We’re thrilled to be involved in this year’s Win a Home competition where three design contestants are mentored by three of South Africa’s biggest design and decor magazines. This year sees Durban based junior architect Minenhle Ntuli under the mentorship of DECO’s very own Editor, Bielle Bellingham, and what a team they make!

With the location being the prestigious Val de Vie Estate in the Cape Winelands, the pair will have 10 weeks to transform a white-box apartment into a luxurious home. We sat down with Minenhle to find out more about this up and coming architect…

Tell us about yourself – what is your background and what would you say defines your design aesthetic/practice?

I’m 23 years old and hail from Phoenix, North of Durban. I am a junior architect by profession with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Studies from UKZN-Howard College, and two years of experience under Stauch Vorster Architects in Durban as an architectural technologist.

My aesthetic is very contemporary and minimalistic, drawing inspiration from various art forms including graphic design and photography.

Outside the design/creative field my life is football, from Fifa sessions to playing club soccer at Juventus F. C. in Durban North. I also enjoy exploring the outdoors with friends and my camera, capturing images of anything and everything in a creative manner.

How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
Unique, creative, shy, ambitious, versatile

What makes you happy?
Growth makes me happy – any progress in my life, be it professionally or socially.

If you weren’t an architect what would you be?
I would be a lawyer. I enjoy being very analytical and solving problems fascinates me.

What inspires you most?
People, particularly those who show faith in me and assist me in growing everyday especially as a creative. Also seeing someone chase their dream inspires me a lot.

Your favourite album?
Tough one. Definitely “Avery” by Emtee. I’m also a huge fan of George Ezra’s “Wanted on Voyage”.

Your favourite book?
Aside from school I have never read a book, but reading my first book is definitely on my 2016 things-to-do bucket list. I do, however, enjoy reading articles and blogs.


What is your decorating cheap thrill?
You can never go wrong with flowers just to lighten up a space.

Who is your favourite architect?
That’s a tough one, but I would have to say Daniel Libeskind

What will we never see you using?
A computer to begin my design process. I still think that’s the hand’s job.

What material or process is on your radar?
I find 3D Printing very enticing, and it’s definitely one of the processes on my radar as it offers a lot of exploration, opening a door to endless possibilities.

How would you define your signature and work?
Very minimal, neutral in colors, well curated in composition with a great influence from geometry and various art forms in general.


What do you think the future of design looks like?
I think it looks very fluid and elastic in form and versatile in function, as technologies keep on advancing. As mentioned earlier, processes like 3D printing are opening doors to endless possibilities. Also, nowadays spaces serve multiple functions which is leading in the direction of open plan design.

What strikes you as different about South African design and architecture?
It’s the earthy colors, cultural geometric patterns, and use of organic materials.

What is your dream commission?
Any amount that will have travel with comfort and allows me to shop till I drop.


Stay updated on Minenhle and Bielle’s journey on Season 3 of Win a Home

SABC 3 | Weekdays | 4-5pm


Facebook: Win a Home

Twitter: @WinAHomeShow

Follow Minenhle

Instagram: @dust_za

Facebook: Minenhle Sphe Ntuli Designer

Twitter: @siphenhle

ElleDecoPodcast4Have you subscribed to our decor and design podcast yet? Its right here.
The ELLE Decoration Design and Decor podcast is all about blending the beautiful and the useful with inspiration and information. We’ll make you dream, as well give you the practical insights to make those dreams comes true. Tune in every month to interesting guests chat about design, decor, food, travel and culture.