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.
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
Victorian Bathrooms has been setting the trend for a timeless, tradition style bathroom for an incredible 30 years. With their showstopping stand at Cape Town HOMEMAKERS Expo, we spoke to Marketing Manager, Joslyn Goodale Pickering about creating classic, luxury bathrooms with a modern appeal.
When and how did Victorian Bathrooms start?
Victorian Bathrooms commenced in 1989, when Lance Goodale identified a demand for traditional bathroom products. There being nothing available locally, he set about sifting through builders’ junk yards and second hand stores, collecting and restoring and manufacturing products to meet the unusual requirements of the projects with which Victorian Bathrooms became involved.
However, with time the restored Victorian clutter gave way to new products, replicating their predecessors but utilising modern technology, manufactured locally according to Victorian Bathrooms’ requirements where possible, otherwise sourced internationally.
It was not long before Lance’s wife, Margaret, joined him in his quest to discover beautiful classic styled bathroom fixtures from around the world with emphasis on reliability and solidity, all sourced for the discerning home owner who is unprepared to compromise.
Encapsulated in the words, Classic, Timeless, Luxury, each apply to our products, our showroom displays, and the service our team provides. Victorian Bathrooms is recognised as South Africa’s specialist supplier of luxury bathroom products in the classic style and is honoured to have supplied prestigious destinations in Southern Africa and abroad.
Which product from your range is your favourite?
We have an incredibly extensive product offering so it is difficult to narrow it down to a single product however every client brings a different style and ‘story’ of what they are wanting to create so it is always exciting to work with our customers and making their vision a reality.
What makes Victorian Bathrooms stand out?
Victorian Bathrooms will not compromise on quality so customers are able to shop with confidence knowing that the products they select will function correctly and maintain their beauty for years to come. The expert advice and willingness to assist that customers receive from the Victorian Bathrooms team, ensures that selecting bathroom ware is always a pleasurable experience.
Where do you find inspiration?
It is essential to be proactive in monitoring current trends and listening to the needs of our clients. Victorian Bathrooms visits the international trade fairs that lead the way in design and décor, bringing the latest products to the South African market. We also work closely with our customers and often manufacture products according to what they are looking for.
The theme for this year is Raw Comfort, what does Raw Comfort mean to you?
With our busy modern lifestyles, we seldom have time to slow down and relax which is so vital for our well being. The bathroom acts as a personal sanctuary so regardless of your desired style, we believe that it is important that you are able to create a bathroom space that is tranquil and rejuvenating. This is what ‘Raw Comfort’ means to us.
Which item can a home not do without?
A home should be filled with items that create aesthetic happiness and that function as promised. Quality and functionality are vital for our busy lifestyles.
What trends are you seeing at the moment when it comes to bathroom design?
There is a big movement towards the “Modern-Classic Bathroom”. It encompasses a transitional style with the marriage of traditional and contemporary styles resulting in a classic, timeless design that is simple yet sophisticated.
What advice do you have for homeowners who are looking to redecorate or renovate their bathroom?
Choose products that are timeless in design that will last for years to come.
Why should people visit your bathroom stand at HOMEMAKERS Expo?
We will be exhibiting our breathtaking Modern Classic Bathroom exhibition stand with retro Cameo basins, romantic nickel tap finishes, dramatic black touches and an industrial-inspired freestanding shower with running water! It is inspiration come to life.
Don’t miss Victorian Bathrooms at Cape Town HOMEMAKERS Expo at the CTICC until 1 September 2019.Read More
Cape Town HOMEMAKERS Expo exhibitor, Karoo Kwezi will be showing off their beautiful upcycled lighting creations at the show. We spoke to owner Irma Weyers and PE based worker, Tamara Williams about creating beauty out of what most people consider rubbish. (more…)Read More
World of Decorative Concrete (WODC) is forever pushing the boundaries when it comes to how concrete is used. Once again, the WODC team will be showcasing the many uses of concrete in functional design in the Raw CONCRETE Theatre at Cape Town HOMEMAKERS Expo.
We spoke to WODC CEO, Johan Coetzee to find out more about WODC.
How did WODC start?
World of Decorative Concrete (WODC) is one of the largest concrete grinding and polishing contractors in South Africa. Our showcase projects can be seen in the Ivory Coast to Mauritius, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and southern Africa. Although based in the Western Cape, WODC is geared to operate in Africa and beyond.
Employing the HTC Superfloor method of grinding and polishing of concrete floors, our largest single project to date is the surrounding and base floor of the Moses Mabhida soccer stadium in KwaZulu-Natal.
WODC was initially contracted only to solve a “biscuiting” problem (otherwise known as delamination of laitance) on the stadium floor. The Moses Mabhida Stadium’s professional architectural team was more than sufficiently impressed with the repairs and extended our brief to transform the entire concrete floor of the stadium to “Superfloor” specifications.
Consequently, this method has become very popular in most segments of the construction industry, from hi-tech domestic properties and shopping centres to warehousing and aviation, and many more concrete floor requirements across the country.
WODC is an offshoot of the mother company, Quickslab, which was established in 1995 as a precast concrete decking company with myself as the structural engineer at the helm of the company. Quickslab expanded rapidly in the rib & block segment of the construction industry and is today a well-established company in the Western Cape.
In 2001 another offshoot, Stucco Italiano, was established as a sister company to Quickslab with a view to specialise in the fast-growing cement décor industry. Stucco Italiano has since grown into one of the leading suppliers of stucco products for residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
Today, leading architects routinely specify our products and work for their high end projects. Our success has paved the way for exports to the European and Mauritian market.
We are a proudly South African company. All our products for amongst others walls, floors and work surfaces are locally designed and manufactured.
WODC enjoys the professional backing of two well-established companies: Quickslab and Stucco Italiano. But it is not so much the combination of structural expertise and experience that we have come to rely on, but rather the passion and love for concrete we all share.
Which product from your range is your favourite?
What makes concrete such a popular product for homes?
The theme for this year is Raw Comfort, what does Raw Comfort mean to you?
Why did WODC get involved with HOMEMAKERS Expo again this year?
Which item can a home not do without?
Where do you find inspiration?
What trends are you seeing at the moment?
What advice do you have for homeowners who are looking to redecorate or renovate their homes?
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
As a family-run business, Paint Master has been designing and manufacturing paints for over two decades. Their love for paint can be seen in the great care taken in the manufacturing of the premium, quality products that are produced by this proudly South African company.Read More