Destiny Magazine: A New Interior For the New Normal
We love it when we get the chance to share a bit more about TASK and the work we do. Here is a throwback to our Q&A feature in Destiny Magazine last year August!
1. What inspired you to launch TASK Interior Styling?
I have had a love for interiors since I was a little girl watching my aunt style our home back in Limpopo. She had a lot of pride in her home and it inspires me to this day. Other than that I saw an opportunity to start making a career out of what I love to do when I was tasked with my first big interior home project and just could not find anyone that completely understood my vision.
2. What inspired the name and interesting logo of the brand?
The name TASK is made up of the initials of my children. When I look at my career, my philanthropic endeavours, and just the way I portray myself to the world, I always have my children in mind and what they see when they look at their mother. I hope to be an example to them in their own careers one day, but also showing them how important it is to be generous with the blessings life sends your way. Of course, the acronym TASK also spells out a word that inherently speaks of hard work and dedication, fundamentals in making it in the business world.
Our geometric logo is part of our recent 2019 rebranding. I really wanted to capture something that embodies the intricate design process and skill that goes into creating a phenomenal interior.
3. Of all the entrepreneurial ventures you could have sought, why interior design?
It is simple. When you are good at something, and you love doing it, you will never work a day in your life. This is a common saying, but it rings so true. I view my team members as family because working with them and experiencing the joys of completing fabulous projects together brings the same kind of warmth to my heart than a day spent with my children and loving husband. Interiors and the creative design process called out to me, and I am answering that call through making TASK Interior Styling the best in the business!
4. How has the new normal of lockdown affected the way in which people view their homes?
People are spending so much more time in their homes leading to a rethinking of practicality and aesthetics alike. So much of what an interior designer does often goes unnoticed. When creating an interior a tremendous amount of logic goes into the process of how a space flows and how the occupant functions. At TASK we know take special care to help our clients find optimal efficiency in their paces whilst creating a look that inspires them creatively. In lockdown, these elements of interior design and styling are really coming to the forefront as the world adapts itself to function within the restrictions of lockdown and keeping social distance.
5. You say that the firm is a boutique interior studio dedicated to creating tailored spaces informed by innovative style choices. What are some of these choices you’ve seen emerge during the months of the pandemic which you think will be here to stay?
The most obvious change is that we all have had to create new work spaces in our homes. Combining this into your personal space, which perhaps was reserved previously for down-time and social life, is something that can be challenging. And even when we one day move past the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has become a viable and tested method of doing business, and will remain. So, as an interior design studio, we are keeping on top of home office trends and helping our clients find the best solutions for them.
Style choices we are implementing have taken on colourful and inspiring forms, because we need to stay positive and creative when the news out in the world is so bleak. The effect a beautiful space has on your psyche cannot be over emphasised; it has the power to keep your spirits up and help you perform optimally.
We have also been incorporating lots of greenery and plants into our designs, bringing the vitality of mother nature indoors whilst our outdoors movements are restricted.
6. Your service offering also includes offices – with more people likely to work from home for the foreseeable future, how do you plan to innovate with these corporate clients?
Businesses have been forced to implement many changes in the workspace. At TASK we aim to find solutions that adhere to regulations whilst also focussing on not making offices feel like they are makeshift quarantine wards. As new clients approach us with projects we analyse their spaces and help them find a flow that ensures the safety of their employees whilst also taking care to design workspaces that still function optimally for the work that needs to be done. Just because we have been forced to rethink physical interaction, doesn’t mean that a space can’t still look great. Keeping up morale, productivity, and creativity, starts with the vibrations your immediate environment are pulsing out into the universe.
7. As someone whose service can’t fully be delivered virtually, how have you managed to navigate this during the lockdown period?
As with many industries we have been putting in place all necessary procedures to minimise the spread of the virus and ensuring safety for all. A large chunk of our previous physical interactions with clients have moved to virtual spaces and site visits are being kept to the bare minimum. When it comes to installation both our service providers and the TASK team are implementing strict social distancing, screening, data capturing, and the wearing of masks and shields at all times.
Through all of this, we are indeed fully able to deliver our turn-key interior design services in the safest possible manner.
8. How has TIS responded to this change in its service offering?
We still proudly offer all services we did before lockdown, and through keeping on top of news and industry-related regulations we are able to ensure safety within every aspect of our service offering.
We are seeing an increase in home office/workspace design and consult more carefully than every before with clients on the function of their interiors. So in a way, we are placing more emphasis on functional solutions whilst also adapting our aesthetic choices to help our clients cope with the harsh realities through inspiring optimism.
9. You have said, “My design aesthetic is influenced by my love for luxury, colour, travel and global trends”. With this year’s pause on travel, has different inspiration replaced that? Also, what new global trends have you seen emerge of late?
