We caught up with Generation founder Julia Day – who has just launched her own, eponymous interior design brand – to learn more about her new venture.
Understanding Julia Day's Timeless Aesthetic
One of House and Leisure’s highlights of Design Joburg 2019 was the launch of Julia Day’s eponymous decorating brand. Day, who founded Johannesburg design destination Generation – which counts among its product offering brands like Seletti, Toiletpaper, Diesel Living and a host of others – had one of the most exciting stands on show. Her ability to blend cutting-edge design with elegant architectural detailing brought a warmth and unique sense of style to the fair.
We spent a few minutes with Day to get some insight into the reason she launched her new venture, and to learn some of her tips to recreate her unique style in your own home.
5 Minutes With Interior Designer Julia Day
Why did you start your own brand?
It’s not really a matter of starting a new brand, but streamlining the two different parts of my business. My journey as an interior designer started 28 years ago with the offering of a holistic design service, encompassing concept, product design, interior architecture, spatial planning, installation and styling.
My work has a contemporary sensibility, so it was very difficult at the time to find the correct furniture and objet d'art to use in my clients' spaces – and this led to me opening Generation, which is a Sandton-based luxury design store.
It’s for this reason that the company is excited to announce the inception of Julia Day, the new brand, which focusses on my continuing design service, collaborating with clients, architects and developers. Generation will continue to offer a retail experience celebrating iconic European design brands such as De Padova, GTV and Seletti.
How would you describe the Julia Day aesthetic?
Led by myself as creative director, my aim is to bring authenticity to each project by offering a comprehensive design service that focusses on timeless design, unswayed by the passing dictates of fashion.
My aesthetic focusses on the narrative of creating cohesive spaces with a sense of calm, natural textures, quiet luxury and total comfort for the South African lifestyle. I employ an intuitive understanding to create spaces where people feel good — be it a residence, restaurant hotel or a commercial space.
What are your proudest Julia Day projects?
With a design business that goes back 28 years, there have been many amazing projects that I’ve been involved in. A recent project I completed in Inanda, Johannesburg, was recently showcased worldwide with fantastic responses, and I’m always proud to represent South Africa on the international design stage.
What are the five items every house absolutely needs to have?
A comfortable sofa; ample storage space; great art; loads of scented candles; and a large loose-lay carpet.
What is the key advice you would give to someone decorating their own space for the first time?
Look at your space within the totality of the architecture, landscaping and interior layout, as this way you will be able to create fluidity thoughout.
Remove all clutter, and keep items that are either functional or special to you.
Approach the space from both an intuitive point of view, asking 'How would I like the space to feel?', as well as a practical point of view.
Ask yourself: how does the space need to operate?
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