This was not the year anyone expected to see the world retreat to their homes, turning bustling cities into ghost towns.
Into the new normal of quarantine and lockdown, interior stylist and businesswoman Mali Langa is a beacon, shedding some light on how we will live, work and do future business.
Langa is the founder of Task Interior Styling – a boutique interior firm dedicated to creating tailored spaces informed by innovative style choices – and award-winning Head Interior Stylist. She is also the founder of the non-profit Mali Langa Children’s Foundation Trust.
Working from home has moved beyond a company perk and flexible lifestyle choice into a lifesaving necessity. Depending on the industry you work in, the easing of lockdown measures and a return to conventional office-based working operations is going to take time, and it will be global.
“With Covid-19 uprooting the world and causing a dramatic change in how we do business, we have to relook at how our homes are set up to enable a productive working and living environment. I think that this entire experience is making us reassess life in general, which is an opportunity to re-invent ourselves and our lifestyles,” says Langa.
As our behavioural and commuting patterns change, being productive in the same space as where you rest, eat, exercise and entertain yourself is becoming a challenging necessity. This is where Mali’s gift for styling applies a lifestyle lens to optimised, curated working spaces. It’s what a space could be that get Mali’s creative mojo going.
“My aesthetic is influenced by my love for luxury, colour, travel and global trends,” she says.
Mali’s styling tips can be easily applied. These include thinking like a designer, analysing a space for whom and what it will be used for, along with what style and mood inspires you. It’s important to set and stick to a budget and shopping list, but also to have fun.
Inexpensive additions can transform a space, like making sure there is enough lighting where you need it. White light, warm light, or perhaps light that is tinted from a coloured lampshade is integral in creating atmosphere.
Don’t forget Mother Nature. Greenery adds a feeling of liveliness and vitality to an interior. The colour of the leaves, shape and natural structure all enhance and balance elements of design.
On the future of how business will be done going forward, the Limpopo-born Johannesburg businesswoman is inspired by the new economy of collaboration.
“It has taken the re-awakening of the community to remember that we have much to learn from each other, instead of creating in silos. The collaborative economy is on the rise due to technology and creativity,” says Mali.
Beyond being an industry leader with the accolades of being recognised as an African Luxury Influencer by Luxury Media Africa and her interior design business winning Best Newcomer Stand, as well as the Best Décor Stand at the 2019 Decorex Africa Expo, Mali Langa’s passion also extends to children’s issues.
Through her NGO, the Mali Langa Children’s Foundation – which aids children with basic needs – she uses her voice and resources to make a lasting difference in the lives of children, particularly from less fortunate circumstances.