News and Trends

Stephen Falcke Q&A

World-renowned interior designer Stephen Falcke studied at London’s Chelsea School of Art and cut his teeth working for legendary British interior designer David Hicks before returning to South Africa. Although primarily based in Johannesburg, Stephen is noted for his work in homes around the world, but he is extremely discrete about his clients. Some of his most famous designs include the Saxon Boutique Hotel, and last year news broke that he was to redecorate Monaco’s royal palace. What is your design philosophy? The ultimate in luxury is comfort. Rooms have to work. And a room should never overpower the personality of the person who must live in it. I always say, you need the right stage for the actor. I like drama in rooms. I like a mixture of things. Deep down I’m a classicist and a bit of a purist, but often I try to design with a few principles in mind: symmetry, drama, eclecticism. I like to make a rule and break a rule. Each project has to be individual. I get very excited about architecture – but the interior and architecture have to work hand in glove. I like to add magic to a room. How would you describe your design style? I love modern classics. I love mixing old and new; something too big with something too small, something shiny with something matte, something glossy with something textured. I love contrasts. I like enhancing the architecture of a space. I like to do things that stand the test of time. It’s all about proportion. I love perfect proportion, but then I like to play with proportion, for example having a table with legs that are slightly too fat. What I place in a room should be able to stand in a room architecturally. Interiors should be like wonderful food that is light so you don’t feel like you’ve eaten. Some of the key projects you’ve worked on? I try to stick to domestic work, and I’ve been very privileged to work with some families for three generations. Your top tips to maximise a small space? I often put big pieces of furniture into a smaller space. This enables one to have a grand, more luxurious feel, if cleverly done. Try and increase the ceiling height if you can or alternatively purchase a property with a tall ceiling. This will enable the space to look far bigger than it is. If one has a studio apartment, i.e. one room, there are wonderful ways of disguising a bed using a sofa with table and chairs for dining, and making the space exciting and liveable. Stephen Falcke Interior Design, 011-327-5368,