DECO intern Charné Mingo speaks to us about life at and beyond the world's best-selling homes magazine.

DECO couldn’t be without our interns, from research projects, chasing up design samples, assisting on shoots and keeping our social media channels buzzing. We chat to our latest recruit Charné Mingo, to find out what it takes.

Joining the DECO team as an intern is a rewarding experience, but exactly what kind of character does it take to be a success? Budding writer and Set Design student Charné Mingo is the latest intern to rise to the challenge. We sat down with her to find out more about life outside of DECO and what life is really like as a magazine intern…

What projects are you working on at DECO at the moment?

We have just wrapped our glass inspired shoot (look out for it in our next issue!). We sourced stunning glassware from a range of places and worked with an array of brightly coloured pieces, all beautifully shaped in different sizes – it was really something magical. It was intense to say the least – naturally when you are working with such fragile pieces, there’s a certain element of stress involved, trying not to break anything! Luckily everything managed to come out unscathed.

How do you spend your time when you’re not running around for the DECO team?

I have two beautiful Jack Russells at home, so I spend a lot of my time trying to steal hugs from them. I stay with my mother who has recently renovated our home, so for the past month we have been exchanging lots of design ideas. I am also the official photographer for an NPO called Silence Is Violence, an organisation targeted at bettering the lives of children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. It’s something I am truly passionate about, and it gives me a real sense of fulfilment.

Madden,one of Charné's adorable Jack Russels
Madden, one of Charné’s much-loved Jack Russell terriers.
Why did you want to join the DECO team?

I have always loved the idea of working for a magazine. Growing up in the 90’s, I would source magazines if I had to work on any kind of creative project. I’d always get excited at the grocery store, waiting at the checkout line, hoping my mom would say ‘go and pick out a magazine for yourself’. I studied film and TV production with the vision of becoming a scriptwriter, but my sub major, Set Design, soon stole my heart and I ended up changing my major. I love being hands-on while I’m creating and bringing to life the imaginary world filled with ideas I have inside my head. So being part of the DECO team seemed like the perfect fit. What more can I say? I’m living one of my dreams.

What are you most looking forward to about the experience?

Everything! I am especially looking forward to writing, which is my first love. I feel I have so much to learn, and I’m truly blessed to be in this environment, so aim to take in as much as I can.

Where is home for you and what conjures up the feeling of home?

Home for me is a place where I can be my true self. It’s a place free from insecurities, judgement and social anxieties. It’s a safe haven where only love and laughter is shared. Home is when my dogs cuddle up against me at night; creating memories inside a beautifully decorated structure, which would only be made up of stone and wood if you didn’t have anybody to share it with.

Tell us your favourite things about winter?

Listening to the rain at 2 AM, while I’m warm in bed or watching the rain from inside through a window. I also have this obsession for lovely winter coats and boots. Hot chocolate, yummy treats, a fire and a good cuddle buddy is definitely ideal for chilly winter nights.

What would your ideal weekend entail?

My ideal weekend would have to be an exotic spa getaway with my mom and best friend, need I say anymore?

asia
Charné is a keen photographer and has travelled to Asia, where the local style inspires her interior taste.
What would you eat for your last supper?

I would definitely want to cook my own last meal, although I’m not sure what it would be. I need to be inspired by the moment, because I love food and I’m a pretty good cook! By the time I’m 50 years old, I’ll find myself going to chef school.

Favourite room in the house and why?

My favourite room in the house has to be my room. It’s my own little nook in the house, where I can find myself in a blissful solitude for hours, nestled in a book or watching my favourite TV series, with one of my dogs cuddling up next to me. It’s also very special to me, because I have travelled quite a bit and been away from home for months on end. When I returned, as a welcoming gift, my mom worked her magic, by adding a custom-made headboard; an ode to Marilyn Monroe that she made from scratch.

My Marilyn Monroe headboard that my mother made for me.
Charné’s Marilyn Monroe headboard that her Mom hand-made..
Best shop for décor, locally and abroad?

I’d have to say Mr Price Home, Coricraft, @Home, Tafelburg Furnishers and a recent favourite would be Pezula. I have a very eclectic, quirky decorating style when it comes to home décor. Travelling through Asia has also broadened my senses and visual style; I cannot wait to have my very own home to incorporate all these interesting elements inspired by my travels.

What are you reading right now?

At the moment I’m reading A Million Little Pieces by James Fray. He is one of my favourite writers, so I decided to read this book again. I am also researching a lot of décor magazines and coffee table books, just to enlighten myself.

…Listening to?

I’m listening to a mix of different things. One of my recent discoveries is the French producer and DJ, French Kiwi Juice. I absolutely love music, it gets me through a lot on a daily basis, so one of my favourite past times is sharing music with my brother and friends who have similar tastes to me.

…Downloading?

I love to download my favourite TV series, eBooks and music. I spend way too much time on the internet actually.

malaysia
Another picture taken on Charné’s travels in Malaysia.
What are your favourite websites for inspiration?

It has to be Pinterest, hands down. I find everything I need in a flash and maybe a little extra.

What app could you not live without?

Probably Whatsapp, Pinterest and Instagram. These are the ones I use the most.

Top 5 people to follow on Instagram?

This was a difficult one, but here goes:
@runnerkimhall | If you consider yourself a dreamer, then you’ll love her page; she’s very creative with her images.
@thegoodquote | ‘Welcome to the good vibe tribe’; I follow them for daily positive and motivational quotes.
@sunmoooon | He is a father of beautiful little twin girls and takes the most magnificent photographs of them.
@lifeinchucks | I am obsessed with Converse Chuck Taylor’s and photographing them, I always find really cool inspiration from this page.
@cityofcapetown | I always find the most awesome photographs of the mother city on this page, it makes me appreciate Cape Town so much more.

milky way from cape agulhas photo by @liu418
Milky Way from Cape Agulhas | Image © @liu418 via @cityofcapetown on Instagram
Favourite quote?

I’ll give you one that I have just recently fallen in love with, from Chris Weylandts:

It’s not about the tools, it’s about the hands, eyes and heart and the longing in the soul to create something beautiful.

Best advice you ever received?

The best advice I have ever received is from My Brother by Richard Branson:

If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.

What advice would you give to others looking to intern at DECO?

If you have enough passion, willingness to learn and aren’t afraid of hard work, then this internship is definitely for you.

What do you think you’ll be doing 5 years from now?

Five years from now, I will definitely be older and wiser, working in a positive creative environment where I’ll find inspiration from my team and surroundings and also earning lots of money.


ARE YOU OUR NEXT INTERN?

We are looking for a top notch digital intern to help us create whizz-bang content, drive our social media platforms, write and research on-trend quality design stories.

Find out all the details and apply right here.

intern


LIKED THIS? If you like what you read, take a look at recent interview with DECO interns Melanie and Lauren.