As we write this, our official Expo break-down is in full swing. To think that a short week ago, exhibitors from all over Gauteng, along with a super Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo crew, made this year’s Expo a stellar success. In a world that is better connected than ever before, the InHabit themed Expo proved to be the place to be this past weekend – with a special leap day to add. Visitors could mingle with experts and connoisseurs to get the best out of their Expo experience. The Expo connected visitors with the products and services that help them own the spaces they occupy.
This year’s Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo was about improving the way people live in their homes and how they connect with everything around them. This included the topic of the year, environmental sustainability, supporting local businesses and being better informed about product origins.
This year’s Johannesburg Expo brought many highlights and it’s so hard to choose only a few. The InHabit Workshop and The Garden Table were packed every day with inquisitive visitors looking to learn something new for their home, garden and kitchen. Another highlight was the stand winners at the annual awards function, where HOMEMAKERS celebrated the exhibitor stars of the year. HOMEMAKERS COO, Hestelle Robinson, says that this year, the team took a fresh approach to the Expo. “We did things differently this year and it paid off. Our 2020 Expo was one of the most successful to date”.
The Winner’s Circle
Every year The HOMEMAKERS Expo team chooses a panel of Judges who take on the difficult task of choosing their favourite stands. This year our winners were:
Best Truly Artisan: Xisaka Interiors
Best Small Stand: Sqwidnet
Overall Winner: Sequ-Door
Gold Winners: Ashley Furniture Homestore, Patio Warehouse, Totem Kitchens & Cupboards, Turnkey Concepts, Ikon Aluminium, Fenster Aluminium, House of Supreme, Curves and Bevels and WIC Flooring.
Silver Winners: Plaza Board Centre, Furnlock and Slide & SA Sinks, Trellidor, Decking and Flooring, U-Light, MP Solar, Grecoline, Grafton Everest, Furnworx and Best Deck.
Bronze Winners: Vinostein, Africote, Hillaldam Sliding Door Systems, Advantage Air, Inovar Floor, B and W Unlimited Kitchens, Best Gutters, Weather Master, Design Benjamin, First Water Coolers & Purifiers, Oco Life by Organico, Mend-A-Pool, Blockhouse, Cinema Architects and AV Gurus.
What The Winners Had To Say
Sequ-Door: “We have been with HOMEMAKERS for so many years and winning is a big honour for us. We created a stand that showcases all our products. We also went with a warm-homey feel in our stand design. This attracts visitors and makes them feel at home”.
Xisaka Interiors: “This was our first Expo and we were so delighted to have won this prestigious award. Our stand space was limited which forced us to get very creative with all our furniture and so little space. It worked”!
Sqwidnet: “People want to make their home technology more accessible, which ultimately makes it more convenient for them. Our take on product delivery and stand design was aligned with that focus”.
Ashley Furniture Store: “We put our hearts into our stand design. We are passionate about our planning and our visitors. This combo makes for a win-win environment”.
MP Solar: “Sustainability is a huge trend in 2020 and we designed our stand to represent that. Solar energy is the future”
Fenster: “We are trendsetters in the market and we showcased all our premium products. This attracted customers and showed them how technology has changed”.
WIC Flooring: “We’re a family business and that gives us a huge advantage. Our stand design is welcoming and we tried to incorporate the InHabit theme”.
Totem Kitchens & Cupboards: “Keeping up with trends and not going over the top is what we kept in mind when designing our custom stand”.
Another successful InHabit Workshop for the 2020 Homemakers Expo. Artisans and experts such as Jana Nel, Joe Strydom and the team from Vermont Sales and World of Decorative Concrete gave visitors demos on the best DIY projects for homeowners. Demonstrations included talks on concrete products, techniques for clay and ceramics, woodworking, revamping old furniture and even adult doodling.
The Garden Table
With live demos by garden experts and cooking queens, The Garden Table theatre was packed every day with visitors eager to learn more! Made possible by DIY Garden Designer, Malanseuns, Bark Unlimited Organics, Fern Lily Design & Landscaping and Lighthouse the feature entertained and educated visitors on a variety of topics.
The Designer Spaces Challenge was a great way for visitors to see how to create the ultimate living space. The theme was inspired by Africa and the designers delivered. Visitors had the chance to vote for their favourite designer with the bonus of winning a cash prize. An expo favourite by far! This year the designer who won was Lindiwe Ludonga from Blooming Oaks.
Young Designers Challenge
The Industrial Design students from the University of Johannesburg collaborated with Vermont Sales and HOMEMAKERS to bring the most cutting edge ideas to life. The overall winner was Katlego Madumo who designed The V56 Smart Hedge Trimmer. The hedge trimmer was inspired by his passion for nature and green living.
