Leading local interior stylist shares work-from-home design and decor tips for the future normal

Mali Langa, founder of Task Interiors Styling. Image supplied.
Mali Langa, founder of Task Interiors Styling. Image supplied.

Has spending more time at home made you realise that you either need to declutter or buy more homeware and decor? I'll be the first to say "I" to both. 

With the former weeks of lockdown prohibiting us from shopping for clothes, my itch to treat myself (even when I don't deserve it) was channeled into homeware; first under the 'essential items' categories on e-commerce sites, and later to nice-to-haves when all e-commerce shopping became permitted. I've bought new wine glasses, more bedding, a new indoor plant, scented candles, and even a door stopper.

I also currently have my eye on rugs. Add to that, the need to Marie Kondo my wardrobe of hoarded has-been fashion items, gnawing away at me to the point that I finally donated a refuse bag full of gently worn clothes. And yes, it did spark joy. 

So as we become more acclimatised to life indoors, I think our shopping habits will continue to navigate towards home, comfort and technology-specific interests, even long after our days spent in lockdown.

READ MORE: From buying baking goods to sex toys - Here’s how the pandemic has changed our shopping habits 

Working from home has moved beyond a company perk and flexible lifestyle choice into a lifesaving necessity. Depending on the industry you work in, the easing of lockdown measures and a return to conventional office-based working operations is going to take time, and it will be global. 

“With Covid-19 uprooting the whole world and causing a dramatic change in how we do business, we have to re-look at how our homes are setup to enable a productive working & living environment. I think that this entire experience is making us reassess life in general, which is an opportunity to re-invent ourselves and our lifestyles and be better at it,” says Mali Langa, founder and creative director of Task Interiors Styling, a Johannesburg-based boutique interior firm. 

mali langa interior
Mali Langa, founder of Task Interiors Styling. Image supplied.

As our behavioural and commuting patterns change, being productive in the same space as where you rest, eat, exercise and entertain yourself is becoming a challenging necessity, as my evidence above suggests. This is where Mali’s gift for styling and insight applies a lifestyle lens to optimised, curated work spaces. It’s what a space could be that get Mali’s creativity flowing. “My design aesthetic is influenced by my love for luxury, colour, travel and global trends,” she says. 

interior decor tips from mali langa
Image supplied by CSA 

Mali’s styling tips can be easily applied. These include thinking like a designer, analysing a space for whom and what it will be used for, along with what style and mood inspires you. It’s important to set and stick to a budget and shopping list, but also to have fun with the creative process. Inexpensive additions can transform a space, like making sure there is enough lighting where you need it.

White light, warm light, or perhaps light that is tinted through the colour of a lampshade, is integral in creating atmosphere. Don’t forget Mother Nature. Greenery adds a feeling of liveliness and vitality to an interior. The colour of the leaves, shape and natural structure all enhance and balance elements of design.  

interio decor inspo

interior design tips from mali langa
Images supplied by CSA 

For those who are interested in incorporating trends into their own home aesthetic, Kate Mederer, on behalf of Taylor Blinds & Shutters, explains that "one of the fastest growing trends in architecture, furniture and interior design is creating multi-functional design solutions that save space. Combining design with functional benefits is becoming more and more necessary, as city populations surge to millions, levels of lockdown persist, working from home becomes a norm and the number of students being home schooled increases exponentially."

Additionally, "office space goes for a premium and in times of economic downturn, which we inevitably now face, multi-functional spaces and designs will become increasingly popular," says Kate.

In light of this, and as already mentioned, versatile solutions need to be found to optimise living and working space to allow a high level of efficiency coupled with comfort, even in the tiniest of homes or offices, while at the same time, there is a higher demand for elegant and stylish solutions within our space. 

The tiny home movement has to be the epitome of where multi-functionality meets the demands of modern day life. In a time when we are more aware than ever of our footprint on the planet, and the economies around the world go into free fall, this movement is likely to gain even more traction with those eager to live mindfully, in modern realities at a reasonable cost. Multi-functional design is obviously a cornerstone of this movement. 

In South Africa, Wanderlust Co. is at the forefront of the growth in this sector. Wanderlust Co. offers a variety of custom made tiny houses that can sleep up to six people, with the aim of reducing living costs and the negative impact on the environment for a mainstream market. Essentially, these unique houses offer the chance to live wherever you want thanks to their unmatched mobility and are designed with multi-functionality in mind while not sacrificing the aesthetic. 

interior design tips
Image sourced from Wanderlust Co. 

How to adapt

Kate adds that "we can’t all live in a tiny home or purchase the latest innovations and designs (especially until lockdown is phased out) but we can adjust our mindsets. Our advice is to consider ways that make your space as efficient and enjoyable as possible, allowing you the freedom to live happily in a changing world."

"Consider creating flexibility with moveable items and take your design decisions with care and careful thought."

If you require help to find multi-functional solutions in your home within the blind and shutter sector, feel free to contact Taylor Blinds & Shutters for a virtual consultation

Additional information and images supplied by Eclipse Communications and CSA Communications.

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