The Professionals.

April 27, 2020

Aka Dream Interpreters, Diplomats and Psychologists.

Out there, they call you interior designers, builders, architects, contractors and decorators. In here, we call you dream interpreters, diplomats and psychologists. You’re special people who – with all your profound knowledge, flair, industry smarts and creativity – take your clients’ dreams, together with often outlandish architectural and décor ideas, acknowledge their passions, wants and needs, and soothingly translate them into beautiful living. And while you conjure champagne style out of lemonade budgets, you make us all believe it was our idea all along.

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of your profession is putting your own personal ideas in your pocket and embracing the client’s needs and wants in a non-judgemental way. Never to force your own personal taste on the client. But taking the client’s ideas down to the bare bones and suggesting the very best ways to bring them to life in such a way that they are delighted and you are pleased. An outcome that pleases you but leaves the client unhappy would be a disaster.

You must have encountered many situations where your heart drops when you encounter what you think is a design nightmare. “Oh my word, more purple and silver than the cloak of a Disney witch! All the sage in the world won’t smudge out the bad juju!” So much psychology and diplomacy goes into the validation of another human being’s choice set. “That powerful purple tells me you love colour. Silver also tells me you like excitement in your décor. Your bold choices give us so much scope for possibility. What if we were to examine the various tones of purple, this takes us right through some softer lavenders and gives us even more to play with. Let’s look at the silver you adore: instead of putting it all into the curtaining, find a gorgeous grey, and then let’s create little pools of silver, in lamp bases, mirrors, maybe a silver tray or side tables.”

Professionals Blog

Your work is your passion. And any passion comes with pain points. Over the years, working alongside architects, designers and builders, we’ve been exposed to the challenges faced, in the design, build and finish of residential and commercial properties. We’ve been partners in the creation of many different types of spaces, keenly aware of the requirements of new builds, from seaside bungalows to The Michaelangelo in Sandton. We’ve been involved in renovations of all types, from the simpler one room redo to the complex home extensions. There are budgetary constraints and bottom line anxieties, labour costs to consider, installation nightmares, nimble footwork to avoid costly mistakes, being inventive and creative when the required material is out of stock or in short supply. Fast turnaround when clients want it NOW.

Think of us as your IID partners. We’re here as your IID accredited support system, with superb quality tiles, SAPS approved taps and showerheads, high end sanware, baths, basins and sinks, along with all the trims, accessories and installation products to finish your work in style.  But our support extends waaaaaay beyond mere materials, to services of every kind. And this blogpost, really, is all about the value we can’t wait to add to the professionals we haven’t yet met. (Or to the heroes we’ve already met who aren’t yet aware of our full basket of offerings.)

Fulfilling the need for a ‘story’. Aka ‘user experience and brand identity’. Even in the domestic market, there is a rising demand for residential interiors and commercial spaces that tell a story, share a message and create an emotional ‘connect’, across the design spectrum. Homeowners look to you for the translation of “who we are” into a beautiful house filled with personality. Companies demand the unpacking of their brand story into their surroundings. Furnishings, lighting and materials and finishes - right down to the toilet roll holder -  play a powerful role in the telling of the tales. Our webstore – one of the largest of its kind in Southern Africa – holds all our ranges: from fashionable pieces, to the latest looks, and timeless classics, to help you dress the personality you are interpreting.

Selling the idea. One of the biggest challenges you face. Sketches, pictures or floor plans have to work hard to try and express the feelings of an entire room. It’s difficult to sell something that doesn’t physically exist, even to the most imaginative client.

We offer a tile sample service, to help your clients touch, feel and experience texture and colour. We also encourage you to use our unique online Visualiser; it

has helped many of our customers to understand a design vision.

Eco chic. It’s the 21st century and we are all mindful of the need to mitigate the effects of climate crisis. The Green Building Council South Africa leads the way in the outlining of methodology for green blueprints; they promote green design and building practices into a national movement that will help change the way our world is built. We value the work they do in our industry, and continue to develop and grow our own green business journey, with sustainability informing the design of new stores, and shaping our partnerships with suppliers, and our own manufacturers. This is our LiveGreen mandate. 

Live Green Banner

Italtile’s Commercial Division. It often comes as a surprise to our customers that we’re not just domestic in scale. We’ve partnered up with a variety of green builds – from the planning stage, through to final finishes. To give you an idea of our diversity, there’s the towering Leonardo in Sandton, and Loftus Park in Pretoria; the controlled and sterile environment of Stellenbosch University’s Civil Engineering laboratories; the world-renowned and imaginative Bosjes Farm, and luxury boutique hotels like Nelspruit’s Chill Pepper and the Signature Lux Hotel by ONOMO near the Cape Waterfront. Our super-experienced Commercial Agents have also had total oversight of the supply and installation of products in sensitive renovations to historic properties, like Rupert and Rothschild’s Fredericksburg Farm, and the ‘binnehuis interior’ of Loch Lynne in Durbanville. 

Commercial Building

The Commercial Division reaches out to our Commercial clients for regular product training and knowledge exchange sessions with our international partners, like Ceramica Sant’Agostino and Atlas Concorde. All training sessions offer CPD points.

Our Commercial Division has a national footprint, and is headed up by Marius Maree… who’s currently gearing up, with his team, to offer a full range of support services to the commercial customers of Italtile Gabarone, just across the border. 

Italtile’s Residential Agents. If you’re working on the renovation or build of a residential property, our Residential Agents are here to act as liaison and in-the-field agents; they’ll work with you to really optimise the value you bring to your clients’ projects. 

Italtile’s Professional Installation Service. Reliable and skilled labour is… well, it’s the silver bullet, isn’t it? So much hangs on the attention to detail in finishes. We’re pretty sure you have your own teams who you’ve worked with over the years. However, if one of your trusted sources is not available at a time when you need to get work done, please consider our Professional Installation Service: tried and trusted teams who are skilled, reliable and well-referenced.


Chapters Design and Chapters Design Academy. Our sales advisers are design certified, and attend regular refresher courses and trend update seminars. All this training and knowledge transfer is thanks entirely to Melanie Ewing, the outstandingly talented and much-awarded CEO of Chapters Design. Her Academy runs staff training as well as online design courses aimed at all levels. Her company is one of the few in South Africa to have membership with the GBCSA. If you are looking to update your knowledge, or you’re a talented amateur looking to go pro, start your next ‘chapter’ with Melanie. 

Special offer exclusive to Italtile customers: Get a further 20% off all Chapters Interiors’ current online course lockdown prices. Apply at, using the special code  ITALTILE2020_CHPT05

Enjoy our latest lockdown design download with Melanie, up on the Italtile YouTube channel.

Honestly, we don’t know how you do what you do, but we celebrate you and offer our admiration, along with our support and services. We’re your pain relief partners and we can’t wait to help you create beautiful spaces for your clients.


Here’s to beautiful living.