With the internet we have all become global citizens. Even though we aren’t currently globetrotting, we remain as connected as ever before. So, I still look at what is going on around the world, and I still find joy in blending cultures together in my designs.
With that being said, I am also looking at the creativity within my own design team and how our design sessions can deliver fresh innovations, styles and looks. We have been coming up with our own original art implementing them in our fabrics, wallpapers, decorative art, upholstery and even fashion products. The TASK Collections & Designs range is expanding very quickly and we hope to be sharing lots of our new materials with you soon, as we expand our business beyond just a service offering to a place of online shopping.
10. What do you love most about being an entrepreneur in the home décor industry?
Seeing a project come to life! It is hard to decide between the satisfaction of having implemented and completed a masterpiece and the actual joy it brings our clients. But looking at before and after pictures and being able to pat yourself on the back and say, “That has VAVA!” is an unrivalled kind of joy!
11. You’ve said that your styling tips can be easily applied, such as “thinking like a designer”. What does that mean?
The internet is full of tips people can use and apply to their interiors, especially when it comes to aesthetics. So, when I offer interior advice, I like to focus on giving people practical tips.
I always say, “think like a designer”. This requires you to analyse the function of the space, focus on the desired look & feel, implementing proper planning, timelines and budget management. An interior project is not just decorating, there is a lot of logical thinking that eventually leads to a result that works!
12. What are the key elements of home décor design which make key pieces in the home timeless?
For some it might be different, but for me there are a couple of pillars that hold up the ideals of a fabulous interior: 1. Lighting, 2. Functionality & Comfort, 3. Balance, 4. Quality, 5. Colour.
If you always stick to these and unpack each pillar properly, nothing can go wrong.
13. While you’re based in Johannesburg, you were raised in Limpopo which is known for its property boom, particularly in the rural and peri-urban areas. Do you have a client base developing here?
We are currently working on numerous projects in the province. As Limpopo expands its property market we hope to continue being a role player in interior design. Home is where the heart is, and I find a lot of satisfaction in taking my talents back to where my roots lie.
14. You’ve collaborated with graffiti artist Serge One (Instagram: @sergicalone). Tell us more about this.
With our motto “innovation through collaboration” we are always looking to see how we can merge creative spheres and see how different disciplines can complement one another.
At the onset of 2020 we wanted to get cracking on expanding our Collections & Designs and we thought, how can we make our first original artwork stand out? The idea was always to create inspired art which could then be pulled through to various aspects of our designs at TASK. To fabric designs, murals, wallpapers, decorative artwork, and even fashion.
Our “Graffiti” artwork was born out of an idea to celebrate my love affair with colour. We collaborated between our graphics department and Serge One to design an artwork which embodies my love of flowing pops of colour. And during a content creation shoot in Cape Town, Serge painted our mutual creation on a wall with us capturing the process as the day progressed.
The final graffiti wall was then captured and reworked even further to create the layered art you will see on our TASK homewares packaging, on our fabric prints and artwork being installed in on-going projects, and in many items yet to be introduced to our clients and the public.
It is my vision to bring TASK ranges to life in unexpected ways, and pull them through our designs to surprise our client base but also to coherently form our unique aesthetic tastes at TASK.
15. You also have an NGO, Mali Langa Children’s Foundation Trust. What are 3 key differences between running a “for” and a “not for profit” business?
I always say that everything you do needs to go towards the betterment of something in the world, whether you are doing it for profit or for charity.
The first difference between the two is that with a non-profit you do the work and you share the resources without expecting anything back. Secondly, non-profits are a show of gratitude for your own good fortune and an attempt at helping others get the opportunities and inspiration to make their own way towards success in life. And thirdly, non-profit work hopes to inspire others to also open their hearts and give what they can in their own lives.
16. Are you planning on creating young stylists through this foundation?
The MLCF is currently focussed on lending a helping hand to kids in need in their current daily circumstances as well as providing the tools where possible to make their educational journey easier.
The MLCF is still quite a young organisation and our plans for the future do include hopefully setting up bursaries one day, and perhaps that will include an interior design bursary.
17. What’s next for a resilient revolutionary such as yourself?
For now, I am focussing all of my attention towards growing TASK as the leading authority in interior design and styling in South Africa as well as adapting our offering to online shopping for the everyday household.
Furthermore, I want to continue travelling down the road of interdisciplinary collaborations and see what exciting fresh opportunities arise from that which will hopefully form part of the growing TASK Creative Network.
We are also working on finalising the MLCF’s illustrated children’s book which we hope to still publish in a few different languages. The book embodies my ideals as a human being as well as my love for children.