Deco profiles - Dark Horse Cape Town
Meet today's Revampers: Jarrad Nelson and Lise Du Plessis from Dark Horse

In our latest #IDEAS101 issue, DECO Profiles investigated South Africa’s top revampers. From a muralist to a vertical gardener, we have compiled a decor crew who can update your home like you won’t believe! Whether you’re restoring furniture or breaking down a wall, it’s amazing how simple tricks can revamp your home and make you feel refreshed.


Join us now as we introduce you to one of our featured revampers:
Dark Horse duo Jarrad Nelson & Lise Du Plessis


We first met Dark Horse when scouting for kitchens, stumbling across the gorgeous Apartment Bruton in Cape Town, that they had revamped. This duo has taken design to the next level and their passion is contagious. All the magic happens from their Cape Town studio – from furniture and accessories to transforming spaces with superior craftsmanship, Dark Horse should be in everyone’s Little Black Book.

Elle Decoration SA
Revamped kitchen in Apartment Bruton by Dark Horse

What makes up the foundation and design concept of Dark Horse?
We work in the space where function and aesthetic meet. We love multiple functions or environments for our products. We mix this with a balance between industrial and luxury. We love an Urban landscape but want to ensure there are modern functional elements, with beautiful details and crafstmanship. We aim to create something that has soul, presence and personality whilst celebrating its core function and simplicity.

So what is it then, that you can offer home owners?
We always have a strong partnership with our clients, working symbiotically on a project. Looking at their space and context, we create new objects, spaces and designs focussed on the overall effect of the structure and the small functional details that enhance & simplify life.

Elle Decoration SA
Dark Horse furniture combines a variety of industrial and raw materials. Stylish, comfortable and versatile.

In what way does Dark Horse revamp/renovate/refresh someone’s home/office?
We layer details, working on textures and materials for the home. We think of how you live and engage with your space. We look for the subtle things that make a space special – a way of living – updating furniture and space in a way that will hold value rather than be trendy and wasteful. With offices we are always focused on the brand at hand, and what message needs to be heard.

All time favourite designers?
There could never be one! Right now John Pawson and Nendo, but classically Eero Saarinen and Charles & Ray Eames are on top of our list.

What are you working on?
We keep our interiors and architectural projects limited. We are working on a beautiful small house outside of Cape Town. We’re also giving life to our new Homeware range.

Elle Decoration Sa
When DECO’s not sourcing for interiors, we’re drooling over the Dark Horse BAGS!

What are your most significant projects thus far?
We just completed the interiors for the 4 Star MAX Hotel in Johannesburg, set to launch in April 2015, comprising 28 apartments, a business lounge, meeting rooms etc. We kitted each apartment out with Dark Horse furniture and also produced some new pieces to work with the design language. It was amazing and a little wild. Our team was incredible and there were some very long nights!

What is your top décor idea and material at the moment?
Graffiti! Also, Glass and Marble – it gives longevity and if correctly used, incredible class. Generally we’re interested in sourcing materials that can be used in their most raw form – in such a way that it celebrates the original purpose & origin of where it was found or made.

What is our greatest asset as South African Designers?
Our resilience and open mindedness. We love how people are working, reworking and seeking new things out and wanting to show that off. It’s almost as if we have less pressure to conform.


Want to know more?

Follow Dark Horse to keep up to date with their awesome new ranges:
Visit & follow @darkhorse_cpt on Twitter

Images courtesy of Dark Horse and Jolynn Minaar.