5 Tips from an Interior Designer to make your restaurant stand out from the rest

Your menu offering should not be the only thing that sets your restaurant apart form others. Even if you offer the very best food on earth, if the interior design of you restaurant doesn’t enrich the client’s experience, they’re not likely to return or recommend your establishment to friends and family.

Often times restaurant owners put a lot of energy into refining and perfecting the menu and forget about the importance of interior design.

Designing the interior of your restaurant can be a daunting task and appointing an interior designer is definitely the first step in the right direction. They will help you with the design, finishes, complying to health and safety regulations as well as meeting the long list of requirements usually set out by the Landlord.

We offer a few tips from our head interior designer if you are not sure where to start.

1. Make a statement

Make sure the entrance of your restaurant is designed beautifully. You need something to catch the eye of those people walking by. Something to entice them to come inside and see for themselves what your restaurant or coffee shop is all about.



2. Take a seat

Create a good diversity of seating options in your restaurant. Analyse your target customers to determine the right combination of tables, booths, outdoor seating and other seats such as barstools. A family might need a bigger table close to the play area (if you are offering a play area, which by the way, is not a bad idea) whereas a businessman might require a quiet corner where he can make calls and check emails.


3. What’s cooking good looking?

Consider making your kitchen an open one. Clients find it fascinating to watch the inner workings of a restaurant kitchen where your menu comes to life. Keep the kitchen well illuminated and ventilated to keep it from appearing stuffy and dirty.


4. Lights, camera, action!

Lighting is everything in a restaurant. You achieve the atmosphere you ant to create through lighting – different sources and fittings, coloured lighting and natural light. There are hundreds of options to consider when it comes to lighting. Your interior designer can design your light fit-out to perfectly suit your restaurant theme.



5. Give them something to talk about

People are always looking for something new to try out. A restaurant or coffee shop with a unique interior design theme is sure to catch the eye and interest of potential patrons. The theme should also be reflected in your menu and your food and drinks offering. An interior designer can help you create a brand identity for your restaurant where the theme is developed and incorporated holistically.



Many other aspects also need to be considered when designing a restaurant interior. Noise levels and how to manage them, traffic flow to and from the kitchen, kitchen layout, storage space, waiting areas and restroom facilities.

Contact us today if you are unsure where to start or if you are looking for help to create a truly unique restaurant or coffee shop. Our expert designers are ready to turn your vision into a striking reality!

Romantic bedrooms for the month of love

Are you a hopeless romantic? Is Valentines day your favourite day of the year? Do you love love? Then this blog post is for you! We give you some tips to turn your bedroom into a romantic haven for Valentines day and beyond!

1. Paint your bedroom a dark colour

Painting your bedroom walls in a dark colour, immediately adds drama and an air of mysticism to the space. It creates a perfect backdrop for snow white linen and generates a sultry atmosphere.

We love dark blue, warm greys, deep purples and emerald green as colour options.

2. Lighting, lighting, lighting!

Lighting is the single most important aspect when it comes to creating a romantic atmosphere, especially in bedrooms. Play around with different light sources and types of lighting that you can switch on or adjust to suit the mood. Think dimmable downlights, a dramatic chandelier and bedside lamps. Opt for warm white globes to create a warm and cosy feeling.

You can even add strings of fairy lights to create soft mood lighting. Who said fairy lights were only for Christmas decorations? Put them in a glass jar to create a DIY bedside lamp, hang them from the canopy if you have a four poster bed or string them up against the wall.

3. Add candles

Lighting candles is an instant way to transform your bedroom into a romantic sanctuary. I’m not talking about 2 or 3 candles. Light twenty or thirty! Go for different sizes and add scented candles to create a dreamy atmosphere.


4. Play with different textures

There is something about a bed with a canopy of sheer, white fabric that can transport you to a different world and make you believe in fairy tales. Though this might not fall in everyone’s taste, adding a fabric canopy creates an instant romantic atmosphere.

You can also add texture to your bedroom with rugs, throws and scatter cushions. Go for heavy knitted throws, soft, plush rugs and contrasting, textured scatter cushions against crisp, white linen.

5. Declare your love with printables

Add some romantic phrases in the form of framed prints. A phrase from your favourite love song, lines from your wedding vows or quirky sayings make for beautiful wall art.


The new year is here and employees will be returning to offices in the coming weeks. We took a look at the forecasts for trends in office design in 2019. Here is what you can expect:


With the world becoming smaller and more accessible each day with social media, virtual reality and internet based businesses, there is a real trend towards an “anti-office” movement in 2019.

