emergence, Donald Nxumalo has noted some particular trends inspired by the continent which are flowing into local homes, offices and hotels.

“The major design trends we have been seeing are patterns with ever bolder colours, and geometric patterns in particular, although these are not necessarily symmetrical.”

Donald said there are a number talented, young designers embracing this African style influence in a number of interesting ways: “From the likes of Siyanda Mbele with his Pan-African furniture pieces including desks, servers and side tables; to designers like Kehumile Mate with a range of vibrant ottomans in interesting shapes and vibrant colours which so wonderfully address the concern of space.”

Incorporating African style

Having envisioned the interiors of the consular offices in Kenya, a Ugandan hotel and countless homes and spaces in and around South Africa, Donald is well-placed to advise on interior renovating.

“What we always say at our studio is ‘You date a trend, but marry a classic’. I truly feel that the best way to incorporate these incoming trends into your design is to retain your bigger pieces in solid bases and add the colour and patterns through accessories,” explained Donald. “This way, if a few months down the line you become overwhelmed with the design, it us much easier and more cost-effective to replace, for instance, a scatter cushion rather than the entire couch.”

You can catch an incredible installation by Donald Nxumalo in the Designer Spotlight feature at this year’s Decorex Joburg – taking place at the Gallagher Convention Centre from 7 to 11 August 2019. Alongside this feature, visitors can also look forward to a full-features’ programme which includes a number of inspired new installations.

Silverlakes. Credits: Artwork – Dario Manjate; Photography – SA Home Owner.

For more visit Decorex Joburg.


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