Each issue we quiz a South African interior designer about their past as well as the future of their profession. This month we spoke to Lucy Stephenson of Decadent Design
Q What is your background?
I was born in England but moved to South Africa at a very young age where I grew up mainly in Cape Town. I moved back to England with my family at the age of 14 where I attended boarding school.
I then came back to Cape Town and Studied Interior Design at Boston House College. After three years of studying and obtaining my diploma I decided to further my studies in Interior Architecture in London at the London Metropolitan University.
Q What sparked your interest in interior design?
I have always been a creative person and since I can remember I used to love rearranging my bedroom furniture and other rooms in the house. I used to sit down with my sketch book and draw plans of the spaces and look at all the other ways the furniture could work in the room. I loved doing this so much that I thought that this was what I wanted to do with my life.
Q What would you say is your signature design style?
I certainly do not have a signature style – I love to work in all genres of design and I think in order to be a good designer you must learn to love and appreciate all styles and the history behind them. If there is anything I like to follow through in my designs it is the combination of different styles and making them marry.
Q There is the debate about a South Africa style of architecture, but is there a South African style of interior design?
I would have to say yes to a degree. I think that lately we do follow European trends but combine elements of South Africa in the space to give it a local character and flavour.
Q Describe your ultimate client?
My ultimate client would be an outgoing yet creative individual who is happy to take risks and be unique. It would also be someone who understands the importance of all aspects in design.
Q What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a Cape Dutch home’s drawing room refurbishment and construction as well as an eco friendly bottle store franchise.
Q Can you name one trend which you think is worth keeping an eye on?
Going green and being eco-chic. People have a misconception about being eco friendly – they seem to think mud and straw bales, but really being green these days has developed so much that there are so many options you can choose from just in terms of interior design.
For example, buying a second-hand French carved antique chair and upholstering it in a beautiful natural fabric or installing hard wearing, clean lined bamboo flooring. If you really look around you there are so many creative individuals out there who are making the most beautiful designs out of recycled materials and waste products. It’s only going to develop and become more and more fashionable.