Diva of design settles in Nottingham Road

Diva of design settles in Nottingham Road.

Nicola Hadfield has been described by the media over the years as “SA’s diva of design”, “lifestyle guru” and “décor’s fairy godmother”. She is one of the country’s most respected interior designers and trend commentators, author of two books (Beautiful Homes – a Publisher’s Choice selection – and Beautiful Outdoors), presenter of the Design Inspiration television series, international keynote speaker, and multi-talented entrepreneur.

Nicola at home at work.

Nicola at home at work.

She’s designed and produced her own nightwear and jewelry ranges. She’s received numerous awards including “Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World” (SA) – nominated by Pam Golding. She is an Honorary Life Member of the South African Institute of Interior Design Professions for her significant contribution to SA décor. She is a humanitarian and raised millions of Rands for charities.

Nicola is perhaps best known as the founder of Decorex, the country’s first design and décor showcase that opened to mass crowds in its first year (1994). She expanded Decorex to Durban and Cape Town with similar success.

This powerhouse of creativity has settled in the Midlands as a resident of the 75-hectare Eaglecrest wildlife estate near Nottingham Road, where she has spent the past two years working on her own individualistic home, “Early Mist”.

The 600 square metre house is built on a grand scale to accommodate two separate living areas. It has a central barn-like communal area flanked by two wings, one for Nicola and her architect partner Anthony, and one for her financier son Richard, who works in Monaco but was keen to share a Midlands “investment” with his mother for when he visited South Africa. Nicola designed the home (with strict instructions from son Richard and “refinements” from Anthony), working with Greg Bellars of Grice Bellars Architects.

The Exterior of Nicola's Home

The Exterior of Nicola’s Home

“I attended St Anne’s and both my boys were at Michaelhouse. My family and friends are from KZN so it’s familiar,” she explains. “It reminds me of parts of France where I spend some of the year, from where I visit global décor nerve centres to explore décor trends.”

Text by Gaynor Lawson, photographs by Anthony van der Spuy