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Founded by Carmen Kelly, Georgette Black (Pty) Ltd is a Durban based design studio specialising in Interior and Furniture Design. Our portfolio consists of commercial, retail and residential projects around South Africa.

We offer a full turnkey service covering the entire design and development process from concept to project roll-out.


Q&A WITH CARMEN

“My parents would get home from work to find the house completely changed around..”

Have you always wanted to be an Interior Designer?
Yes from the moment I was old enough to move furniture, I constantly used to change our house around. My parents would get home from work to find the house completely changed around because I wanted to see how differently each space could be used and reinvented.

What is a typical day in your life?
Wake up / run, swim or practice yoga on the beach / head to the office for a day of work and play / head home to practice piano, cook dinner, catch up with my husband and cats / Sleep / Repeat.

How would you describe your personal design style?
Simple, clean lines, honest materials with a mid-century flair. 

What are some things that influence you that are not design related?
The world around me. The textures that i engage with through my everyday life and practice. The light that changes through the different seasons.

What is your favourite room in your house?
Tough to say.  It very much depends on the task at hand. I love each area, all for very different reasons. The kitchen is the busiest room and is the centre of our home. Our studio is a space to create and collaborate. Our library / yoga room is a perfect space to retreat to. Our lounge is built for comfort and relaxation. The music room is perfect for practice and playing and my husband and I often jam together, him on guitar and me on piano. And so it goes on. Our house exists to enhance and improve our lives and allows us to do all the things we want to do.

Within your home, whats your next project?
That is a very difficult question. As we bought an old house and have just renovated the bathroom and built a commercial kitchen for my husband’s bakery business. I would love to do our atrium, as this will be the lung of the house filled with natural light and greenery. A garden in the heart of the home.

What was your first solo project you worked on?
Spice emporium in Pine Street in 2005. The client was wonderful and pretty much let me tear the place apart to allow natural light in through beautiful clerestory windows that were boarded up. The store is still much the same and the client still loves the retail experience we created for the customers.

What would be your dream project?
I know this might sound contrived. But the last year i have been blown away, as every single brief I have received has pretty much been one of my dream projects. From re-imagining a warehouse into a functional dynamic office space for an ad agency, to creating shared workspaces in an existing double volume apartment, to creating a lush pool courtyard. I feel like i am living the dream. Long may it last.

How do you approach a project?
Firstly i analyse the brief to see what questions are being asked and understand what the clients requirements are.  I then look at what problems exist and figure out how to solve these problems through practical design solutions.  

Once i get into a project I like to pick apart my work and challenge the decisions i have made so that i can be sure we have exhausted all options and that the outcome is the best possible solution for the time, budget and brief.  

I strongly believe in collaboration. Through collaboration and team work the results are always better than what you could have imagined on your own.