You are currently viewing Ed’s Choice: Decor 

Ed’s Choice: Decor 

From bright business ideas to bold trends, here’s what caught our eye this month. 

Introducing dopamine decor  

After a rough couple of years, it’s no wonder we’re yearning to take ourselves a little less seriously and bring some playful nostalgia into our homes. Named after the happiness chemical, ‘dopamine decor’ is a trend that fuses everything vibrant, loud, fun and colourful that design has to offer right now.  

This trend channels maximalism to the max: think abstract designs, clashing patterns, contrasting colours, vintage or upcycled furniture items and textures you want to reach out and touch. It’s more of a philosophy than an aesthetic, and there’s something for everyone – whether you are into mid-century or modern.  

What makes this trend a treasure is how personal it is: it’s all about what sparks joy for you, and your guests get to share in it. If you need some inspiration, check out what Rachel Verney (@the_shoestring_home) does on Instagram (and she does it on a budget… with two kids!). We love how effortlessly she changes the decor, depending on what’s creating happiness for her.  

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Bright idea  

While many businesses had to close shop during lockdown, some were just starting to take shape. Julie Baby Punch Club was one of them, – a collaboration between artist Andel Olivier and houseworker Nomvula Mxubane (aka Julie Baby). During lockdown, Andel shared some craft supplies with Nomvula and noticed how talented she was with a punch needle and scatter cushion.  

At first, Nomvula made items only for family and friends, but the orders started streaming in when Andel posted pictures of the cushions online. Nomvula has now trained six other nannies and houseworkers – and while Andel handles the online sales and some designs, the team has also started creating their own illustrations. Check out their carpets, cushions, and wall hangings on Instagram at @juliebaby_punch_club. 


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Local flair  

These SA decor and furniture designers are turning the colour way up in Mzansi:  

What happens when you load up a truck with mid-century furniture? ? Well, you vamp it! What initially started as just a coastal road trip for Cape town couple Paula van Niekerk and Michael Dodds birthed a business idea.  

Using a converted Woodstock chapel as their base, they restored the furniture and opened shop. Nowadays, though, Vamp makes new mid- century inspired furniture, mirrors, rugs and homeware in a range of rich colours. They operate online, but customers are also welcome to pop by their showroom in Woodstock (by appointment) to get a closer look. 

Mash T Design Studio 
Thabisa Mjo became a designer almost by accident. Having never designed decor products before, she entered a design into the Nando’s 2015 Hot Designer Talent Search – and won! The now-iconic Tutu 2.0 pendant light hangs all around the world, including as a permanent fixture in the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.  

Mash T studio prides itself on close collaboration with African artisans and craftspeople to create a modern African design aesthetic combining traditional crafts with technology. The studio’s eye-catching design language expanded to include everything from crockery to collectable furniture pieces. 


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Arrange Studio
Founded on the belief that colour has the ability to make you happy, Roxanne Ferreira’s Arrange Studio has created iconic decor products and interior spaces in the eight years since it opened. The studio has a broad offering – from interior design and space planning to technical drawing services, as well as project management.  

But it was the release of their very first product, the Paradise Lights, in 2021 that caused a riot of colour. Inspired by South America’s vibrant birds of paradise, the table lamps come in three colourways. Each shade has a golden coating on the inside to emit a glow when turned on. Since then, the studio launched Paradise pendants, curvy rugs and solid benches in their signature shades. Watch this space for more!  


Words by: Sindeka Mandoy, Anelitha Hiti 
Photographs: Supplied 

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