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Spotlight: Design Syndicate

We chatted to Vanda Marques, General Manager of Design Syndicate, about how the brand continues to evolve into Africa’s total source of wallcoverings. For four decades Design Syndicate has found us the very best in terms of wallcoverings, from designer wallpaper encrusted with Swarovski crystals, to tough and hard-wearing coverings – they either stock it or they can source it for you.



Let’s hear more…

Tell us about the history of Design Syndicate and the focus of your key brands.

Design Syndicate specialise in Commercial & Residential Wallcoverings as well as the Elite end of high fashion wallcoverings market. We are importers, stockist distributors and contractors in the wallcoverings industry.

Established on the 1st March 1976, Design Syndicate has been based in the same premises in Johannesburg and in which its major stockholding of wallcoverings is held. We have the widest range of different wallcoverings available ex stock Johannesburg, including paintable wallpaper and a selection of embosses for digital printing, as well as specially imported wallcoverings via air freight, from almost any country in the world, with a delivery, particularly from Europe of 7-21 days from date of order.

We have a branch in Umhlanga, Durban, an exclusive agency in Pretoria and a representative in Port Elizabeth and will be opening our Cape Town branch soon.

Design Syndicate is the preferred distributor of the world’s most distinguished international wallpaper brands. Please elaborate on your latest collections.

Our business has been built particularly on the hospitality industry and we have decorated many of the larger hotels and casinos in the Republic of South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique and as far afield as Jerusalem. We are now making inroads into Central Africa and East Africa and have completed many International Hotels throughout the African Continent.

Our DS collections are stocked locally and readily available. Our library is made up of a wide variety of specially imported ranges. Included in the latest range, you’ll find the Yeshua & Muse collections.

The Yeshua Collection marries unique prints and natural colours and textures, with sparkle and shine. Vertical Art that guarantees a fresh, new look for every interior. This collection captures beautiful structures from city and nature. Imagine yourself in the evocative French capital or lose yourself in a modern interpretation of dreamy clouds or coarse rocks brings the philosophy of nomadic life into the cosiness of your own home. The nomadic lifestyle challenges us to continue our journey of discovery and seek inspiration.

Furthermore, the Muse wallpaper collection revives the memory of the old expressionist masters. In awe of the powerful brushstrokes they once put on the canvas, the team created sensational designs that capture the imagination. Particularly beautiful: the wallpaper from this collection comes to life when the sunlight enters, and a subtle glow reveals its most beautiful structures.


Tell us more about your local wallpaper brands?

All our ranges are designed and manufactured outside the Republic of South Africa, the majority being produced in Western Europe or the Far East with smaller quantities from the U.S.A.

We have our DS books/collections where the ranges are stocked locally, the newest range this year is our Yeshua range and Muse range.

Do you follow trends in sourcing for the South African market?

We follow the international design market and we then, therefore, set the trend and influence the local market.

We’re finding more and more consumers expect companies to have a sustainability focus. What is Design Syndicate doing to address this?

Our international suppliers are reducing their carbon footprint. One example of this is our Belgium Supplier – Eco Deco wallpaper. Ecological wallpaper is the wall decoration par excellence for a new and better future. That is why they have developed a production process in which residual or harmful substances cannot escape. In addition, no chemicals, plastics or pvc are used. Eco Deco consists of three layers of ecological material: a non-woven layer, a layer of environment-friendly polymer and a printed layer. As is the case with vinyl wall decoration, they use the direct printing method. Furthermore, these products are 100% recyclable.

What’s the secret behind your collections that makes specifying your ranges a must-have?

Firstly, our world-class experienced sales team, our competitive prices and our 46 years in the world of wallpaper gives our clients peace of mind knowing they’re dealing with a trustworthy and well-established company.

What is your personal favourite piece in your current collections and why?

Currently, our YESHUA collection is being well received by our residential clients and our SUITS collection has been loved by the corporate clients.

Any collaborations or projects you are working on?

We are involved in a number of projects and collaborations from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and The Palace, Lost City to Sasol, Discovery, Sandton Sun hotel, Investec (Sandton and Pretoria) and so much more.

What has been the main challenge that the pandemic created in 2020 and how did you overcome these challenges?

We focused on the ‘work from home’ domestic market. People were looking to make their home office a place they loved to be in and wanted to update their space. Many were renovating their homes as well.

For more visit Design Syndicate.

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