Introducing South African interior stylist Mali Langa, whose eclectic taste for all things bold and luxurious match the charm found in her work and simply being in her presence.
Since deciding to formally enter the interior design industry through the establishment of Task Interior Styling, the journey for Mali Langa has been one characterised by hard work, determination and only a few adjustments to her business model. ‘Interior styling has always been a hobby,’ she says, ‘selecting fabrics, furniture pieces, carpets and lighting, is for me quite relaxing. It’s like therapy.’
Just three years ago, Mali Langa found herself fully invested in the corporate world, working as an Executive Director for a Gauteng-based mining company. She recalls: ‘I had just settled into my role when I remember thinking about setting up an outfit that could service the odd request for an event or project that involved interior styling, which I could handle on the side.’
So, from weddings and family birthdays to special events and smaller interior projects, she opted to become further involved in the design space. It allowed her an outlet from ‘the rigmarole of the boardroom’.
The opportunity for a fully-fledged business eventually materialised after she took on her first project with the challenge of turning an empty shell into a unique and personal space that a family could call home. This manifested through her passion and a unique eye for style and beauty, offering a deserved opportunity to enter the big league.
Initially, she operated under a different name, offering a much wider range of services related to interior styling, which included events. Then in early 2019, the company embarked on a strategic shift and a brand refresh under the new name, Task Interior Styling. Coupled with this new brand aesthetic was the return to fundamentals of ‘innovation through collaboration’ and core values that serve as the foundation for how TIS wishes to be positioned in the industry.
In a short space of time, Task Interior Styling has completed noteworthy projects in both the residential and commercial space. Mali Langa’s signature style can be described as maximalist modern and eclectic, but not cluttered.
She adds: ‘I love a pop of colour. I need to be able to walk into a room and it’s got to speak to me. It has to be fun, yet also be a space I feel comfortable in.’
Her personal office is one that depicts just that: typical office design is in synch with safe, neutral palettes and modest material choices that favour the likes of minimalist and Scandinavian themes. Here, Mali Langa’s signature features bright colours and a mix of graphic prints and textures creating a dramatic, yet thoroughly visually stimulating experience.
When asked about what goes into her creative process, she outlines the personalised approach taken with each client: ‘The process differs and is based on needs and budgets. But one thing I always do is to make a point of getting to know my clients a little bit better, their personalities and value systems, the reasoning behind their likes and dislikes.’
As a self-confessed extrovert, this makes her task enjoyable and allows the opportunity to gauge what certain brand intricacies entail; the key factors she extracts during the process of conceptualising, remodelling and sourcing specific items for a space: ‘I don’t just want to create something that I like, it must be unique, a customised space that resonates with my client. It’s also important to me that it’s as functional as it is visually appealing. It’s one thing for a space to look good; it also has to feel good when you’re in it.’
This designer cites her creative influences from a variety of sources, yet lists her global travel as a strong contributor: ‘I love travelling and make it a point in my line of business to schedule trips that enable the discovery of other cultures, to experience something fresh, but also to keep up with international interior trends. The Salone del Mobile design fair in Milan is an annual favourite.’
When she’s not globetrotting, Mali Langa’s source of joy and inspiration can be found much closer to home. Her children are a major motivator and, to a large degree, are the reason why she opted to introduce interior décor for juniors as a focus area for Task Interior Styling.
Currently, TIS comprises a compact team that relies on combined professional knowledge and experience, as well as extensive relationships with other trusted partners in the industry. They’re able to provide a comprehensive service offering that extends from creative conceptualisation to technical design, project management and a dedicated after-sales cohort.
Mali Langa explains: ‘My vision for TIS is organic growth. I’d like it to be a brand that stands out in the industry for its credibility and excellence. And, as a black female interior stylist, I would like to empower young girls who have a feeling for interior design and décor to pursue their passion in this industry. I believe that there is tremendous scope for growth
‘There are sectors in the South African market where clients are prepared to pay for value and a premium service offering. I’d like TIS to be top of mind as a trusted brand they choose to work with ongoing.’