Decorex Kzn and Hirsch's Kitchen and Bathroom Faire

From day beds in damask to do-good décor set to save the planet, home lovers are gearing up for a five-day décor and design feast at the International Convention Centre where Decorex KZN, in association with Hirsch's Kitchen & Bathroom Faire, will run from 21 to 25 March. The exhibition co-incides with the opening of the ICC's new extension, marking the return to beautiful interiors with 'Embellishing Space' as the overall theme. In an era where the décor world explores the exotic, the authentic and the adventurous, one need look no further than Decorex KZN for an endless source of inspiration.

Another significant trend is the decorating arts' shift to green design - turning eco-awareness from hippie to hip. On 23 March the design forum Talk Show (hosted by Elle Decoration) devotes a morning to decorating beautifully by touching the earth gently. The stellar line-up of experts include décor fundi Les Aupiais, landscaper Jan Blok, jewellery designer Kirsten Goss, architect Hugh Fraser and interior designer Grant Webster. This year part of the proceeds will benefit the Save the Children Fund.

The Decorex/Kizo Arts Awareness Programme takes the next step with Affordable Art, a select showing of works priced to encourage collecting and living with original art: Artist Steve Mandy, turns his attention from fashion to painting on furniture, creating intriguing three-dimensional images on fabric and furniture. Also exhibiting is Natasha Barnes, cordon bleu trained food stylist turned professional artist. Her natural talent has led this self-taught artist to develop a profound style, exhibiting expressionism, colour and movement.

Other show highlights include mixing and matching colours with hi-tech software and light projection at the new Plascon Virtual Showroom, an interactive stand designed by Switch Design Group. Also having a field day with colour are top interior decorators, lifestyle stores and fabric houses showcasing beautiful interiors in the exclusive Sanlam Dream Rooms setting. Here St Leger & Viney will be revealing their latest collection at the Fabric Theatre. According to textile guru Gary Searle fabric colours will continue to be heavily influenced by natural shades. "The most popular hues will be influenced by yellow, such as straw, wheat and oats, while grey will be important from dove to charcoal."

The annual Sanlam Young Designers Thinking Ahead student design competition with VISI focuses on inspirational textile designs. Themed 'Fabric. Form. Function', students of the Durban University of Technology create unique textile pieces to embellish the home. Students were challenged to design and build a room divider which incorporates their own hand painted fabric or wallpaper.

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