One of Durban's most experienced interior designers - 30yrs

Career portfolio includes homes in Zimbali, pent-house-suites Ritz Carlton Dubai, Cotswold Downs, Bantry Bay, Steenberg Estate, & more.

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Hi, my name is Michele Higgins

"A well designed home shapes a family, energizes & uplifts, entertains loved ones, and meets the diverse needs of the individuals that share the space."

~ Michele Higgins

In a career spanning 30 years I have been privileged to have worked on many prestigious projects, nationally in South Africa, in Dubai, and within Africa (Dar es Salaam & Lesotho).

I have designed the interiors of homes in Zimbali, two pent-house-private-residences at the Ritz Carlton in Dubai, Cotswold Downs, Bantry Bay, Steenberg Estate, Kalk Bay and many more.

Some of the interior design projects I have worked on have been featured on Top Billing and in leading SA publications.

phone-link-michele-higginsContact Michele to view portfolio

My love for interior design began as a student in 1990 where I completed the 3-year National Diploma in Interior Design - Durban Technikon.

After studying I honed my craft working at leading architectural and interior design firms, in Durban and Johannesburg, working my way up to senior interior designer, before starting my own business.

I pride myself in the reputation I have built as one of SA's leading interior designers, and consider interior design a vocation not my career.


Why Choose Michele

Soft Furnishings

Custom Designed Furniture

Benefits of choosing Michele


Interior design and interior decorating are often mistaken as the same thing, and it is useful to understand what type of service you need before contracting.

Interior design is the art and science of understanding people’s behavior to create functional spaces within a building, while interior decorating is the furnishing or adorning of a space with decorative elements to achieve a certain aesthetic.

“Interior designers will decorate, but decorators do not design.”

Interior Design Services

An interior designer analyzes and plans interior layouts - from drawing up the initial floor plans to placing the last decorative touches.

They sketch preliminary design plans, including electrical and furniture layouts. Specify materials and furnishings, such as lighting, furniture, wall finishes, flooring, and plumbing fixtures etc. Place orders for materials and oversee the installation of the design elements. Oversee construction and coordinate with general building contractors to implement the plans and specifications for the project.

Structural changes are sometimes involved (such as removing a wall, moving plumbing, or wiring, or adding new windows or doors), and designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements. In many cases an interior designer works with the client’s architects and builders.

Interior designers have studied color & fabric, computer-aided design (CAD), drawing, space planning, furniture design, architecture, and more. Upon graduating, designers often apprentice with an established interior designer before moving on to establish their own companies.

Interior Decorator Services

Interior Decorating is the furnishing and accessorizing of interior spaces - creating an aesthetic environment - painting walls, hanging wallpaper, selecting and placing furniture, installing window treatments, and adding accessories such as rugs, lamps, scatter cushions and wall art.

An Interior decorator will come in after the structural planning and execution are completed to focus on the surface look of the space.



Interior Designer Services

Whether you are planning a new-home-construction, adding on to your existing home, refurbishing, creating a brand-new space for entertaining, or you just need a guide on some of your ideas, contact me and let me help.

As a full-service interior designer, I offer services from conceptualization to installation. I provide my clients with a cohesive package from planning, through sketches to selection of fixtures and fittings right up to the final decorations and placement of furniture. Here are the four stages I follow:

Initial Meeting

An initial meeting to obtain a brief takes place at your home.

Concept Phase

It all begins with a deep dive into how you love to live. Your family, your personal joys, your lifestyle…these define the connecting thread that brings all the elements together. I take the time upfront to develop an understanding of my clients’ lifestyle and what their objectives are for the space. Even the little things such as a dedicated drop zone for your bags and keys will have a major impact on your day. Because when you walk through the door, you want to be greeted with comfort and ease.

During this phase I will listen carefully to your needs and this ensures that there are no surprises at the reveal, and you get what you dreamed of, and more.

Design Phase

I provide an artist’s impression of your home in the form of a detailed sketch, creating a space plan for each room. This sets the framework for your project. The layout and flow of rooms, positioning of fixtures, furniture etc. is detailed in this sketch and allows you to evaluate the design. The colour scheme development, material and finish selections will be planned in detail.

AutoCAD drawings and space planning, finish-schedules, construction documentation, and the final touches such as artwork selection and accessories will be provided. During this time, we can adjust, and working closely with you I will gain even more insight into your lifestyle and what dreams you have for your home.

I translate this information into timelines and produce a budget for the project. It is vital to balance your goals for a custom home with your budget. This phase will help you become more comfortable that I understand your needs and dreams.


The design is delivered to you, in the form of a personal PowerPoint presentation – on acceptance of this presentation - I will then provide a comprehensive budget with all costs and timelines.

Construction Phase

I do regular site visits and work closely with architects and contractors to ensure you get the home of your dreams.


Interior Decorator services

Whether you are moving into a new home or reinvigorating your current one, I will help you hone in on the furnishings and finishes that reflect your style and how you want to feel in your space.

Creating a beautiful yet functional space can be a difficult thing to achieve, leaving you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. The time taken deciding what you want, where to buy the products and how to ensure quality standards is a complex undertaking, and my 30 years’ experience offers my clients tremendous benefits.

I will help you to avoid costly mistakes matching colours, materials, furniture, fixtures, and fittings, and ensure that your interior decorating is cohesive and functional. I will save you money tapping into my massive supplier database and ensure that you are able to enjoy this process without the stress and frustrations of trying to understand how the various supplier industries operate.

Considering layouts, square meterage, and other elements of smart design, we will begin with a collaborative consultation process and then develop priorities, allocations, and timelines, to ensure that your design will reflect your style and will be one-of-a-kind.

My interior decorating process follows the following steps:


We meet at your home so that I get a feel for the space, and understand your aesthetic, style, and personal requirements. I have worked with many styles and will help you to draw on this experience to refine your needs and produce a design that delivers your dream home.


Once I understand your needs and dreams, I will create a mood board that conveys all the proposed furnishing and accessories. On acceptance of the proposal, I will provide a detailed budget and timeline. It is at this stage that changes, and additions will be identified, and the plans will be tweaked.


Over 30 years I have developed a massive database of suppliers across all interior decorating services and products. I will begin the sourcing and manufacturing of furniture and accessories as well as soft furnishings (curtains, bedding etc.), lighting, art and accessories. A project plan is created to ensure delivery of all elements at the same time to ensure efficient implementation.

Project implementation

The furniture and other elements will be laid out and styled, and any challenges will be managed and resolved to ensure a stress-free service that takes all the pressure off you.

Hand over

Once all the elements are delivered and placed, and you - the client - are happy, the project will be complete and handed over.


Custom Designed Furniture

Each room has a unique layout and constraints, and custom-made furniture can ensure that the end look is well fitted and creates an aesthetic that is beautiful, to scale and one of a kind. The challenge with defining colours, fit and sourcing crafts people are managed for you and you have the peace of mind that the end-product is beautiful and there will be no surprises in the years to come with material failure.

I offer a full service and handle the design & manufacture of your bespoke furniture: from couches, lounge suites, dining tables, kitchen & bedroom cupboards, headboards, wall units and feature pieces.

I have developed partnerships with the best craftspeople and cabinet makers and manage the projects from design to delivery.


Soft Furnishings

Curtains, decor, bedding, carpets and scatter cushions etc.

phone-link-michele-higginsContact Michele to view portfolio