The first runner up was Loubser Meyer who designed The TRITON MT101 which is a smart combination saw that monitors the wear on internal components and informs the user of any bad machine practices. The saw also prevents circular saw kickback to ensure the safety of the user.
Natalie Selibas was also a runner up. She designed a smart dustbin created to encourage recycling and bring an aesthetic appeal to the home. Most importantly the bin was designed to make life smart and simple by automatically creating a shopping list based on the goods you throw away. Now if that’s not genius, we do not know what is! The winners won a cash prize and a special prize from Vermont Sales.
The Play(AR) Zone
The favourite place for gamers and the best Augmented and Virtual Reality games were found in The Play(AR) Zone. What started as an area dedicated to the magic of Augmented Reality (AR) turned into the ultimate play zone with the iconic PlayStation brand on board.
Visitors could also decorate and bring their own interactive AR animal to life in real-time which they could take through a fun virtual gaming course right inside The Dome.
The creators and the creatives were in full force at this year’s Expo. Seeing their dedication to their brand image along with their truly artistic approaches was a delight to see. These exhibitors are on-trend and know exactly what home decorators are looking for when it comes to the aesthetics of their homes.
Visitors had the chance to whet their appetites at this year’s D’Vine Life Expo feature. If it was deli delicacies, deep-fried goodness or a cultural flavour bomb they were after, this is where they could find it. This foodie haven had visitors spoilt for choice which served them through breakfast, lunch and supper.
Take a look at our favourite photos from the 2020 Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo.
This year the HOMEMAKERS team collaborated with the TMG Makerspace for the highly anticipated Play(AR) Zone. The Tshimologong Makerspace (TMG) Makerspace seeks to promote and enable access to innovation through collaborative making, training, upskilling and experimentation.
Augmented Reality will have you immersed in the world of interactive technology when entering the main show arena. In The Play(AR) Zone, you will be able to decorate and bring your own interactive AR animal to life in real-time and then take them through a fun virtual gaming course or watch as they run, jump and play around the expo.
We decided to have a chat to designer-maker and fabrications manager at TMG Makerspace, Alex Ernst, to get a better understanding of what Augmented Reality (AR) is and how visitors can enjoy it at the Expo. Alex specialises in digital design and fabrication mediums such as 3D Printing, CNC and Laser Cutting. With many years of experience in the film industry and making props, he enjoys challenging designs that are aesthetically pleasing and transforming.
What is Augmented Reality and how is it different from Virtual Reality?
Augmented Reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view often by using a smartphone. Virtual Reality (VR) implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world.
What can visitors expect from the Play(AR) Zone at the HOMEMAKERS Expo?
There will be a special AR activation for the kids where they get the opportunity to experience creativity in a new way. Colouring-in materials will be supplied and they will witness their very own artwork come to life through the magic of AR!
Visitors can also expect to see a giant electron kaleidoscope that will stretch the imagination of young and old by transporting them to the galactic seas of patterns and colours.
What other great real-world applications of AR are there that we may know?
If you visit www.sisanda.com you may observe the great educational function of AR. Sisanda uses AR to bring science and biology to the masses who don’t have access to laboratories.
Where do you find your design inspiration?
Mostly from nature and from movies and of course on the internet.
Don’t miss the hi-tech Play(AR) Zone at the Expo later this week. Get your tickets now!Read More
When people collaborate, amazing things happen. Over the last couple of years, Vermont Sales and the University of Johannesburg have collaborated with HOMEMAKERS for the inventive Young Designers Challenge.
This year the ideas generated behind the theme was to design products that change and improve people’s lifestyles. Top products will be on display at the Expo where the winning design will be chosen. Visitors can expect to see innovations around smart water tanks, tech-savvy kitchen sinks and taps, home organisers and AI assistants, smart kitchenware and smart tools.
Choosing the winner is a difficult task because all the designs are in essence ground-breaking. To understand the process a little better we asked Martin Bolton, senior lecturer at the Department of Industrial Design at the University of Johannesburg and Greg de Villiers head of sales at Vermont Sales a few questions.
What is the 2020 UJ Young Designers Challenge all about?
The challenge is an opportunity for students to link with industry partners to develop smart products which illustrate how they see these future products may be able to better peoples lives.
What can visitors expect to see from the students’ work for 2020?
A collection of novel and interesting concept products which illustrate local South African Industrial Design talent. Kitchen appliances that think for you, workshop tools that are safer to use, and garden products saving water for you!
It seems as if this project has become a regular project, not just for HOMEMAKERS, but also for Vermont Sales and UJ. Why is this a valuable collab for UJ?