Gone are the days where you have to spend 8 hours a day sitting behind a desk, staring at a computer screen. As proof of this, co-working spaces are becoming more and more popular by the day. People appreciate having exciting and refreshing spaces to work in. Employees have greater expectations of their environment and demand more from their surroundings.

You can incorporate this “anti-office” in your work space by offering activity based working spaces.
These spaces give employees a choice about how, when and where they work. In the office, that means providing a choice of work settings, each designed for a different type of task. Think floating workstations, collaboration areas, creative corners and quiet zones. Outside the office, activity based working is facilitated by enabling technology, which allows staff to work from anywhere; from home, to a coffee shop or an airport lounge.


Having extensively focused on this topic in previous blog posts (click here for more information), we are glad to see companies starting to focus more on employee experience in the workplace in 2019.
Your employees spend most of their days and weeks in the office. People want their offices to feel like home, be a comfortable and enriching space where they can be motivated to work. There is a definite move towards creating office environments that are comfortable but still functional.
Although open plan offices have been popular for the past years (read decades), we believe this is often a cost-cutting exercise, and that it is not an effective strategy. In 2019 there will be a move away from open plan offices to dynamic, agile spaces focusing on employee well being, cultivating happiness, community-building, and boosting morale for everyone from interns to top-floor executives.
Focusing on employee well being have great benefits in the long run. Research shows that people with higher levels of well being are more resistant to colds and have a quicker recovery time from illness, are more creative, and are better at problem solving.


This design concept is based on the notion that companies have a story to tell. The way you construct your building, plan your space and design your interior can help you communicate your corporate identity. This can serve to inspire your employees and create an experience for your customers and the community in which you operate. Basically, this view utilizes interior design to give your working environment a sense of identity. It can also give your employees a heightened sense of their overall belonging and can give your recruitment efforts a boost too!

Take a look at the fun office Lego created keeping in line with their brand.


Here, we are not only talking about the importance of plants and greenery in the office environment. We also look at your carbon footprint and responsibility toward the earth as a company. Sustainable design is becoming more important as we move away from plastic and waste also in our personal lives. The movement away from using plastic straws in restaurants, got widespread attention during 2018. This is but a start.
There is pressure on companies to engage in obtaining their green credentials for their buildings and interior design fit-outs. It goes beyond simply installing a green, living wall in your lobby. It speaks to the inner workings of sustainability, promoting locally sourced finishes, fittings, furniture and even food and beverages. It’s about making choices that are good for the planet and our communities. Companies are changing their behaviour with reducing the use of plastic bottles for example, opting rather for water dispensers.


Article adapted from:


With the new year in full swing, we took a look at the trend forecasts for 2019 to keep you up to date on what will be happening in the world of Interior Design in the coming year.


Rose gold, subway tiles and exposed lighting were some of the top home decor trends of 2018.
2019 moves towards fresh, natural materials such as stone, marble, copper, concrete, and granite. These elements will help bring an organic and serene ambiance to any space while reflecting the world around your home.



Believe it or not, velvet which was seen as old fashioned and stuffy, has been given new life! Now viewed as a luxurious and incredibly funky with bold floral patterns and textures. This multi-dimensional fabric has already started gaining a lot of attention, leading many designers to believe velvet decor will be one of 2019’s most sought-after trends.



This decorating trend has already been seen making a comeback in 2018. In the upcoming year, however, we will see floral patterns in a new light. Designers expect to find exaggerated proportions and contrasting colours used for this timeless decor pattern.




Rose gold was one of 2018’s most used decor trend, yet for 2019 we are expecting to see less rose gold and more copper accents, along with a mixture of other metals. With it’s red and orange tones and overall earthy hue, copper is a much-needed breath of fresh air for the new year.



Though neutral colours and wood look veneers have been preferred for kitchens in the past designers believe that 2019 will be a year where bolder colours are making an entrance into kitchen design. Matt blacks, charcoals, navy blue and even dark greens make a bold statement as kitchen cabinets and in appliances. Paired with natural textures such as concrete and wood, this trend makes for stunning kitchens!



2019 is setting up to be a year where we wave goodbye to stainless steel and polished nickel, and welcome brass accents back into our homes. Brass is a surprisingly warm and subtle alternative to the expected steel accents.



A massive hit in 2018, this trendy hue is getting a lot of attention. We’ve already seen this pink shade make its way into home decor and fashion, but for 2019 get prepared to incorporate this hue in new creative and unique ways, as an easy way to update any space.



