It is not often in today’s society, that we find a man who truly embodies his name. The Oxford Dictionary’s definition for steel, both noun and verb, are indicative of Craig – hard, strong, made of many elements, used widely for structure and fabrication. To mentally prepare oneself, to do or face something difficult.

SHF was founded in 2005 with the help of Megan Steel, wife of Craig. Starting off from humble beginnings, Craig could be found at the back of the small Sutherlands on Chapel Street, working hard to restore furniture beyond their original beauty. Determination has brought SHF to where it is today. Vintage items are threaded through his Galleries, conveying what can only be known as an SHF way of thinking, an ethos that is deeply embedded in staff and colleagues who support Craig’s vision.


A lover of architecture, the SHF Galleries stand as land marks, a living manifestation of one man’s ability. The founding visionary and leader is more than a furniture retailer. Holding deeds to all SHF properties and subsidiaries of the Mattland Group, as a diversified property developer Craig insures that everything is kept in a close proximity. This business model makes for a man who is involved, alert and able to interact on a personal level. His demeanour is that of a man on a mission and there is an air of mystery to Craig’s charismatic personality. Creativity seeps from his pores, exchanges of ideas are fast paced and regular, the only constant is change.

By keeping a good circle of people around him to ensure that the SHF brand grows into an international powerhouse, Craig sees the necessity of good relations with local suppliers, all of whom he works closely with. With a hands on approach, the perfectionist within him secures only the most exceptional for SHF.


The man behind the entrepreneur has a penchant for meeting people who inspire him to be better, and is an explorer and avid fan of textures and colours. A lover of fine wines and good food. Craig carries himself with pride and an astute sense of the future, by stepping forward to set trends and cement SHF as the leader of the furniture industry within South Africa.

An artisan by birth, a creator by definition, and a success by determination.

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of an artisan’s soul

– Craig Steel


All images courtesy of SHF

Inspired by the SHF Masters?

Browse through one of the sophisticated SHF galleries in Kramerville, Ferndale, Pretoria, Durban, Ballito, Pietermaritzberg and the Midlands.

Visit their website at

Like them on Facebook, and #followthemasters on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

More design inspiration?

Read Designer Lives: Andrew Mckay and The Creative Mind Of Stylist, Meghan Plowman


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The Winter Issue is all about de-cluttering, de-teching and slowing everything down. Packed with inspiration and ideas for making your home a sanctuary, we share the ultimate comfort food recipes, master the art of nesting and take you on a tour of the dreamiest hideaways. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #WinterIssue.