Danelle is a woman of many talents. Her keen eye for design and love of all things beautiful, along with her big brown eyes, welcoming smile and effortless sense of style make her someone you just want to sit down and have coffee with.
With qualifications in textile and surface design and experience working as a clothing merchandiser and interior decorator, Danelle’s passion lies in transforming corporate identities and offices and creating beautiful, unique wallpaper installations that can turn a dull room into a captivating space.
Originally from Mpumalanga, Danelle studied in Pretoria before finishing her degree in surface design at CPUT in Cape Town.
“I absolutely loved Cape Town, and the design was really next-level, but I struggled to find a job where I could put my skills into practice.”
When a friend in Ballito mentioned a job opening at an interior design company, Danelle decided to give it a go. That was eight years ago.
“With my background in textile design I could focus on fashion or interiors (like scatter cushions, curtaining and bedding). When I got a job as a merchandiser at Urban Degree two years later I was able to combine both.”
After spending a year in the fast-paced merchandising industry Danelle made the decision to start her own company. And so, Graphic Gurus was born.
“It started off with just the wallpaper, vinyls and canvases and then went into interior services. Although my initial focus was on residential properties, I have moved more towards corporate identity and office transformations, which I love! I find it so rewarding to see a company doing better with motivated, happy staff. It can make such a big difference to a business.”
When it comes to wallpaper, Danelle offers a custom-made service and her products are not mass-produced.
“We use a product called Canvex, which is more of a material than paper. Paper tends to peel and get scratched, whereas this is very durable. The images are pressed onto the fabric and the great thing is that if you move, you can take your wallpaper with you.”
The wallpaper trend has been around for a while and Danelle says forecasts say it isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
“Wallpaper is a really cost-effect way to change a room. You need only cover one wall and lots of people are using botanical-themed or floral prints as a way of bringing some green into the home.”
Danelle and her husband Benno, who owns a construction company, often work closely on projects. She says once he gets the technical side done, she goes in and makes things looks pretty! The couple have been married for four years and are expecting their first child in August this year.
To feed her wanderlust soul and as a way of finding design inspiration, Danelle says she and her husband love travelling to foreign countries. They’ve visited places like India (which Danelle says was her favourite in terms of the incredible textiles, colours and food) as well as Europe and, last year, they visited Vietnam. They also spend a lot of time outdoors, being active and camping.
When it comes to her personal design tricks and tips Danelle says she absolutely loves using pieces that clients already have in their homes. “I love working with old pieces than can be recovered or spruced up with a coat of paint.”
Danelle is also all about colour. She says it makes a space more welcoming and ‘homey’.
“I know there is a trend towards the more contemporary white and grey, but I still encourage my clients to add in pops of colour – and always some (real, not fake) plants!”
Danelle’s top interior trends:
1. The makerspace movement is really big. This is about people making their own pieces, out of wood or ceramics, and having something unique and special in their homes instead of mass-produced items from big stores.
2. The natural look is very trendy. Natural woods and cork walls add warmth and texture to a room. Cork walls can be a really fun addition to a study nook or kids play room.
3. It seems like as life gets busier homeowners are wanting simpler, more natural homes in which to unwind. A great way to achieve this look is by bringing lots of greenery into your home.
4. Reds and dark wood are out. They don’t work in our climate. Rather stick to fresh, open and light colours and design.
5. Paint one wall a dark colour. People are often scared of doing this, but it can actually make a room feel bigger, as the wall tends to disappear. It’s also a great way of adding contrast to an area.
6. Do things in phases. Don’t do a complete overhaul. You have to live in the home and so you need to make sure you are making changes that suit you and your lifestyle and you’re not just doing it because it’s trendy.
7. Try adding some local artwork. Canvas photographs are great, but first prize is always to have a unique piece of art in your home, and you can design your room around it.
8. Even if you are renting a house you can always make it look better by adding in a few pot plants and even some wallpaper, which you can take with you when you leave.
Get In Touch:
Graphic Gurus: firstname.lastname@example.org / 082 797 2438
Get It Magazine (Ballito/Umhlanga) September 2017