Destination design: Decorex Joburg draws décor fans in droves

19 Aug 2015

A revamped layout of its exhibition halls, a brand new trade programme plus a second successful edition of 100% Design South Africa were just some of the attractions that saw visitors looking for décor, design and home improvement inspiration flock to Decorex Joburg 2015 in unprecedented numbers.

Featuring more than 800 brands, products and designers under one roof for the course of five idea-fueled days, Decorex Joburg 2015, which took place over the Women’s Day long weekend, saw over 56,000 visitors converge on the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand and has been declared a resounding success by organisers, exhibitors and visitors alike.

"Johannesburg and its surrounds has a remarkable pool of design talent and we were privileged to showcase some of its leading lights – both established names and exciting emerging talents to watch – at Decorex Joburg 2015," says Sian Gutstadt, Portfolio Director of the Decorex SA and 100% Design South Africa.

Gutstadt notes that the 2015 show’s design offering was immensely enhanced by the popular co-located international exhibition, 100% Design South Africa. "Offering a carefully curated mix of top products from leading designers, all of which keep the beauty of high-end, original design the uppermost focus, this important show, which took place alongside Decorex Joburg for the second time this year and is exclusive to the Johannesburg exhibition, plays a significant role in nurturing new talent and growing the industry," she explains.

Features at Decorex Joburg 2015

Themed the ‘Home of Great Ideas’, Decorex Joburg brought a decor-hungry public more inspired ideas than ever before. In addition to the comprehensive showcase of the latest products and services from the décor and design fraternities, the exhibition also laid on a number of unique platforms to give visitors a taste of the very latest décor, design and lifestyle trends...

Dedicated to all things interior, from lighting and furnishings to wall décor and accessories, the newly revamped Home Décor Hall was where visitors got to see the classic-contemporary and impeccably proportioned interiors that have made Patron of Decorex, Stephen Falcke, world famous. It was also here that Slate Interiors’ Kirsten Di Clemente, who was awarded this year’s coveted Designer Spotlight feature, got to show off her decorating stripes. Sponsored by renowned textile and wallpaper house, Home Fabrics, Di Clemente’s stand comprised a sophisticated living-room scene – complete with elegant fireplace – in a smart palette of black, camel and soft pink, a triumph in modern layering and textures that had visitors visibly wowed.

Another designer firmly entrenched in the City of Gold’s style echelons is Elisha Annandale, of Décor Identity, who was responsible for dressing the stylish bedroom that formed part of the ever-popular Private Property Trend House. An interactive house-scape that provided guests with the ultimate walk-through design experience, the Trend House comprised, in addition to Annandale’s boldly-beautiful black bedroom, a luxurious Geberit en-suite bathroom, a fully fitted Oppein Home kitchen leading into, a unique cigar lounge and home office by Spitfire Furniture, through elegant American Shutter doors, to a patio area complete with Anray’s designer cast-aluminium furniture.

"Modern" and "organic", were at the heart of the design that decorator Sonja Coetzee of Outsite Indesign conceptualised for her installation in the Beautiful Bedrooms installation, which proved a draw-card feature in the newly reconfigured Bedrooms and Bathrooms Hall. One of a select group of designers tasked with decorating their ultimate "sanctuaries for slumber" as part of this bedroom showcase, Coetzee and her interior-expert colleagues showed just how dreamy a girl’s favourite room can be.

Current kitchen trends were on display in the Franke Make it Wonderful kitchen design project, where four very unique designer kitchens gave practical application to new directions in ergonomics, greening, space efficiency and more. Once a gleaming utilitarian space dedicated to pure functionality, today’s kitchens – as these designers demonstrated – have morphed into the hearts of the home, places in which to cook, gather and entertain.

Continuing the culinary theme, the perennially popular Dining & Entertaining Theatre, this year, added a new feature to its line-up of well-attended cooking demos with a series of interactive styling and table décor sessions in the dining room set adjacent to the theatre – another huge hit with visitors.

A major crowd-puller, too, was the unveiling of the very latest colour trends for 2016, courtesy of the show’s co-headline sponsor Plascon, which revealed – for the first time – its much anticipated colour forecast for next year in the vibrant Plascon Spaces installation. Firmly rooted in the 21st century, with its pervasive sense of adventure, and underpinned by an innate yearning for social interaction, the Plascon 2016 Colour Forecast was complemented by a display of the very latest paint techniques – everything from gradated finishes, weightless ombrés and powdery effects to floor-to-ceiling all-over colour and carefully balanced light and dark tones.

