DECO chatted to Cecile Froehling, Head of Homeware and Lingerie for Woolworths, about this year’s top decor trends and inspiration.

Your thoughts on prominent décor trends at the moment…
There is definitely a trend towards softer colours, abstract painterly prints, metallics, organic shapes and influences from nature, which manifest particularly in digital prints of fauna and flora.

Your favourite ‘look’ right now?
I would say looks that have an artisanal feel, that feel considered,but relaxed and have a sense of provenance. Explore and add treasures to make your home feel special.

Your worst?
Over styled and contrived looks where it feels like a formula.

Where do you get your décor inspiration from?
I download magazines and look at style websites and blogs. When I travel, I enjoy inspirational shops like ABC Carpet and Home in New York and fairs like Maison in Paris. I love finding special decor and lifestyle shops and markets off the beaten track. Locally, I constantly see what’s available at antique and decor shops, ceramic exhibitions, Design Indaba, Kamers etc. Inspiration is everywhere; I often get inspiration looking at clothing trends as well.

Tell us a little more about your artisanal range: how is it working out? Do you have any hints for future collaborations? Anyone you would really like to work with?
Our Artisan range is going well. For us, it really is a commitment to local artisans who are producing small ranges of handmade product. We have a number of artisans we have worked with for a long time, and we bring some new work in where we can.

It is a process that sits outside our normal commercial buying and it requires careful management. We also have a model where the artist designs and we manage the production at relevant factories. This Winter we had a successful collaboration with Ruan Hoffmann who has also been working with Anthropologie in the US and UK.

At the moment we are considering a few artists…so many projects, not enough capacity!

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Tell us a little more about your new Bamboo range?
Bamboo is a sustainable fibre and we have been using it for some time in towels and kitchen utensils. This Summer we have sourced a lovely outdoor bamboo crockery range in sophisticated colours and shapes.

What is the most exciting thing about the South African design industry?
The South African design industry is an interesting combination of global influences with a local twist. Our climate, local materials and cultural influences result in an interesting design aesthetic. It is so interesting to see the work that emerges from diversity.

Who is your favourite South African interior designer?
I am not that familiar with all the interior designers. From what I have seen I like the work of Boyd Ferguson and Francois du Plessis.

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