Interior Design & Beyond


We bagged an exclusive interview with locally renowned interior designer, Tristan Plessis. Not only has he designed some of our fave food and drink spots; MESH Members Club, Gemelli Cucina, Naked Kitchen, Hell’s Kitchen, Lima Tapas Bar, Arcade and Saigon Suzy to name a few, he was also recently 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 with 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 in Paris to running 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 affirmation that my work is being well received 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 able to create spaces which 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 comes in black.

What space are you most proud of and why?

MESH club is definitely a firm favourite of mine in recent history. 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 and 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 Cafe Rosebank).

And career lowlight?

An accident on site that left me out of action for two months last year.

Let’s talk 2018 design trends, what can we look forward to?

I think the best trend is no trend; unique, bespoke design is what we should strive for in 2018.

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