A recognised breeding ground for young talent, Decorex Joburg also proved its commitment to social upliftment with the Spotlight on Talent feature, a community-inspired showcase of the top talents at Inscape Design College, in which three promising Gauteng students were given the chance-of-a-lifetime opportunity to trial their designs alongside the country’s most prestigious designers and before a discerning audience of design-savvy visitors.

And the perennially popular Craft & Create section of the show didn’t fail to delight either, with local artisans, suppliers and smaller exhibitors offering those with a love of all things handmade a wide choice of limited-edition pieces, thrifty finds and wise buys.

The serious business of planning, building, DIY and outdoor remodeling, meanwhile, got underway in Hall 5, where everything from blinds and shutters, hard and soft flooring and windows and doors to security, audio-video, home automation and electrics could be sourced. It was also here that the all-new Builders DIY Theatre was located – a unique interactive workshopping opportunity for those with a love of DIY and creating their own unique pieces.

After its successful introduction last year, the Art Gallery in the Ballroom was back, with its vast collection of fine art and photography. Featuring the pre-launch of the Nelson Mandela Opus.

Of course visitors were once more invited to satisfy their culinary cravings at Decorex Joburg’s delicious assortment of restaurants and cafés. Among them, and pretty in shades of pink, coral and crimson, was the Graham Beck Wine Bar, a sophisticated adults-only space where they could linger over a platter of cheese and salmon, accompanied by a choice of Graham Beck Wines or bubbly. The Grid Café, The Sprada Café and The Pink Doughnut, meanwhile, offered the opportunity to enjoy a delicious on-the-go cuppa and a quick bite for those who preferred to shop ‘til they dropped. In Hall 6, ‘The Pantry’ of the show, the innovative Consol Gourmet Food Market offered a choice of delicious meals served in cool Consol glassware and all the food and wine exhibitors added much excitement and a great flavor to the foodie side of things in this new hall.

New to this year’s exhibition was the first ever Architecture + Interior Design Africa conference, a CPD-accredited conference designed to inspire conversations and teachings in the fields of architecture, interiors and building, with a particular focus on Africa. Presented by industry professionals who have successfully established themselves within the Southern African and African markets, this series of design talks was aimed at the interior design, architecture and build industries, and was all about promoting design and development, sharing key business knowledge and highlighting creative collaborations in Africa.

Architecture + Interior Design Africa formed part of an all-new trade programme at Decorex Joburg 2015 that saw the first morning of the exhibition opened only to the trade and media, as well as a targeted matchmaking programme and networking opportunities at the show. This ongoing trade programme at Decorex South Africa sees organisers growing the exhibition in a new direction to add even more value to exhibitors investing in the show.

Gutstadt comments: "The size and influence of Africa’s leading décor, design and lifestyle exhibition is certainly growing every year, demonstrating Decorex SA’s vision of offering both members of the public as well as trade visitors a comprehensive showcase of both local and international décor and design."

Best stand awards

A group of the country’s leading décor and design experts undertook the challenging task of judging the most successful stands at this year’s exhibition. This year’s judging panel included Michael Porter from The Home Channel, Tessa Proudfoot from Tessa Proudfoot Design, Kerry Hayes from SA Homeowner and Leana Schoeman from Conde Nast House & Garden. The prestigious Best Stand Awards were awarded to:

THE MOST INNOVATIVE STAND AWARD: IID
This stand was very clever. Simple elements and subtle branding made a strong impact and the effect was visually incredible. These exhibitors used their stand as the canvas and the result was very effective.

BEST SMALL STAND AWARD: FACTORY 5
This exhibitor was really clever in that the furniture on display became a pattern – to great effect. The branding was a feature of the stand – and in a simple and impactful way that our judges just loved.

BEST NEWCOMER AWARD: WISPECO
The judges were really impressed at how this exhibitor had taken a product that could easily have been extremely uninteresting and turned it into something that is really fascinating. The stand was a journey for visitors to walk through and discover.

MOST INTERACTIVE STAND AWARD: CAESARSTONE
The judges felt they had to acknowledge the success of this stand in drawing people in and engaging with them about their product.

