Jun 26, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

From flipping his first run-down house, SA designer plays in the big league

A spontaneous decision to buy a shabby property instead of a used car has proven to be the perfect basis for Johannesburg designer Stephen Pellerade to enter the big league real estate business.

Internationally known as an architectural designer for he never studied design formally in the global high-end market. His latest offer? A villa for sale for 150m in the upscale Sandhurst of Gauteng.

At his second home in Cheltenham, just outside the Cotswolds, England, Pellerade said it was an interesting walk from his side business, his own iconic Brand.

He’s involved in a range of multi-million dollar residential projects with a confidential roster that includes the who’s who of African kings, public company CEOs, and young mining tycoons looking for luxury homes includes.

Pellerade lived in Zimbabwe, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant. During his internship at KPMG, he rode a motorcycle and took odd jobs as he saved ZW $ 11,000 on his first car.

At auction, he came across a house with structural problems that was the same price as the car was sold. and decided on a whim to prefer to invest in the property. He fixed and sold it, made a profit, bought another and started flipping on the side.

A few years later he moved to Johannesburg and went on to shop at Observatory, Linksfield, Bryanston, Dunkeld and Melrose . He gutted the houses, rebuilt them and sold them fully furnished.

“I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t a designer and it was unusual to sell furnished properties, but mine turned out to be popular, “said Pellerade.

After realizing that luxury real estate is his passion, he began a year-long sabbatical in Marbella, Spain, where he worked for the upscale turnkey design house Interni.

“I learned everything. We were involved in every step from the search for the right property to the final handover. For the grand reveal, we would invite the family to their new home late in the day. We served them a dinner secretly cooked by chefs. During the dessert the team disappeared.

“We let her spend the first night in her designer home, with bespoke sheets on the beds, monogrammed towels, her clothes in closets on designer hangers and everything perfect . ”

During this time, Pellerade learned the real meaning of“ turnkey ”- perfecting every element, from architecture to project management, interior design to design, finishes, decoration and furnishings – all in one process from the Turning a client’s vision and dream into reality.

It was a year in which we met top designers and manufacturers and participated in design fairs in Paris, Milan, Atlanta and Beijing. On his way he met two global icons who shaped his work further.

Catherine Memmi, based in Paris and one of the world’s leading furniture designers specializing in contemporary luxury, became “something of a mentor” .

His other influencer was Philippe Starck, the eccentric New York-based furniture and interior designer responsible for designing some of the most iconic interiors.

Pellerade returned to Johannesburg, by design on starting his own brand and opening the Pellerade Design House in Rosebank in 1995.

“I started selling mostly home furnishings and 2000 people said, ‘I have a Pellerade piece’. We exhibited at design fairs all over the world. ”

As the Pellerade Design House grew, he developed a strategy to find the right people, impressed more by passion than learning.

< p> “I would invite someone for an interview with a desk full of props. I watched how they interacted with the objects and saw which textures and colors caught their attention, which ignited a spark, ”he said.

This is how he met Ashleigh Williams-Longueira 15 years ago, fresh out of design school.

“I realized that she has the same OCD tendencies and the same attention to detail as me. She absolutely embodies passion, drive and esprit and is incredibly practical in all projects, “he said of the woman who is his right-hand man and head of the headquarters of Pellerade Joburg.

His brand has exploded on.

In 2010 he had completed the UN offices in Kenya and a luxury hotel in Mozambique when he defeated designers from Paris and Moscow for a contract to design the Constitutional Court of Gabon.

At the moment he is negotiating the pandemic with his partner and daughter Chelsea in a stylish but manageable townhouse in Cheltenham.

“I don’t think anyone can say where we will end up. I know that I want to go back to Joburg and get involved in mothballed projects. It’s my favorite place in the world. ”