Every year, HOMEMAKERS exhibitors pull out all the stops in the hopes of winning the coveted title of Best Stand. Our panel of distinguished judges have the difficult task of choosing that winning stands each year. For 2018, we invited designer Donald Nxumalo of DNX Interior Design and architect Marguerite Pienaar to adjudicate the Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo. We chatted to them about this year’s judging process and what it takes to win.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

Donald Nxumalo: I am a Johannesburg based Designer who was part of the Win-A-Home reality show. After the Show, I started my own Design Firm, Donald Nxumalo Design Studios in 2012. Since then I have worked with, amongst other Fabric Houses, Hertex to create two fabric collections and have done vast projects with a range of corporate and private clientele across the African continent. At DNX Interior Design, our aesthetic is contemporary African, with vintage and collectable pieces brought in for a touch of classic style.

Marguerite Pienaar: I am a registered architect with 15 years experience in practice. Together with my husband, Morné, we run our own design-focused practice, called FEAT. I also (passionately!) head up the architecture design studio at the University of Pretoria in the third year. My interests range from design across a broad spectrum. I’m really proud of built projects that received awards of merit from the PIA in recent years – such as the Wilgers Medical Pavilion (2017) in Pretoria, the Novi Skin Centre (2013) and with Morné Pienaar, the Refilwe Urban Upgrade (2015). Most recently, I was the senior researcher for the South African-based book, the Africa Drawn Project that focused on researching, visualizing, and curating cities in Africa. The book won the 2018 Student Charter Award by the Congress for the New Urbanism – yeah!

What are you most looking forward to judging the Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo?

Donald Nxumalo: I am most looking forward to the diversity that I am sure to find in the different exhibitors that will be at the Expo. I believe there is a lot of design creativity and so much talent to be offered, and can not wait to be immersed in this.

Marguerite Pienaar: I am curious about what the market looks like for the year 2018 – and can’t wait to see the talent out there.

What will captivate your eye foremost in a stand?

Donald Nxumalo: Creativity definitely. There are many ways of making your stand be at a lead in comparison to others. So I will be mostly looking forward to see how the exhibitors have done something different to increase the appeal of their stand.

Marguerite Pienaar: Originality!

Any trends you are looking forward to seeing at this year’s show which you would incorporate into your own home? Why?

Donald Nxumalo: I believe design is very dynamic, and I am allowing myself to be open to see how others do it in their own way. From here, maybe will be able to see a trend that I could use elsewhere.

Marguerite Pienaar: Recycled goodies – because we have to think of new ways to engage more responsibly with the planet. Also, African design products.

In your opinion, what do the attendees have to look forward to and what can they take away from the HOMEMAKERS Expo?

Donald Nxumalo: I think that guests can look forward to different ways of doing things and with the Expo also find more creative ways of doing things. I believe from The Homemakers Expo, there will be a lot of exposure to many different service providers that wouldn’t ordinarily be in one space at the same time.

Marguerite Pienaar: New and exciting products for the market!

Give us one of your most inspirational quotes which resonates with your own personal home space

Donald Nxumalo: Like we always say at the showroom, If you think its too much, and its scaring you, then do it!

Marguerite Pienaar: “The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” ― William Morris


Visit the Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo to see all the winning stands and other exciting highlights at the show. Discover more here: www.homemakersonline.co.za/expo/johannesburg