Decorex Durban a triumph for exhibitors and visitors alike

Decorex Durban 2015 drew to a close on Sunday evening, with visitors and exhibitors describing the four- day showcase of the city’s décor, design and lifestyle talent a triumph for both home owners looking for great décor inspiration as well as professionals in the industry.

Declared a resounding success by organisers and exhibitors alike, the show gave more than 20 100 visitors an abundance of take-home inspiration and practical ideas, in keeping with this year’s theme, “Decorex: The Home of Great Ideas.”

“With many of the region’s leading designers and decorators exhibiting at Decorex Durban 2015, the show really represented a comprehensive display of the wealth of top talent on offer in KwaZulu-Natal,” said Sian Gutstadt, General Manager of Decorex SA.

New to this year’s exhibition was the first ever Creative Business Exchange, a half-day conference sponsored by Caesarstone and an unmatched opportunity for small creative business owners to be stimulated in a creative-thinking environment with a view to taking their businesses to the next level.

Facilitated by creative consultant and design blogger, Nadia van der Mescht, the Creative Business Exchange was attended by designers, decorators, architects, retailer and product designers – all who said they drew immense inspiration from hearing key industry players share their success stories and the methods they rely on.

“Having all this talent under one roof at Decorex Durban is a real privilege, and taking the exhibition to the next level where we actually facilitate business to business interaction in the form of the Creative Business Exchange has been an exciting new step for Decorex,” said Gutstadt.

Other highlights of Decorex Durban, which took place from 19th to 22nd March, included the unveiling of the hard-hitting colour trends for 2015, courtesy of Plascon, which revealed its colour forecast for this year in the vibrant Plascon Spaces installation.

Award-winning Durban designer Paige Waplington of Redesign Interiors, wowed the crowds with her
attention-grabbing Entrance Feature in which she gave inspired interpretation to the hot new Afro Scandi decorating style, seamlessly setting the tone for an equally riveting show.

Also a hit with visitors was the Private Property Trend House, an interactive house-scape dressed by an
array of Durban’s leading decorators that presented the ultimate walk-through design experience.

In this year’s Decorex Designer Spotlight, Umhlanga based Frans Alexander put his trademark classic-
contemporary designer touch to work in a sophisticated living-room installation decorated in the very latest products from the stylish Home Fabrics range of materials and wallpapers.

The province’s wildly innovative kitchen designers also had the chance to flaunt their creative colours, not to mention their inspired interpretation of this year’s biggest kitchen trends, in the Franke Make it Wonderful Kitchen Trend Project. Here, four very unique kitchens gave practical application to new directions in ergonomics, greening, space efficiency and more.

Continuing the culinary theme, visitors also relished the fun home-entertaining talks and cooking demos
presented by a host of engaging local chefs at the Dining & Entertaining Theatre, which was staged in a
genuine Bespoke Designs kitchen. In addition, this year saw the launch of a series of interactive styling and table-decor sessions staged in the dining room ‘set’ adjacent to the theatre, which went down a real treat with attendees.

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.

New to the show and, if its success is anything to go by, the colourful Upmarket pop-up, which featured this year on the Friday evening offered artisanal food and original wares, not to mention engaging live
performances by popular local musicians.

And, of course, for those who sought sustenance – or simply the chance to rest shopping-weary legs –
Decorex Durban catered admirably to all tastes, with everything from a sophisticated wine bar to a gourmet market offering the opportunity to either grab ‘n go or linger awhile at leisure.

“Culminating over a year of composition and preparation, Decorex Durban was everything we hoped it would be – the definitive destination for industry professionals to explore the very latest products and services, and, of course, a great place for consumers to pick up on new décor trends,” said Sian.

A group of Durban’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 Bruce Fyfe from Fyfe Boyce Design, well-known business consultant Nadia van der Mescht, Craig Bennet from Jossi Design and Grant Webster from Fahrenheit Design.

Sian, says exhibition décor comes with unique challenges and opportunities and that the judges would be looking for the stands that not only looked good but ones that made the most of interacting with visitors.

The prestigious Best stand awards were awarded to:
‘Best Overall Stand’ – Caesarstone
‘Most Interactive Stand’ – Electro-Medics
‘Best Newcomer’ – Re-Inspire
‘Best Kitchen & Bathroom’ – Bespoke Designs by Jason Bowden
‘Best Green product’ – Eva Last
‘Best Decor’ – Decorex Designer Spotlight by Frans Alexander in association with Home Fabrics
‘Best Use of Colour’ – Spruced
‘Best Build and Plan’ – Rudi’s Choice
‘Best Small Stand’ – Plantation Shutters
‘Exhibitor Marketing Award’ – Real Natural Stone
‘Best Craft’ – Impressions Printing
‘Best Cooking and Cuisine’ – Mooiplaas

The judges also gave ‘Excellence’ awards to a number of other high-end exhibitors, credited with setting the scene for trend-forward South Africans. These include: Goodwood, Homewood, Consol, Uber Haus,
Plascon, Neolith, Slinx, MobiDeck, Slinx, Wood Shack, Mark Norris, Design Team and Laureen Venter