We experience first-hand with designer Christelle Afana Fonkem how interior design can re-shape a space into something distinctly personal.

The Fourways district of Johannesburg near Sandton is characterised by an abundance of apartments and complexes. While many may look the same from the outside, an interior renovation project by Christelle Afana Fonkem has turned a stock standard build into something totally unique.

The bachelor pad incorporates dark colours to create a masculine yet opulent and chic feeling in the house shares Christelle. 

“We injected life into the space with the use of bold art of African culture, and a range of cushions that blend together.” comments Christelle.  

This colourful look is very different to the apartment when it was purchased, and has transformed it into a pulsating and modern living space.

“The bar was the focal point for my client so we custom made it and gave it a bar cart, which make it very easy to serve from wherever you are in the apartment,” adds the interior designer.  

Christelle’s use of bright colours has created a sense of comfort and warmth. This is a place where you feel welcome.

“The kitchen is the heart of the home so we opened it up with floating shelves. We covered the vent and made it gold so that it matches with the tiles, and this has resulted in a vent with a warm light that beautifully compliments the features in the kitchen,” continues Christelle.   

For the bedroom, Christelle skillfully contrasted white with the bold colours. “The guest bedroom has a forest and sea theme, with lots of texture and patterns carried through from the wallpaper, to the headboard and bedding. I specifically went with white linen so that all these beautiful colours pop,” she says. 

Darker tones and textures were used for the bathroom to add depth. “We started by changing the tiling and went with porcelain black because it mixes well with the marble. We also opted for a his and her shower, and added just a touch of colour by including a pink orchard,” Christelle explains.  

It goes without saying that Christele Afana Fonkem is a master of her craft and it’s impressive to see first-hand how interior design can re-shape a space into something distinctly personal, that caters specifically for what an owner’s needs.

Christelle shares her take on sustainable design, ‘living better’ and the most important considerations when taking on a new design project.  

How does your work inspire living better?

“Because I’m doing what I love, everyday is an adventure. Even though it might not always be bright, it becomes a lesson.”

What legacy would you like to leave behind through your design / work / business?

“That every designer is unique, and interior designers are here to make each one live their best life in the best space possible.”

How can our viewer’s live better and improve their home design simply?

“Keep your space clean and airy. Design according to the things that you are most passionate about. More importantly choose a space and environment you love.”

How does your work incorporate or lead the conversation around sustainability?

“We are opening our horizons to sustainable homes but with a twist of modern chic contemporary design. Just because it’s ‘sustainable’, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t incorporate all the lux.”

What do you feel are important considerations to keep in-mind when looking into pursuing a design project in South Africa?

“Budget is your number one consideration, then the aesthetics and style but make sure it’s functional for the people living there.”

Are there any thoughts you’d like to leave us with?

“When you call an interior designer to help with your space, be ready for big change.”