Interview with Che’ Hooper

 As I sit and reflect on the inspiring interview with Che’ Hooper, I smile & know you are just going to love reading about her. Che’ is an interior designer & the creator and owner of Portfolio Design. Calm and style oozes from her every expression and I remember once again that it’s with great pleasure that I introduce you to this local women! We sip our filtered coffee on her balcony overlooking ocean, Durban harbour and Greyville race-course, the surrounds illuminated by Durban’s afternoon sun. Che’s house is another interview all together, so watch out for that in the near future!
Portfolio Design is a Durban based company, but Che’ expands her services to the surrounds. She offers a 
Buy to Let and Relocation specialisation, where Buy to Let clients are looking to rent their property to international/local guests for business/holiday purposes & desire to create the interior space into the class & appropriate decor type to suit the market of rental. “Some people don’t have the time to decorate themselves, especially people with limited time…they have one meeting with me, brief me as to what they want and they don’t have to stress or worry about it again until it is completed.”
Portfolio Design helps with the relocation of your business or your home. “…where a client feels overwhelmed as to where their current furnishings are going to be placed in the new premises, I measure up all furnishings in the “old” premises and help allocate all their existing furniture into their new place, right down to the artwork on the walls!”

 {Che’ Hooper}


  CS – In all your design days, what space has been your favourite so far? “I have no idea why, but I really enjoy doing bathrooms, especially when it come to renovating them! The sourcing, designing and placement of sanware, tiles, custom designed units and of course dealing with the contractors…I LOVE getting involved with the messy bits of  rubble, dirt and paint.”
CS – Did you want to be an interior designer since you were young? “Yes, I used to move the furniture around my folks house constantly and I was continuously in my dad’s workshop painting something or cleaning something up ( I still am to this day – everytime I go home! It drives my husband mad!) My mom is just like me, she is very creative but more so on the arty side. We are forever in second-hand shops the two of us, it is what we call “skorring”around. So it did definitely start from an early age.”
CS -So you can say your mom played a pretty big part in what you doing today? “Yes”
CS -What 3 items are in right now? ” A lot of people ask this question, Trends change constantly, like fashion does. Sometimes I don’t think you must have what’s in. I think you should have items that are not going to date. With interiors, you have to be happy with what suits you, what’s practical for you. Colours that are in currently are beautiful gorgeous lemon yellows….I also notice violet-purple and deep pinks…another thing that we going back to is anything natural, things that do not require anything that’s harmful to nature or the world.”
CS -Most inspiring designer? “She is a local Joburg based designer, Maria Koutsoudakis”
CS -I have noticed chinese lanterns are in a lot of homes across South Africa? “Yes, especially now in summer, the outside wooden ones are stunning, especially if you paint them vibrant summer colours!”
CS -Knowing people are unique, how do you try to get THEIR mark on style&decor of their space? “You have to do an in-depth interview with them, what we call a brief. That will tell us what their likes and dislikes are, their sense of style, their general lifestyle when it comes to their homes…. the client has to live with their décor and therefore the final style needs to be a reflection of their personality and their lifestyle….. I find art to be  a very personal taste, something I might think will be stunning-it has all the right colours and feel for the room- the client might dislike it completely and so clients definitely have to select key items.”
CS -What cheap tips do have on how to “spruce up your house”??? “Paint! You can paint anything, you can paint a wall, you can paint furniture and its amazing what a fresh coat of paint does to a certain piece or wall. It honestly changes the whole look of the room…and it’s a cheap way of decorating, you not spending huge amounts.”
CS – What kind of person can become an interior decorator, apart from the obvious natural ‘eye’ for style? “You have to be incredibly passionate about interiors and you got to have a creative talent. There has got to be something from deep inside that drives you and that’s your ambition to be a designer. ….There are so many angles to being creative in the designer and decorator field, like textiles, furniture products and lighting, there is anything really. Being an interior designer is tough work, it is definitely not as glamorous as people make it out to be! “
CS -Have you found that in these times where financial restraints are held, do people generally still valid good decor&interior decorating? “Things have definitely quieted down I have noticed, especially us Durbanites that try to design things ourselves….I find Debs, that a lot of people where they would do their entire house, they now do maybe 3 bedrooms at once and then later 2 bathrooms at once where it’s cut into stages if they cannot afford it all at the same time.”
CS -If someone had a budget of R2000 what would you recommend they spend it on? “I will always say go for quality instead of quantity, R2000 is not alot…..personally I would go for nice linen, something luxurious.!”
CS -R5000 “Shoes!” we laugh…“A chandelier that you find at a nice antique store or something that’s really interesting and beautiful, something that’s going to be an eye catcher.”
CS- R10 000 “A really great couch with lovely fabric, or two statement occasional chairs”  


Loft or Ground floor- LOFT
Lake house or Beach house- BEACH HOUSE
Large format paintings or Ceramic designs- CERAMIC DESIGNS
Carpets or tiles- CARPETS
Wooden floors or concrete floors- WOODEN
Re upholstery or brand new-RE UPOLSTER
Contemporary or Vintage-BOTH


If I were…to have my life over again while retaining the knowledge I have gained and the ability to make decisions based on what I have experienced, I would choose to remain exactly as I am and relive every moment of my life exactly as it happened.
My space to chill……is my patio in my hanging chair.
Stickers…..are what I’d decorate a white wall with.
Laughter, character and Ambiance….is what makes a house desirable.
 You can join Portfolio Design’s Facebook page or visit her website here for more info!Thank you Che’ for spending time with me and I look forward to many more interviews and decor inspiration from you!      



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