Some may wonder why concrete has left the construction zone, yet 2019 will be the year it steps into many homes decor. Providing a crisp, clean look that’s easy to compliment. Concrete isn’t just for countertops. Think furniture, light fittings, tiles and accessories. We, for one, are very excited about this trend! Concrete is an extremely versatile material that has been limited too long for only construction purposes.



Many seem to stay away from wallpaper in general, yet 2018 was a year that saw wallpaper used in more homes. 2019 will be no different, and it is all in print. Agate wallpaper is making a splash for its pops of colours, and its natural varied lines and colours perfectly marry both the bold and natural trends we expect for 2019.



Article adapted from:


Advantages and disadvantages of open plan offices

When choosing how to lay out your office, you are faced with the decision of an open plan or cellular offices. This can be a difficult decision for many, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both set-ups. We looked at some of the most important advantages and disadvantages of open plan offices to help you decide.


  • Open plan offices are more economical. You are able to provide more work spaces and place more employees in an office.
  • Communication is made easier between workstations and departments. A lack of walls or other physical barriers in open-plan office spaces makes it easier for employees to interact with each other on a regular basis. The constant intermingling not only generates a sense of camaraderie among personnel, it also enhances the flow of information and teamwork. Colleagues can turn to each other for advice or assistance without having to knock on doors or schedule a formal meeting. Interactions in an open-plan office space generally are more frequent and informal than in closed environments where everyone has a separate office space.
  • Things are easier for the supervisors, as everyone is in a centralised area. Normally, with an open office plan, managers and senior managers are in constant contact with the staff. While running through to deal with one thing, managers and senior managers can deal with any other issues or employees. This makes handling issues and problems go much faster. With the employees being in constant contact with managers and senior managers, they are able to reach management more quickly and deal with issues. This means that issues get resolved faster, and this leads to more productivity.
  • Open space offices are more economical when it comes to installing equipment, air conditioning and electricity. One centralised area is being heated, or cooled, and lighted. This is opposed to several different rooms, each having to be heated or cooled separately. This means that the company saves money. Equipment, such as printers and copiers, can be centralised and reduces the number of equipment needed.
  • Open plan offices are flexible. If the layout of the office needs to be changed, it can be done quickly and with minimal effort.


  • Open space offices are noisier than closed plan offices. Employees bundled together in one large area, causes phone and conversations between employees to be overheard easily. When there are several conversations happening at one time, it can get quite noisy. This can lead to employees becoming distracted which may lessen productivity.
  • People passing by constantly can cause distraction of employees. In a closed office plan, disturbances like this wouldn’t happen as much.
  • In an open office space, security is reduced. Each employee lacks a lockable door like they would have if each one had a separate office. This can lead to risks and issues that the company may not want to face.
  • Privacy is difficult to obtain with an open office plan. If family members call, or if a confidential call needs to be made, it can be difficult. With individual offices, these things are more possible. Employees may feel uncomfortable being in such close quarters with their co-workers when confidential calls need to be made.
  • Sicknesses and infections can spread like wildfire in an environment like an open office plan. When flu season hits, you can bet that most employees will catch it, because everyone is breathing the same, circulated air.


The risks need to be assessed and the pros and cons weighed against each other before making a decision.

It would also depend on the type of business you are running. In some offices, such as software developers, open plan offices have proved to be very effective. In businesses such as accounting firms, cellular offices will be the better choice.

Given the choice between a closed office plan and an open office plan, you will find supporters and people who are against both. There are ways and means to work around the disadvantages.

The trick lies in utilising the available space creatively and creating different areas for different functions when you are going the open plan route.  Providing ample areas where private conversations and meetings can be held, areas where employees can take a break without distracting their colleagues and areas where informal meetings can be held will make all the difference in an open plan office.

Ultimately, the decision needs to be about what is best for your company and the vibe and work ethic you want to create among employees.

Good lighting and why it matters

Let’s take a moment to talk about the importance of good lighting in interior design and the importance thereof.

Lighting is one of the most overlooked and yet important elements of good interior design  What is the point in  creating beautiful interior surroundings if they cannot be appreciated properly or if there is insufficient light to be able to carry out even the most basic of tasks?

Lighting in a space, changes the mood of that space as well as the perceived size of the space. The secret is the combination of available natural light and the use of artificial light to create a balance.

Natural lighting is preferred above artificial light because it shows off colours better and adds to the perception of available space of a room by bouncing off reflective surfaces.

When it comes to artificial lighting, there are different types to consider.  Accent lighting, for example, can be exceedingly effective when used to display art pieces or to accentuate focal elements. In this case, the angle of the lighting needs to be just right to achieve the very best effect. Accent lighting also serves in highlighting the architectural features of a building.

