Decorex Joburg shines this year’s Designer Spotlight on Donald Nxumalo

A prominent feature on the Decorex Joburg programme, the Designer Spotlight showcases a true local talent who has made a significant contribution to interior design world, both domestically and abroad. This year, visitors to Decorex Joburg – taking place at the Gallagher Convention Centre from 7 to 11 August – will get to witness the artistic stylings of Joburg’s own Donald Nxumalo.


“Having discovered his passion for design at a young age, Donald Nxumalo has swiftly made a name for himself as an incredibly talented interior designer who infuses the enduring spirit of Joburg into all his work,” said Sian Cullingworth, Portfolio Director at Reed Exhibitions. “His local roots and impressive work across Africa make him the perfect embodiment of this year’s theme, ‘Designing for Africa – feels like home’.”


African design influence


Donald Nxumalo, winner of the SABC3 Win a Home design competition, is a driven, grounded young talent who’s excited about the growing influence of the African continent on interior design.


“I believe that Africa is finally finding its place as a global influencer because – since the beginning of time – Africa has been the birthing ground for creativity,” explained Donald. “This is evident in the historical discoveries of ancient artefacts within Africa, the rock and cave paintings, braiding and weaving of the precious jewels of the Nile, and even the great pyramids of Egypt.”


He said that the global design market has been saturated with influences from Western culture and is now poised for something bold and vibrant, but not entirely foreign.


“I think that what has been happening in the design industry is nothing new, but a re-introduction of something familiar,” he continued. “However, this time it is on a much grander scale and the world ready to embrace it. Africa is finally finding her place!”


Trends in African design


Embracing the African emergence, Donald Nxumalo has noted some particular trends inspired by the continent which are flowing into local homes, offices and hotels.


“The major design trends we have been seeing are patterns with ever bolder colours, and geometric patterns in particular, although these are not necessarily symmetrical.”


Donald said there are a number talented, young designers embracing this African style influence in a number of interesting ways: “From the likes of Siyanda Mbele with his Pan-African furniture pieces including desks, servers and side tables; to designers like Kehumile Mate with a range of vibrant ottomans in interesting shapes and vibrant colours which so wonderfully address the concern of space.”


Incorporating African style


Having envisioned the interiors of the consular offices in Kenya, a Ugandan hotel and countless homes and spaces in and around South Africa, Donald is well-placed to advise on interior renovating.


“What we always say at our studio is ‘You date a trend, but marry a classic’. I truly feel that the best way to incorporate these incoming trends into your design is to retain your bigger pieces in solid bases and add the colour and patterns through accessories,” explained Donald. “This way, if a few months down the line you become overwhelmed with the design, it us much easier and more cost-effective to replace, for instance, a scatter cushion rather than the entire couch.”


Alongside the incredible installation by Donald Nxumalo in the Designer Spotlight feature, visitors can look forward to a full-features’ programme which includes a number of inspired new installations. Some of the key features include:


•             Designer Pavilion

•             InStudio Trend Theatre by ABSA

•             Children’s Playroom & Décor Project

•             Kitchen Design Project by the Studio Collection

•             The Lighting Project by Streamlights  

•             The Trend Kitchen with Slavin and Company

•             The Bathroom Project

•             Jacobs Gourmet Cooking Theatre

•             Decorex International

•             Wine + Bubbly Bar furnished by Homewood

•             The Rummery & Gin Garden

•             Dine & Design Restaurant + Bar

•             The Harvest Table

•             The Illy Experience

•             #withlovefromDecorex

•             Paint Nite with Yaymaker

•             Fabric Trend Bar



Decorex Joburg

7 – 11 August 2019

10am – 6pm daily

Gallagher Convention Centre

Public holiday: 9 August

Trade-focused days: 7 – 8 August 2019

Ticket Prices:      Adults – R120

                           Student/Pensioners – R100

                           Kids U12 – R20

                           Trade – R100

                           Exhibitor – R100


For more information, email


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