As the UJ Department of Industrial Design is preparing students to enter our local industry, the more we are aligned and participate with industry partners the better. This partnership with HOMEMAKERS and Vermont Sales has allowed our students to learn about the value of marketing and exhibitions from the HOMEMAKERS team, while at the same time understand more about the South African landscape of tools and appliances.
What was the brief to the students and how was Vermont Sales part of this brief?
This was undertaken as the third-year BA Industrial Design students exam project, as the final project of their 3 years Bachelor’s course. The brief for the project was the researching and designing of a smart appliance/tool system which incorporates digital technology in order to improve the user experience/increase safety.
Vermont invited the students to visit their warehouse and tool demonstration room and took us through a large amount of novel, different, useful and smart tools. This sparked a lot of interest and students used this at the starting point for their industrial design process of product development.
What design trends can we look out for in 2020?
Every year the focus of our work steers more and more in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. In particular the areas of environmental, social and economic sustainability. We hope to see it not only being a trend but practically more evident in the local landscape.
Greg de Villiers
Why has Vermont Sales played such a fundamental role in the Young Designers Challenge?
Vermont Sales as a South African business is keenly interested in our people. At our core,, our business is driven by innovation. By supporting this initiative we are reminded of this and are presented an opportunity to give back so that we can demonstrate our commitment to this.
Why is young designer projects so important to Vermont?
It is important to expose our brands to us. The design challenge affords us a unique way to do so while at the same time providing a platform to young designers.
Have you ever taken any of the designer’s designs further into production?
The design brief is often very wide and futuristic. While we have not developed any product yet, the door to this is very much open. We have employed former students to work in our own design department. This has provided enormous value to us as well as gainful employment.
What can visitors expect from the Vermont Sales demonstrations at the Inhabit Workshop this year?
This year at the workshop visitors can see the latest in tools demonstrated in making projects that they will love. The skilled demonstrators will guide visitors in answering some of there DIY and trade professional questions.
What is one tool every DIYer needs in their toolbox?
This is such a difficult question. There are so many tools available to help you make and create your projects. In our own stable, we have more than 60 brands and over 20 000 products. If I had to choose one, I would definitely say a Kreg K5 Pocket Hole Jig and an OLFA Knife. Love those tools.
Don’t miss the highly anticipated Young Designers Challenge at the 2020 Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Expo.Read More
The Inhabit Workshop is a place for you to find new tips and techniques for small projects around your home. When it comes to decorating and design, many homeowners choose to make their own items and boycott mass-retailers. This is a great way to ensure your home truly has unique pieces that cannot be found anywhere else. Jana Nel is a ceramicist known for creating bespoke pieces for your lifestyle. For her, the unrealistic views of having control over everything is challenged daily in her ceramics journey. A perfectionist at heart, Jana quickly learned that when it comes to arts and crafts, there is no guarantee how things will turn out.
Jana will be active at the InHabit Workshop demonstrating fun ways to create your own ceramics and will have a stand at the Truly Artisan show feature. We asked Jana a few questions.
First things first. Why ceramics?
I was born with a fiery creative passion. Baking, photography, oil painting – I’ve tried it all. The thing I love about working with clay is that this art form demands your attention. You forget about everything and you’re simply allowed to ‘create’, from the feel of the clay in your hands. You can see how you craft an object from a ball of clay which turns into something extraordinary. Ceramics has taught me many life lessons too. It requires extreme patience because there are so many elements you can’t control (the temperature for example). If it’s a warm sunny day your clay might dry too quickly and if it’s a rainy day, your clay might not dry quick enough). These variables need to be considered when producing one-of-a-kind ceramic objects.
What will you be offering visitors at the InHabit Workshop?
Where do you find inspiration for your one-of-a-kind clay aesthetics?
Do you have a favourite piece from any of your collections?
You regularly post about making your house a home. What does our theme, InHabit mean to you in that context?
What home décor trends can we look forward to in 2020?
There’s definitely a strong focus on a monochromatic trend. Your walls, floor coverings, decorative objects all follow a very similar colour palette. Perhaps I’ll try my hand at a terracotta on terracotta decorating effort in our home. One thing to always keep in mind is that something you truly like will never go out of style.
Come visit Jana at the HOMEMAKERS Expo at the end of this month!Read More
The entries for the Cape Town HOMEMAKERS Expo Design, Art and Textile Design ComPETition, in association with Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Domestic Animal Rescue Group (DARG) are in! Along with you being able to support DARG by bidding for your favourite design, the winning designers will be picked by our panel of expert comPETition judges.
The comPETition judging panel is made up of Marycke Ackhurst and Kim Johnstone from Hill’s Pet Nutrition; writer, curator and lecturer, Marilyn Martin and fashion designer, Kobus Dippenaar.