Task lighting is another type of lighting which is important. In lounges and studies, for example, it helps to avoid eyestrain when reading or working, while in the kitchen it ensures that tasks can be carried out safely.  Adequate task lighting is also essential in the bathroom for the purposes of shaving or applying make-up for instance.

Ambient lighting can enhance the design of spaces. Making use of dimmer switches can alter the ambiance of the room to achieve the look and feel you desire. Floor lamps, wall mounted lights and centrally hanging lights on the ceiling help brighten a room if natural light is not available and help create a visually larger space.

Consider skylights or large windows if you want more natural light, or use sheer curtains to allow the maximum amount of light from your windows.


Lighting is a very effective and relatively inexpensive tool to perfect the interior design of any space. Done right, it will not only be functional and create an optimally effective space, but it will also add to the design of your interior to make it breathtaking and exceptional.

Sandton Dental Studio – Site Progress

The last couple of weeks have been a blur. Getting back to work after the holidays (which feels like it was ages ago!) and starting new projects and ventures.

One such project has been the relocation of the Sandton Dental Studio.  Bigger premises became available over the month of December, and with this, the owner at Sandton Dental Studio decided it was time for a new, fresh look for his practice. The help of Effects Interior Design was called in and working hand in hand with the owner, we came up with a beautiful, contemporary industrial feel design for the new premises. We won’t share any details of the design just yet, you will have to wait and see!

Demolition to the existing structure has begun and the construction teams are well on their way. Sharing some pictures on the demolition stage.  Keep an eye on our blog for progress reports and ultimately the finished product!





The importance of a good office chair

With office workers spending over 36 hours a week seated at their desks, it is more important than ever to ensure you have a good quality office chair. But what defines a good office chair? And why is it so important? 

In recent years there has been an abundance of research into the detrimental effects of “sitting” on our health. Scientists have even gone so far as branding “sitting” as the new “smoking”, suggesting that sitting for long periods of time could increase our risk of developing serious health issues such as, diabetes, heart disease, muscular pain and back issues.  Furniture designers have responded to the issue with the promotion of the ergonomic “sit-stand desk”, encouraging workers to spend more of their day stood up.  The “sit-stand desk” is a height adjustable desk that allows you to either sit behind the desk or stand behind it, therefore limiting the time you are sitting each day. A simple idea that can have a big impact on your health.

However, there are times when sitting at work is unavoidable. For these times the perfect office chair is required. Finding the right chair for your body is vital for both your health and work productivity. So what makes a good office chair? Here are a few things to look out for when getting an office chair. These features are designed to reduce back pain and support your body by encouraging good posture.

  • Adjustable seat height and width: The height of your chair should be fully adjustable allowing you to position it so that your feet lay flat on the ground. (There should be a space between front of the seat and the back of your knees.)
  • Lumbar support: You should have an adjustable back that curves to the shape of your lower back. This is to prevent you from slouching and improves your posture.
  • Adjustable arm rests to allow you to rest your elbows; your forearm should not be resting here whilst typing.
  • Seat material: Soft cushioned seat material to support your weight evenly.
  • Swivel: Your chair should easily rotate so that you are able to move around to reach things easily without straining.

When you are buying a new office chair, try getting the best chair money can buy.  Look at ergonomics and adjustability before looks. Often times the most ergonomic chair won’t be the most beautiful looking chair.

Contact us if you are looking for a new office chair, but you are unsure where to start.

If you don’t have money to spend on a new chair, try adding an adjustable footrest under your desk.  This footrest takes some pressure off your back and spine. They are also ideal for shorter people.  Especially if your office chair is not height adjustable.

You can shop for an adjustable footrest here.








Looking after your back health now, can save you time and money in the future!

Getting back into the office groove- 6 tips to get you back to work after the holidays

Ah, vacation! You just got back from a couple of weeks of complete relaxation, when the only thing on your to-do list was to not do a thing. But now you’re back to reality and struggling to muster up the strength to turn on the computer, trudge through your inbox, and jump right back into your normal work routine.

Most of us were back at the office last Monday after the holidays. A lucky few are only returning to the office today.  It may take a few days to get back into things – trust me, I know! Here are a few tips to help you ease back into the groove of work and office life.

1. Organise your desk.

Left your desk in a complete mess in a hurry to get out the of office on closing day? Start your year by cleaning up your desk.  Clean out drawers, organise files, get rid of old paperwork and start on a clean slate! Getting rid of unnecessary clutter on your desk can give you the motivation you need to get started.

