Natalie Anderson – the minimalist

Natalie Anderson is renowned for her minimalist but vibrant touch to corporate interiors. Since 2007, her company Design Express, has developed a reputation for converting bland, function-driven environments into an inspiring space of creativity. She works with local and regional artists to design bespoke pieces for her commercial clients. Attached are a few of her completed works.

Amma: What is the signature touch of DESIGNEXPRESS?

Natalie: A minimalist clean backdrop with a contemporary Ghanaian element

Amma: What inspires your design process?

Natalie: I am inspired by materials, colour, manufacturing processes, technology and various cultural styles from Ghana. I am also inspired by anything and everything my senses perceive. Finally as a well-anchored Christian, the Holy Spirit is a creative genius and a constant source of inspiration.

Amma: What difficulties do you face in the interior design industry?

Availability of resources which includes; materials, furniture, technologies, finding good carpenters, welders etc, can be tedious.

Amma: African decor used to have a stereotypical safari look or animal print. What is the contemporary style for someone in search of the ‘African touch?’

This look was defined through the perception of Africa by non-Africans – not by us. A Design Style should be a reflection of one’s cultural identity and influences. Personally, as a New African Woman, I don’t identify with a leopard or elephant. I’m inspired by my rich Ghanaian heritage, my present surroundings and explorations, as well my everchanging vision for contemporary Ghanaian Design.

Amma: How do you find your pieces?

We keep updated with various vendors, sometimes it’s stumbled upon by chance, other times we have a specific product in mind and custom produce it.

Amma: What role do African designers have on the international market?

I can only speak for Ghanaian interior designers- we have a responsibility to place our footprint on the international stage. We have so much to say in terms of design that has been left unsaid. But first, What is Ghanaian Design? We must collectively as designers make a conscious effort to define this in order to promote it.

Amma: Is there a viable market for interior design in Africa?

Definitely. It may not be obvious, but it exists and it’s growing. With encouragement and promotion (just by focusing on good, creative, quality, professional work that testifies) it will continue to grow.

Amma: Do you have a favourite room/place to decorate?

We mostly work on Commercial projects so It’s always fun designing a Breakout area as this is the “play zone” in a very function-driven work environment.

Amma: What is the best tip for decorating a your favourite room?(living room, bedroom, porch etc.)

First, try to visualize how you want to use the space. Ask yourself what you will do in that particular room? Next, pick a concept- define your colour palette and look & feel. This will keep you focused when selecting pieces.

Amma: When you are not designing what do you do?

I’m either at church or attending a church activity or spending time with my very entertaining 5year old daughter