Linken Designs has been increasingly pushing modern luxury African interior design to the world. The team have developed a fresh design philosophy that ensures a timeless design language in the interiors and products it creates.We spoke to Lungelo Cele from Linken Designs about what trends we can expect in the seasons ahead and how the company continues to inspire…
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is definitely ultra-modern with the aim of creating a luxurious feeling space.
What qualities define your brand?
We really try to innovate the way we do our space planning and our use of materials. Often we don’t go for the obvious choices in our design process which often leads to us creating very unique looking beautiful interiors.
What sets your brand apart in the industry at the moment?
As part of our conceptual design, our clients get to immerse themselves in their projects using Virtual Reality Headsets which allows them to virtually stand in every room of that project as if it’s already completed. This has enormous benefits and helps us and the clients make better-informed decisions together to create the best possible outcome.
What recent purchase have you made for your home?
A black leather Eames office chair which I desperately needed for my home office as it’s very comfortable to work on for those days where you need to put in long hours by your desk.
Any furniture item you cannot live without and why?
In every design, I always look for that one unique furniture piece that will set the tone for the rest of the interior whether it’s a couch, chair or a functional yet aesthetically pleasing piece of cabinetry.
What design influence has had the greatest influence on your work and business?
It would have to be the Ultra-modern style. As designers, though there are many design styles to draw inspiration from, we love creating spaces that will still be considered modern 50 -100 years from now like the Barcelona chair. It’s a statement that says your design is timeless and still preserves its unique identity which is what we always strive to do.
What has been one of the most challenging projects you have worked on?
There’s a hotel we designed in Eshowe, KZN called Hotel Aloe which had a lot of honeycomb-shaped self-catering units which made our design process a lot harder because everything had to flow along with the angles of the interior walls which meant we had to custom manufacture most of the furniture.
How would you describe the design industry in South Africa at present?
I feel like as designers we’re always busy with our projects that we never get to meet often enough to share ideas on what we can innovate on the different aspects that affect us in the industry whether it be the suppliers we deal with, how to better serve our clients during the tough economy we’re operating in etc.
Also, I would say no one can deny that we’ve got world-class interior designers in this country but I would love a more visible MADE IN SOUTH AFRICA movement where designers come up with their own brands of furniture, lighting and accessories that would be of the same level as the global brands we often source from.
What trends do you think we should keep an eye on in upcoming seasons?
Definitely the use of multi-functional furniture pieces. With the state the economy here in South Africa, people moving into homes smaller than what they would have liked will look for designers to create spaces that have a lot of multi-functional elements to make up for the less room that they’ll have. It’s our job to help them get the most beautiful, functional and cost-effective homes.
What exciting projects do you have planned within the next year?
There’s a 3 story house in Sandton, Gauteng which will also have a cinema that we’re really excited to start working with. Currently, the construction is ongoing but early next year we’ll start our design process and really can’t wait to see what we come up with!For more visit Linken Designs.