2020 was not the year anyone expected to see the world retreat to their homes, turning bustling cities into ghost towns. Into the new normal of quarantine and lockdown, interior stylist and business woman, Mali Langa, is a beacon, shedding some light on how we will live, work and do future business.
Working from home has moved beyond a company perk and flexible lifestyle choice into a lifesaving necessity. Depending on the industry you work in, the easing of lockdown measures and a return to conventional office-based working operations is going to take time, and it will be global.
“With Covid-19 uprooting the whole world and causing a dramatic change in how we do business, we have to re-look at how our homes are setup to enable a productive working & living environment. I think that this entire experience is making us reassess life in general, which is an opportunity to re-invent ourselves and our lifestyles and be better at it,” says Mali Langa, founder and creative director of Task Interiors Styling, a boutique interior firm dedicated to creating tailored spaces informed by innovative style choices.
As our behavioural & commuting patterns change, being productive in the same space as where you rest, eat, exercise and entertain yourself is becoming a challenging necessity. This is where Mali’s gift for styling and insight applies a lifestyle lens to optimized, curated working spaces.
It’s what a space could be that get Mali’s creative mojo going. “My design aesthetic is influenced by my love for luxury, colour, travel and global trends,” she says.
Mali’s styling tips can be easily applied. These include thinking like a designer, analysing a space for whom and what it will be used for, along with what style and mood inspires you. It’s important to set and stick to a budget and shopping list, but also to have fun with the creative process.
Inexpensive additions can transform a space, like making sure there is enough lighting where you need it. White light, warm light, or perhaps light that is tinted from a coloured lampshade is integral in creating atmosphere. Don’t forget Mother Nature. Greenery adds a feeling of liveliness and vitality to an interior. The colour of the leaves, shape and natural structure all enhance and balance elements of design.
On the future of how business will be done going forward, the Limpopo-born, Johannesburg businesswoman is inspired by the new economy of collaboration.
“It has taken the re-awakening of the collective community to remember that we have so much to learn from each other, instead of creating in silos. The collaborative economy is on the rise due to technology and creativity,” says Mali whose award-winning design company crosses over both home and business projects.
Beyond being an industry leader with the accolades of being recognized as an “African Luxury Influencer” by Luxury Media Africa and her interior design business winning “Best Newcomer Stand” as well as the “Best Décor Stand” at the 2019 Decorex Africa Expo, Mali Langa’s passion also extends to children’s issues.
Through her NGO, the Mali Langa Children’s Foundation - which aids children with basic needs – Mali uses her voice, power and resources to make a lasting difference in the lives of children, particularly those from less fortunate circumstances.
As we embark on a brave new world, businesspeople like Mali Langa are setting the tone for responsible leadership, striking a considered balance between business and success, creativity and passion and the spirit of giving. Which is why she calls herself “a resilient revolutionary.”