Lungile Nkosi is the founder and creative director of The Pillow Fluffer, a black female-owned interior design company.
She offers consultations and styling services, and also uses her platform on social media to give design tips.
With over eight years of experience in the industry, Nkosi started off as a marketing assistant for Elle Decorations then worked her way up to writing and styling.
She started The Pillow Fluffer in 2017 as an Instagram page and blog before deciding in 2019 to turn it into a company and run it as a full-on business.
“I’ve always had a love for interior design,” revealed Nkosi. “I studied interior design and decorating as well as architectural drafting, so it was just a natural progression.”
She also explained the story behind the name The Pillow Fluffer, which she describes as fun and quirky.
“When I was studying interior design in my first year, during the introduction of the programme, they used to call interior decorators pillow fluffers. They said they don’t do much: they just fluff pillows, make a place look pretty and put a little bit of sparkle.
“I realised there was so much more to interior decorating; I wanted to put a small spin on it and give it a bit more credit than it had in the past.
The stylist aims to educate people about interior design and make it a lot more accessible.
“Interior design is so important when it comes to mental health. I want people to understand that your space should serve you, instead of the other way around. It’s not just about making a space look pretty, it’s about making it functional and work for you.”
Nkosi draws her inspiration from a range of sources including personal experience, her friends and family, her culture, other designers, Instagram and nature.
If you have been working from home during the coronavirus pandemic and need some style inspiration, Nkosi suggests the following tips to make your home space more work-friendly:
Have a designated office space
This can be difficult if you have a small room or apartment, but it’s important to have a separate working space.
Even if you can only find a small corner in your house, you can utilise floating shelves as a desk. Or you can use decorative screens, which are easily available at hardware stores such as Builders Warehouse or Leroy Merlin, to divide your room.
Alternatively, you can turn a spare bedroom into a home office. Whatever you choose, remember to move away from areas that are overly comfortable to avoid working overtime as you need to rest and rejuvenate.
It is not recommended to work from the bed because your bedroom should be your escape. The living room isn’t a good option either because it has too many distractions.
Another helpful tip is to invest in office furniture. At the very least, you need an office chair because it is designed to support your back and shoulders, enabling you to sit for long periods of time.
Make it fun and go wild
Decorate as much as you can, and remember that it doesn’t have to be an expensive affair.
Go wild and get creative by putting up some artwork for inspiration and adding some plants to your space.
Plants are a great addition because not only do they increase oxygen in the room, they also bring some calm and peace to the area so you can be more productive.
Find your perfect colour
There is a lot of therapy behind colour as each one has different emotional and psychological effects.
For example, yellow is bright and signifies excitement so people tend to be a lot more productive in areas with this colour. It also has a calming tone and is a great complementary colour to green, which evokes a sense of relaxation.
Blue is also a great colour because it’s calming and can help prevent the anxiety that comes with deadlines.
If you’re a simple person who prefers grey, you can always choose a shade that has undertones of green, orange or yellow.
It is worth doing some research into colour psychology to find your perfect match and decorate your workspace accordingly.