DIYgirls, one of SA's top 10 interior designers, optimises small spaces at the Home Décor Expo 2021

Apartment living has become a norm with young professionals looking for spaces that will offer convenience and flexibility in the city. This trend, however, does not always guarantee big and spacious homes. While it is everyone’s dream to live in a big imposing house with optimal space, high ceilings and the perfect lighting, this is not always a reality for many. The advent of Covid-19 has further forced professionals to transform their homes into multi-purpose spaces to accommodate their new home offices.

For their seventh annual event, Home Decor Expo, taking place at The Parks Lifestyle Apartments in Riversands (Johannesburg), has selected SA’s Top 10 Interior Designers to furnish and decorate the ultimate urban apartment – from bedrooms, bathrooms, patios, kitchens and lounges.

“The reality is that people are constantly moving into smaller homes, which poses challenges in terms of natural light, storage and layout, to name but a few. Designing a two-bedroom apartment for the expo required creativity in terms of space planning and attention to detail with the finishing touches to bring glamour and opulence to the smaller, more restricted interior,” says Vinette Diab Nicholls, Founder of DIYgirls, one of SA’s Top 10 Interior Design companies, selected to participate in this year’s Home Decor Expo.

The interior of the two-bedroom apartment, designed and furnished by DIYgirls, is befitting of The Parks’ architecture – reflecting contemporary hues and shapes of modern living.

“The layout and décor was thoughtfully created with the lifestyle of young and busy professionals in mind, successfully catering for entertaining and relaxing in a lock-up and go home,” says Vinette.

The space features an open plan dining nook that blends seamlessly into the living room, distin- guished by an oversized canvas print of a Heron, glass-topped dining table and bespoke dining chairs which can easily swivel to provide more seating space in the lounge area.

Keeping in mind that small spaces shouldn't get short shrift when it comes to style, a custom-printed wall mural and hand-selected art pieces are DIYgirls’ elegant choice to create character, while a large couch topped with bold monotone scatter cushions unapologetically dominates the compact living room. This sends out the message that there is space to stretch out and relax, comfortably.

In keeping with the designer’s holistic approach, the colour palette and style of the open plan living space spills over into the two bedrooms, with the repetition of monotone geometric patterns on the walls, floor and bed- ding. The North-facing main bedroom boasts good natural light and premium finishes, such as a genuine leather headboard and 500TC Bamboo Cotton linen.

The vertical lines of the paneling in the upholstered headboard was intentionally selected for the slightly smaller second bedroom to give it height. The same attention to detail is easily noticeable in the hand-made lampshades and selection of luxurious throws in both spaces.

Subtle but modern touches and golden accents in decorative finishes, such as table lamps and décor, create elegance and sophistication, proudly displayed on larger bedside tables. In keeping with the design of the TV unit in the lounge, the pedestals boast substantial drawers with ample storage space – a good substitute for cramped surfaces on either side of the bed.

The furniture used to furnish this unit is manu- factured with high quality materials that are durable and boast high performance proper- ties ranging f rom stain resistance, flame retardance, antimicrobial protection against bacteria, mold, mildew, and other hazardous microbes. Where possible, the DIYgirls Team has also made use of recyclable textiles that are environmentally friendly.

“The choice of materials we use make our prod- ucts ideal for homes and offices, ensuring that furniture is not only aesthetically beautiful but also stays strong and fresh for longer, no matter the size of the interior” says Vinette, who works with owners of residential and commer- cial properties across South Africa, including retail spaces, lodges and hotels.

As a 100% female-owned company, DIYgirls prides itself not only as a company that employs 90% black females, but also as a company that makes use of fabrics that are scientifically developed, in the design and manufacturing of their products. These are the kind of furniture and soft furnishings they pride themselves in using while designing the apartment in this year’s expo.

Meticulous space planning and strategic placement of pieces throughout the unit all contribute toward a cohesive living environment that has the perfect feeling of cosiness. With no detail over- looked, the end result is a clutter-free home with a boutique hotel feel - one that looks spacious and inviting.