Interior Designer Talks Luxe Living on a Budget
With a luxurious and well-regarded client portfolio, Cape Town-based interior designer Loredana Morton is arguably at the apex of design authority.
We sat down with her to talk about all things interior design and what it means to marry high-end taste with a budget.
Q: Following the BTS on Instagram allows your followers inside into the life of an Interior Design. What does an average work week look like for you?
LDM: Every Monday, I facilitate a staff planning meeting to outline the activities and deadlines for the week. This is a great way to make sure the team is aligned on the week’s priorities. I also host weekly account meetings to specifically discuss procurement and shopping implementation. The rest of the week usually consists of a mixture of client liaison, emails to suppliers, concept design boards, 2D layouts, visiting suppliers for selections, site visits, and social media planning.
Q: It must become challenging to continuously create something that feels unique to each client while juggling so many projects. Where do you look for inspiration?
LDM: My first rule of thumb is not to take on too many clients at one time. This allows me to give specialised attention to the individuality of each of my clients. In terms of advice I give my clients: I take careful note of trends and interesting spaces that I think could work for my clients while I travel. If something wows me, I try to incorporate the artistry of the decor into my own designs.
Q: What trends are you seeing in interiors from a global perspective? Does South Africa follow these trends or are you seeing unique trends emerging locally?
LDM: The current global trends incorporate lots of natural elements, texture, marble, and neutral and monochromatic spaces. I’d personally say that South Africa is catching up to these trends. What’s interesting about South Africa though, especially post-COVID, is that local furniture designers and creatives are taking more risks and becoming more expressive in unique furniture, art, and sculptural designs. It’s great to see!
Q: Is there a design trend you would retire if you could?
LDM: Eclectic style design with many juxtaposing patterns, textures, and colours. It tends to look cluttered and is neither timeless nor elegant.
Q: The life of an Interior Designer can often be glamourised. What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?
LDM: The end result is glamorous and beautiful but there is a lot of hard work to take a project from start to finish. It involves long hours, manual labour, precise bookkeeping, accurate measurements, and detail-oriented processes. There are many balls to juggle and many people to manage. At the end of the day, there’s a client that needs to be kept happy.
Q: Your design aesthetic is luxurious which can feel unattainable to the average home-maker. What are your top tips for marrying high-end taste with a budget?
LDM: There are a few tips that I keep up my sleeve! One, invest in large furniture pieces so that you can go for more budget-friendly smaller pieces and decor items. Two, reusing and refurbishing existing pieces is a budget-friendly way of updating your home. For example, why not respray your kitchen cupboards and install new hardware? This can create a completely new look and feel in your kitchen! Three, wallpaper, wallpaper, wallpaper. It’s such a cost-effective way to add a bit of glamour to any room. Last, but not least, don’t underestimate the power of clever sourcing of décor. For example, why not attend second-hand bookstores or cheaper décor stores for smaller items?
Q: The storage trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Do you think it’s worth the spend?
LDM: Yes, definitely! I’m all about clean lines, clutter-free spaces, and organisation. I’m a firm believer that it makes your home so much more enjoyable when things are neatly stored and labelled. I think it can actually make smaller spaces feel bigger. I’m definitely a neat freak [laughs]. My clothes are colour-coded and my closet has one type of hanger throughout.
Q: Renting a home can feel limiting in terms of decorating. Do you have any renter-friendly hacks to make your living space feel your own?
LDM: So many! Peel and stick wallpaper (can you tell I’m a fan of wallpaper?), indoor plants (think Monstera), bold art, mirrors, stylish window treatments (like sheer curtains or blinds), painting walls (ask your landlord first though!), new hardware on cupboards, and large area rugs.
Q: What are your top three #THQ products for achieving a luxurious home on a budget?
LDM: I’m a big fan of your artificial trees. They look so real! Your Marble inspired decorative table is also a favourite. I also love your glasses and drinkware.