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Up Close & Personal With The Team From Dandelion Designs

Today we shine a spotlight on local design and chat to Caryn Overton and Katherine McIntosh from Dandelion Designs about what it takes to be a designer in the local industry today.

Hear about how Dandelion Designs’ collaborate on exciting projects, how they choose to work alongside local craftsmen and what we can expect from this brand in the near future.

How did your careers begin?

Caryn : Ever curious and a lover of art, culture and creativity, I was called to travel and explore the world in my early 20’s. Upon my return I started a Ceramic Art Studio, and did some works for a local Developer. Having an understanding of spatial layouts and a keen eye for design, I was approached by the Developer to assist with Designing and Specifying the Interior finishes of their Eco-Estate homes.

Kath: I am a creative person and always loved art and design. I studied Interior Design at DUT in Durban and then decided to move to London for a few years to work and have the opportunity to travel. Caryn and I met when I moved back and our shared passion for design and commitment to work hard created Dandelion Designs.

How do you approach a project?

We love to build relationships. We want our clients to be happy and fall in love with their spaces. There is no better satisfaction than a happy homeowner! For us, this is achieved through clear communication from start to end of a project. We always ask for an in-depth brief of how the owner wants to live in their home, we talk about budgets, time frames, and absolutes. This is integral to every project we work on.

What elements do you most often include in a project?

South African design is innovative, creative, and diverse with endless potential for what can be achieved in the world of design. We have amazing craftsmen, artists, and artisans.

We are passionate about working alongside local craftsman to create our furniture items. We love including local products like lighting, tiles and fabrics into our designs. Supporting local business and including unique products in a space make it feel authentic.

Where do you find everyday inspiration?

We are inspired by how we live with our families, and how we juggle life, work and friends. We want to create spaces that enhance all the moments and memories that we will make in life. We want to create sanctuaries where people can escape, wind down, and be present

What is your definition of “Design”?

Design is a sensory experience. It is not only visual, it can be so much more! We want our designs to evoke feelings for the owner, whether it be feelings of relaxation, excitement, or cosiness and familiarity. We often ask our clients how they want to feel as they walk into their spaces. We want to understand what the essence of the space should hold.

What are your everyday responsibilities when working on a project?

Our role is to make the process of design as effortless as possible for the client. We are very hands-on and work closely with our client, builders and subcontractors. We are also the day to day contact for most projects. This allows the client to have peace of mind knowing that we will communicate with them if anything arises regarding changes, extras in budget and snags. We take a solution-based approach and always aim to work as a design team to deliver a project, on time and on budget.

What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator?

Our understanding of interior decorators is that they enhance the spaces that they are given. An interior designer would look at the building as a whole, see how each space flows and works together. They would suggest layout changes or additional structural and fitted design elements. Interior Designers base these on their in-depth briefing and understanding of how the Client wants to live inside their home. Through this process, they can also ensure that the style of the Clients home is a true reflection of their style and personality with the selection of the final finishes and furnishings. Interior Designers work alongside the Architects, Engineers & Builders to achieve this. How spaces function and flow is just as important as the beautiful items you furnish it with.

How do you define your client’s needs?

We have a large basket of clients from Residential to Commercial, Private Clients and Developers. It’s hard to define one client’s needs. We will always revert back to our approach; this is how we treat each project, and how we glean off each specific clients needs.

Tell us more about the collaboration below?

We worked alongside the Architect and Homeowner from the start of the build and were able to make all the finishes selections and design all of the cabinetry for the home. The owner then asked us to create the full FF&E design out for all the bedrooms and living spaces. JB Furniture was a perfect fit for the bedroom furniture. They are a South African based furniture manufacturer in Knysna and we loved the Outeniqua Range. It’s made from solid Oak and the design is classic and elegant. The team was great to work with and the furniture is timeless.

What does the future look like for Dandelion Designs?

Growth and opportunity! Our focus is to grow our business, to teach and share with young, up and coming designers that are graduating what we have been so fortunate to learn (from the ground up). We want to empower them; to gain confidence, create wealth, and immerse themselves in the creative art of design.

What three things will shape the future of interior design?

Sustainability will become very relevant for how buildings are designed and built and used. We are seeing a shift where companies are introducing amazing new recycled, up-cycled and sustainable products. As designers we have the responsibility to make better choices that have a lower impact on the environment.

Smart Homes – our homes and offices will be designed to cater to your unique needs and wants. It will be exciting to see how technology and design will be built into everyday spaces to give the owners that ease of use that is completely custom-designed for them.

Technology – As technology evolves designers will be able to give clients more of an ability to see and almost feel there spaces before they are actually built.

Your perfect hideaway in Africa to unwind?

Caryn: I love Madagascar! The terrain is so diverse, from East to West, and Centre to Coast. It’s amazing! I love the people, the slow pace of living, the interesting culture, and treasures you find there. It’s a fascinating place, where you can completely disconnect, and go back to being curious and explorative.

Kath: I love the bush, anywhere in nature is my ideal place to unwind and relax.


It’s great getting to know the movers and shakers in the local design industry. If you’re looking for a fresh approach to design, be sure to contact Dandelion Designs.

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