CRAFT AND CREATE AWARD: PAPER REPUBLIC
As usual the judges were spoilt for choice at the beautiful Craft and Create pavilion but they all agreed that the winner had showcased her craft beautifully, integrating with the space allocated - and the product simply became part of the stand.

BEST DÉCOR AWARD: SLATE INTERIORS WITH HOME FABRICS
This stand perfected the art of layering to achieve that magic moment in décor when everything works together. While the look was luxurious, using on-trend colour combinations, it was also a space that you could imagine creating and moving into – visitors were certain to be inspired.

BEST COOKING AND CUISINE AWARD: THE TEA MERCHANT
This stand was simple and natural – and the judges loved the atmosphere that evoked more of a boutique than a sampling counter. They felt the exhibitor really got the balance right in terms of displaying all their delicious and beautiful product – without over-stuffing the shelves.

BEST KITCHEN AND APPLIANCE AWARD: BLU LINE KITCHENS
This was such an obvious winner. The judges were blown away by the drama of this European-style execution – no-one could resist walking in to explore this brand.

BEST BEDROOM AND BATHROOM AWARD: DÉCOR IDENTITY
This stand, in the Private Property Trend House, was a beautifully layered slice of life. A bedroom and bathroom setting, the look was fresh and contemporary and the designer knew just when to stop.

BEST PLAN AND BUILD AWARD: PLANTATION SHUTTERS
This stand is always one to look forward to because the exhibitor manages to showcase a range of product in a characterful way that feels like you are stepping into someone’s dream house. The attention to detail and trend focus is remarkable – and the judges could see this exhibitor had done their homework on décor trends.

BEST OVERALL STAND AT DECOREX JOBURG 2015: FRANKE KITCHENS
There are some products that are simply not easy to turn into an interesting stand – no matter how hard you try. But the Franke team went the extra mile and managed to create the coolest, trendiest, show stopping stand at Decorex Joburg this year. With incredible graphics, superb products and a surprise on every inch of the stand, this stand was a clear winner amongst all our judges.

The judges also gave Excellence awards to a number of other exhibitors, credited with taking stand design to the next level. These were:

  • Mr Price Home for a truly surprising stand that took the brand to a new level. Mr Price Home has successfully demonstrated to visitors that style is both achievable AND affordable.
  • Evatech/ Evalast for an impressive use of space and clever building. These guys built their entire stand using their product and even went up a level!
  • Caesarstone. Decorex South Africa’s co-sponsor won best overall stand in Durban and Cape Town. Their oversized kitchen with the dream island has been a sensational addition to the Decorex South Africa halls this year.
  • Forest Flooring for an experiential stand that appealed to all the senses. The judges thought the black-framed windows were beautiful and the stand’s space well used.
  • American Shutters created a fresh stand with a sense of open airiness – perfect for this beautiful brand. The judges commented on how clever it was to extend one’s ceiling with their shutters plus they used natural wood that is on-trend and pretty.
  • Mike Made This managed to impress the judges with a stand that is quirky, fun and clever. Every part of the stand was a feature, especially the beautiful feature wall. Still, the lasting effect was not cluttered.
  • Homewood always seems to catch the judges’ attention. They commented on the great lighting and backdrop as well as the charming flooring – using wood chips. They also complimented the colour combination and the overall effect that was contemporary and homey all at the same time.
  • Plascon has interpreted the colours for 2016 quite beautifully. But the judges said that their stand was not only lovely to look at, it was interactive with plenty of information on trend, paint and colour available to visitors.
  • Easylife Kitchens never disappoints. Once again, their kitchen was beautifully executed – with excellence in mind. Definitely one of this year’s strongest trends, here we again saw traditional and contemporary well put together.
  • Future Classics The judges got this in one, when they described this perfectly simple and fresh kitchen as a Pinterest kitchen. Each one of them said they could have taken the whole stand, as is, and placed it in their home.
  • Telkom really kept their eye on the detail and the result is an attentive and engaging stand.
  • House IT has won an award for its effortless style. No fuss and the product did not take over the stand but this was simply a brilliantly executed stand.

For more information visit the Decorex website.

For press enquiries, please contact:
Jessica Fenwick
jessica@thebereed.co.za

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