Cape Town artist and décor designer, Sharon Boonzaier captures and celebrates South African natural beauty.

DECO is always on the lookout for local artistic talent – even more so when an artist can translate their pieces into attractive home furnishings. DECO intern Melanie Loser introduces us to an artist who does just that, Sharon Boonzaier of Sharon B Design.

Sharon Boonzaier is a self-taught artist that turns one beautiful painting into a collection of décor accessories. Therefore allowing the creative process to be enjoyed by a wider audience – who says art is to be hung on walls alone?

Her undeniably unique way of capturing nature in motion is why we love Sharon B Design here at DECO. Her natural scenes sit in people’s homes, not only as a piece of beauty, but also as a constant reminder of the need to preserve our Earth.

Nature is a never-ending source of inspiration and pattern. Capturing natural imagery creates windows through which the viewer can be refreshed and reminded of our natural environment and hopefully be inspired to protect and respect it!

The Sunbird, the Weaver and the Protea are just a few of the vast natural content Sharon captures to produce these Décor delights.

Sharon creates her artworks from both inks and oils. She loves to paint with ink she says, as it never behaves and does what it wishes – much like the natural content she likes to capture with it. Sharon sets the stage for the ink to perform. She loves to be able to let it be, and flow as it wants.

Ink demands a level of spontaneity. It does not like to behave, nor be told what to do! It will run exactly where you don’t want it to go and then create something totally magical.

The beauty, she says, lies in the capturing of the spontaneity when the ink dries and the movement is trapped forever. She also often paints with oil, and says that the challenge here is the opposite. This tactile feel to her chosen artistic media shows through in her illustrative designs from the natural world.

Lilac Breasted Roller
Sharon captures the beauty and burst of flight of the Lilac Breasted Roller- a beloved bird of South Africa.

The main focus of all her artworks and décor products is that of nature, and more so, South African natural scenes, as ‘local is lekker’. Once the magic has happened these pieces are then scanned in and printed onto the fabrics.

The process, Sharon tells us, is rather simple and made exceptionally easy with recent advancements in printing quality onto textiles. The bright pinks, oranges and plum shades that are present on the many fabric prints bounce off the Sunbirds and the Proteas. These fresh and vibrant colours in all her décor products show that Sharon is taking full advantage of new technologies.

Colour fynbos and abstract fynbos cushion display
The bright pinks, oranges and plum shades shine through on both cushions and candle shades. With the new technology of print, why repaint?

Sharon says the passion for art all started when she inherited three hand-painted silk scarves from her grandmother. When asked what her ideal room layout would be to display her products in the best light, she replied with two very interesting and complimentary themes:

• Cape vintage – natural wool & linen, muted dusty tones of antique olive & dusty pink, botanical vintage prints, raw wooden farm furniture and Nguni skin.

• Modern revamped – old ‘ball ’n’ claw’ furniture painted with white and bright pink Proteas and succulents in brightly coloured ceramics. As Sharon’s architect sister says, ‘respect the old, love the new’

This space was styled by Sharon to show how she sees her products adding fresh colour to a space.

Similar to a painting on a wall, an artful cushion becomes one of the focal points in an interior.

Sharon’s products can be purchased at the Watershed in Cape Town, as well as online. Her pillows come in two sizes: the standard (R850 including down inner) and the large (R1750 including down inner) – the large cushion is a great statement piece to give a room something to sing about.

All the ink and fabric Sharon uses are natural and organic. Other products include candle shades, for small T light candles (R150) and lampshades (starting at R350). Mini canvases of the actual artworks are sold at R350 and the original masterpieces can also be bought. Sharon has revealed to DECO that a linen shopping bag is in the works as well as other more fashion-oriented items coming in.

If you love the Sharon B Design style, why just stop at one cushion? Sharon says that she has recently decked a client’s living room from ceiling to carpet in her Yellow Protea design. Now that, we’d like to see.

Sharon’s vibrant yellow protea design
Sharon at work on a new art piece in her Cape Town studio

All images courtesy of Sharon B Design.


If you would like to see more of Sharon’s beautiful décor creations, click here to visit her website.
You can also follow her on Twitter, Instagram and like Sharon B Design’s Facebook page

Also: If you liked this article about Cape Town’s local talent, we recommend you read Ode: Simple, beautiful cantilever shelving.

Melanie Loser ELLE Decoration

DECO intern Melanie Loser was born and raised in the rustic utopia that is Empangeni, KZN. Animals and nature are her go-to for relaxation and escape – although Roald Dahl and a good glass of wine come a close second. After finishing her undergrad in Architecture at UCT, Mel decided to explore her creative side at ELLE Decoration, hoping to incorporate environmental and green living concerns into her future design work.