St Leger and Viney was one of the original fabric emporiums to set up shop in the Joburg design hub of Kramerville. Now SLV has a stylish new home and MD David Ralphs talks about this modern space and the latest fabric trends.

What inspired the new look? We were looking to create a more edgy space that was both modern and industrial, taking our cue from New York’s Meat Packing district. This approach has given the showroom an entirely fresh appeal. The new space used to be an old warehouse so with repurposed industrial windows, polished concrete floors and ample volume we have the perfect space to show off our local ranges and our impressive stable of international brands.

What do you see as the most important décor movement of the moment?Multi-culturalism is one of the biggest influences on trends right now. Taking reference from many cultures creates an eclectic escapism from the trials and tribulations of daily life.  Our new book, Indochine, is an example of this, with many different Asian influences coming together in one collection.

What is influencing the world of décor right now? The word of décor is dynamic and constantly evolving, taking its cue from many influences. Besides the current impact of multi-culuturalism, décor is also guided by the developments in technology. Gone are the days of outdoor fabrics that are lacklustre and stiff to the touch, for example. These days outdoor fabrics are just as tactile and varied in pattern and texture as their indoor counterparts, and technology is the main influencer of this.

What are South Africans loving right now? There is a cleaner more modern aesthetic that is gaining momentum. Textures, like our boucle, are key in upholstery. Velvets are also still important and popular.

Which of the fabric houses do you believe is doing the most relevant work?Elitis is always on the cutting edge with their wall-covering and fabric collections. Zoffany are also doing some very interesting fabric designs. Scale and colour selection can transform a seemingly traditional design into something suitable for the most cutting edge contemporary spaces.

Why is that and why are their designs so important? Evolution is important in design and there are only a handful of fabric and wallpaper brands that get it right. The ones that do make themselves relevant by ensuring they’re always on the cutting edge, I guess their strength lies in being innovators and not followers of fashion or trends.

What is the colour of the moment? Dusky nude pink

If I came into the St Leger & Viney showroom today, what will have me falling in love immediately? I’d say any of our local collections but we’ve been getting a great reaction to our new wide width curtaining book, Panoramic, and in particular Haze, a beautiful ombre curtain in eight on trend colours.

You are redoing your lounge – which fabric will you use for your feature couch or sofa, and why? Apart from colour, both pattern and texture can also make a feature sofa stand out in a room. Personal taste aside, the right choice very much depends on the style of the sofa. For a more contemporary I would suggest something like a bouclé that offers an unfussy aesthetic with tactility. For a more traditional sofa a good classic linen works beautifully thanks to it’s slubby classic texture. A hand-finished velvet like Batik will also give a sofa a very contemporary look.

What you would fall in love with in the showroom? Also, our Ardmore wallpaper is a total delight. 

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