NM Design, launched by Paarl-based designer Nelia Malherbe, offers comprehensive interior design services, furniture and ceramics. The handcrafted, classically designed terracotta lighting range as well as ceramic plates, bowls and oak furniture are ideal for lovers of organic shapes and colour.
With an ingrained belief that beauty lies in simplicity, Nelia’s designs feature clean lines expressed in a neutral palette, with a play on unique textures and detailing. H&G chats to Nelia about her creativity and love of local design.
1. What is your design go-to when creating your pieces? Cape Dutch history and books.
2. What inspires your work, daily? I’m inspired by architecture. On my daily site visits, I get the opportunity to view the blank canvass of a historical beauty, and my creative chance to fill it. And… Im a Pinterest addict.
3. What has been the biggest challenge since founding your own business? To never doubt your vision and trust your passion. In the words of Joseph Chilton Pearce, ‘To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong’.
4. What is the most exciting product or creative form coming out of South Africa right now? Wow, difficult to exclude a specific design or product as the local designers are taking South Africa to the next level with ceramics, furniture, design and art – and young talent too. 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 compelling with the local designers. From my own experience with projects, clients often embrace local talent and that is so encouraging because we have so much to offer, opening doors for younger artists and designers too.
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 yet know what the future holds. All I can say is, with the drive and passion I currently have with my design projects and incorporating my furniture into designs, makes my vision so much clearer. Working with my father, an architect, and my mother and sister, both talented artists, you’ll have to wait and see what the next big adventure will be.
Browse Nelia’s beautiful furniture pieces, ceramics and terracotta lighting, or contact her for personal interior design services at nmdesign.co.za.
Photography Stephany Veldman