Interior Design & Beyond

We bagged an exclusive interview with locally renowned interior designer, Tristan du Plessis. Not only has he designed some of our fave food and drink spots — MESH Club, Gemelli restaurant, Naked Kitchen & Coffee Bar, Hell’s Kitchen, Lima Tapas Bar, Arcade resto-bar and Saigon Suzy to name a few, he was also honoured with an SA Style Award for most stylish SA designer.

What drew you to the design industry initially? Is it something you always wanted to be involved in?

Design has innately always been something I’ve wanted to do and my passion for it just keeps on growing with every project. I have always had a passion for experiential spaces, and being involved in hospitality design allows me to play with that concept on a daily basis.

Who/what do you take inspiration from?

I am inspired by travel, locally and internationally. There are so many people out there doing great things, there is constant inspiration, from dining out in Paris to popping into your local Nando’s.

Winning an SA Style Award, that’s prestigious stuff! What did it mean to you?

As a designer it’s amazing to be recognised for the work you put out there, so it’s been great to get this affirmation and, more than anything, the award is something I’m inspired to live up to.

And what does style mean to you in general?

Style in our time is so open to interpretation that we have much more freedom to express ourselves than before. Style has evolved past just echoing trends and has become an individualistic expression of one’s aspirations and culture.

What would you say your signature style is?

In design, I aim to create spaces that are inspiring, detailed and tailor-made for the purposes of the space. Perhaps sometimes bordering on a maximalist design approach, my intention is to create immersive hospitality experiences. In terms of fashion, I don’t take it too seriously. I look for quality, something unique and most importantly if it’s black!

What space are you most proud of and why?

MESH Club is definitely a firm favourite of mine. We were able to work with amazing artists, craftsmen and clients who were all completely on board with pushing the boundaries of design.

Career highlight so far?

Being a finalist in the International Restaurant & Bar Design Awards two years in a row and winning best bar design in London last year. [Tristan won the Best Restaurant & Bar Design Award for the Middle East and Africa category in 2016 for his design of News Café Rosebank].

And career lowlight?

An accident on site that left me out of action for two months in 2016.


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