Q&A with…

NM Design, launched by Paarl-based Nelia Malherbe, offers comprehensive interior design services, furniture and ceramics. The handcrafted, classically designed terracotta lighting range, among other simple yet refined wooden furniture, is ideal for lovers of organic shapes and colour. She chats to H&G about her love for design.

1. What is your design go-to when creating your pieces?
Cape Dutch history books.

2. What inspires you daily?
I am largely inspired by architecture. On my daily site visits, I see the space as a blank canvas; a historical beauty to fill. Also – I’m a Pinterest addict.

3. What has been the biggest challenge since founding your own business?
To never doubt your own vision and passion. As Joseph Chilton Pearce says, ‘To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong’.

4. What is the most exciting product design product or art form coming out of South Africa right now?
It’s difficult to exclude a specific design or product, as local designers are taking South Africa to the next level with their ceramics, furniture and art – not to mention young talent. If you look at the furniture being designed in South Africa at the moment (Wiid Design, James Mudge, David Krynauw and Bofred, to name a few) the design industry is so energised and exciting. From my own experience with projects, clients are embracing local designs and designer wares, which is amazing.

We do have so much to offer and it opens doors to further showcase our talents.

5. Whose work do you admire and love?
Axel Vervoordt – my legend of all legends! Timeless beauty.

6. What is your next big adventure with NM Design?
I don’t know what the future holds. All I can say is, with the drive and passion I currently have with my design projects, makes my vision so much clearer. Working with my dad, an architect, as well as my talented mom and sister (both artists) the adventure is bound to be an exciting one.

Browse NM Design’s collection online at nmdesign.co.za.


Photography Stephany Veldman