Tell us a little more about yourself:
Kim: I’m an animal lover and very passionate about my job. I’ve been with Hill’s for just under eight years and feel blessed to work with people who share my passion. I live in Hout Bay and am very lucky to have one of the best views. I’m married and have a six-year-old son, who would love to be a vet one day when he grows up.
Kobus: I’m from Riebeek West and a farm boy at heart. I’ve been in the fashion industry for 35 years. I did a stint in the UK in corsetry and millinery. Back in SA, I participated in my first Fashion Week in 2007 and have never looked back. In 2009, I started a wedding dress collection under the name Anna Georgina and started touring the UK and USA. Today I have 17 stores around the world buying my range.
Marilyn: After eleven years as director of the South African National Gallery, I was appointed director of art collections for Iziko Museums in 2001. I retired in 2008 and have since worked as an independent writer, curator and lecturer. I am an Honorary Research Associate at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. In 2002 I was admitted to the Legion of Honour of the Republic of France at the rank of Officer and in 2013 I received the medal of the Fondation Alliance française in Paris. I launched my book Dreams and Realities – a History of the South African National Gallery in July.
Marycke: I am one of the very fortunate people that has a job that combines my passions. I, first and foremost, am an animal lover, I am very interested in nutrition and am very passionate about educating pet parents. To work for a company like Hill’s, that share my values and vision, is the ultimate opportunity anyone can dream of. I love that for 16 years I have felt that I can make a difference on so many levels in pet’s lives – be it puppy schools, rescue organisations, general pet education or breeders.
How do you feel about animals? Do you have any?
Kim: We have a German Shepard Milo and a DMSH Cat named Max. My son often refers to Max as his brother.
Kobus: I love animals. We have a cat called Princess. I would love a dog, but it’s not a good idea in a small space.
Marilyn: I do not have any animals.
Marycke: My daughter and I live on a small holding where animals are pretty much our life. I’m passionate about all animals but I have a keen interest in Golden Retrievers and my daughter favours Papillon. We also have two Birman cats and a beautiful black domestic cat called Bibi. We’re involved in showing our dogs and cats and when younger my daughter competed in Junior Handling.
In your opinion, what is the most important trend in design/art for pets?
Kim: The “lifestyle” trend is becoming very popular. Design and art of this kind can be seen to be included as an extension of our home decor and should be as our pets are included as part of our family.
Kobus: Pets are an integral part of human existence. They take a lot of stress away from us and add to our lives. They should get all the love they need.
Marycke: The “Dog/Cat Mom” trend is very popular and important. It reflects that an increasing number of pet parents treat their pets like children. They consider them in important decisions, invest in their well-being, provide in all their needs and consider them family. Therefore they like associating with their pets. “Dogs are a girls best friend”; “Cat Mom”; “My best friend has paws” are phrases commonly used in design for dog and cat parents whether it be their own clothing, pet accessories or even pet furniture. For cats, understanding the need for vertical yet modular furniture is becoming more known. However, pet parents want these items to fit in with the rest of their decor and style.
As one of the competition judges, what will you be looking for in the designs and artworks? Any specific criteria?
Kim: I’ll be looking for creative design that will be versatile enough to fit into any Pet Parent’s home. I’ll also be looking at trend, colour as well as lifestyle appeal.
Kobus: I would love to see innovation – from dog and cat beds to feeding mechanism for when you’re away (single parents) and tech for staying in touch etc.
Marilyn: I have no specific criteria and I look forward to responding to the ideas and innovations that the entrants offer.
Marycke: I will be looking for innovative and creative ideas, design and artwork, that show an understanding for pets and their needs.
Don’t miss your chance to bid on the top designs and support DARG by visiting Cape Town HOMEMAKERS Expo.Read More
Each year Cape Town HOMEMAKERS Expo looks to creatively support a local charity organisation. This year the Domestic Animal Rescue Group (DARG) has been chosen as the beneficiary of funds raised through your bids on the bespoke furniture, textile and art designs created in the Design, Art and Textile Design ComPETition in association with Hill’s Pet Nutrition and DARG. (more…)Read More
New to South Africa, Cape Town HOMEMAKERS exhibitor, LIEBH sources unique artwork for those seeking extraordinary décor. Made from individually hand-crafted iron the current collection offers nature-inspired opulence and serenity for living spaces, as well as office and hotel interior walls. (more…)Read More
Fireplaces are a sophisticated and cost-saving way to warm your home during the winter. Cape Town HOMEMAKERS Expo exhibitors, Signi Fires, takes the simple fireplace to new heights with evolved, bespoke designs. Their range of bioethanol, wood and gas options are beautifully designed to make the fireplace a functional feature piece of any home. (more…)Read More