Check out these helpful tips on WikiHow on getting your desk organised.


2.Get your self some new stationery

When I was a little girl, I could not wait for school to start after the December holidays each year.  The reason?  New stationery! I love new stationery!

With all the back to school specials currently running, you can get some awesome stationery for great prices.

Get yourself a few new items to pretty up your desk. If you like using a diary, get yourself a cool new diary or desk calendar where you can schedule all your meetings and jot down your to do lists. Alternatively, think clip boards, cute notebooks, pens, markers and highlighters, post-it notes and paper clips.

Checkout Typo stores nationwide for some quirky stationery and office supplies.

3. Move or rearrange your office

While this might not be an option for everyone, I suggest moving your office around at least once a year.  Turn your desk to face a window or door so you can have a view of the outdoors. Move your office to a different room in your house if you are working from home. Swap desks with a colleague. Rearrange the set-up of your desk so you face a different direction.  Move the entire office if you are sitting in an open plan office.

You know the saying – a change is as good as a holiday!

Contact us if you need space planning to change things up in your office.


4. Get a plant for your desk

Plants can transform your workspace into a more peaceful, tranquil and engaging place. Adding some greenery to your desk, will keep things fresh! Get a small orchid, bonsai tree, terrarium or air plant. Woolies Foods have beautiful small planters and plants that can live on your desk.

Scared that you will let the plant die after a few weeks? Get an artificial plant.  The effect will be the same, without you having to worry about keeping it alive.

Check out Superbalist for beautiful desk planters and plants.


5. Clean out your Inbox

Leave on your out-of-office reply for an extra day and start the year by cleaning out your email inbox, drafts and unnecessary mails. Unsubscribe from those annoying newsletters and spam emails. Create folders and organise your mails accordingly.

6. Get new office furniture

Does your office furniture look old and tired? Start the year by getting some new furniture to spruce up things in the office.  If your budget is constrained, start by getting some new chairs.  Have them upholstered in your company colours to bring so life to your office space. Your employees will be excited and more productive when they fell like their health and comfort are being valued by you. Keep an eye out for my next blog post where I will discuss the importance of a good office chair.


How hiring an Interior Designer can benefit you

Are you unsure about whether or not you should take the plunge and hire a professional Interior Designer for your next home renovation, office revamp or even that new business you are planning on starting up?

We (obviously) think that you definitely should, and here’s why…

As Interior Designers, we are passionate (read neurotic) about designing interior spaces that function well, improve user experience while being absolutely jaw-dropping gorgeous. We live, breathe, sleep, eat and dream interior design solutions.  We notice good (and not so good) design everywhere we go.

Here are a few of the top reasons why you should hire a professional Interior Designer:

  • They are knowledgeable. The mere fact that Interior Designers have studied about the field is already enough reason to trust them on interior design matters. They have the know-hows and the skills on what to do with your interior design.

  • Interior Designers know how to get you the best quality for your money. There are so many different options out there and when you’re not used to doing this every day it’s very difficult to know where to look for quality. A professional will be able to help you figure out how to get the best items for the money you have. Let’s just say – we Interior Designers know how and where to shop to get you the best deals!
  • We play the middle man.  Do you really want to spend your time fighting with Contractors and Suppliers over why things aren’t done on time or done right?  No? That’s what I thought! An Interior Designer will ensure that everything runs smoothly on your project.  We will handle Contractors and Suppliers for you and ensure that the project is completed on time and perfectly!




  • We speak “Architect” (and “Contractor” and “Supplier”). Sometimes it can be difficult for you as a Client to understand what exactly the Architect is speaking about when he goes on and on about bulkheads, mullions, brackets and gables.  Interior Designers have knowledge of the architectural ling and way of thinking as well as the building industry as a whole, enabling us to completely understand the full scope of the project.
  • You will save money. Like the saying goes…if you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait unit you hire an amateur!
  • You will save time. When you have a career and you have little time left for designing a new home or revamping an office, an interior designer will be a wise choice. It can surely save your time for thinking on what is the best thing to do with your interior.
  • One-of-kind decor solutions and custom made furniture. We ensure that each Client gets a custom-made solution for their interior.  No one else will have what you’ve got in terms of furniture and the look of your interior.
  • Qualified contractors/workmen=quality workmanship. Having worked with various Contractors and sub-contractors, most Interior Designers will have a trusted network of Contractors or installation teams that they prefer to work with because the quality of their workmanship has been tried and tested.



  • They are fun! Most Interior Designers I know, have a crazy streak. They will come up with way-out solutions that you never would have imagined in your wildest dreams, and you will love it!