Dezyna Interiors : Holistic Design

Nicolene Mausenbaum
Nicolene Mausenbaum

Nicolene Mausenbaum, Founder of Dezyna Interiors, discusses how her holistic approach to interior design considers the wellness of mind, body, and soul.


Art, design, and performance arts have been a lifelong passion of mine; some of my earliest memories are of drawing, painting, and doing arts and crafts of all kinds. 

Interior design is often misunderstood as a superfluous profession that can be easily achieved by any amateur. In truth, it is a multi-faceted discipline with many sub-specialties that requires many years’ worth of study and experience – it not only improves people’s environments, but their lives, too. 

As I grew older, I came to appreciate the levels of intricacies involved in design and architecture, which ultimately led me to opt to study interior design over getting a communications degree once I had left high school.  

I achieved my diploma in interior design after three years of study from 1996 to 1998 at Technikon Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, one of the leading design colleges at that time. I couldn’t wait to get out into the ‘real’ world, and started my career in furniture retail for a year before working for a corporate design firm. 

This was the start of my corporate interior career, and even when I began freelancing a few years later, office interiors remained a favourite.  

I’ve had the pleasure of designing all types of interiors since the inception of my career – residential, hospitality, commercial, retail, and even hospital interior design.  

Eventually, I decided it was time to create my own opportunities to design unique interiors, so I founded my company, Dezyna Interiors


I naturally approach interiors from a holistic point of view. I would not be doing my job as an interior design professional if I did not pay keen attention to the requirements – spoken and unspoken – of my clients.  

Holistic design is one of the many facets of interior design; it considers the wellness of the mind, body, and soul, and combines the practices of biophilic design (incorporating a variety of forms of nature in design), colour psychology, human biology, and ergonomics, to name a few.  

Holistic design incorporates not only physical elements, such as lighting and furniture, but also emotional and spiritual aspects, such as the energy flow and the connection to the nature of the space. It aims to create an interior that is not only visually pleasing, but also promotes relaxation, harmony, and a sense of well-being.   

The use of natural materials, such as wood, stone, and plants, is often incorporated to bring a connection to nature into the space. The incorporation of natural light, proper ventilation, and biophilic design elements is also a common feature of holistic interior design. The use of colour, texture, and pattern is another carefully considered aspect in order to create a cohesive and harmonious space. 

It is an in-depth formula that can be curated to each individual through careful consideration and design.

“Holistic design incorporates not only physical elements, such as lighting and furniture, but also emotional and spiritual aspects, such as the energy flow and the connection to the nature of the space”

Nicolene Mausenbaum, Founder, Dezyna Interiors


I am proud to say that I am a Professional Senior Interior Design member of The South African Institute of the Interior Design Professions (IID).  

The IID is the only professional body for interior architects, designers, decorators, education institutions, and suppliers to the interior design industry in South Africa.  

The institute promotes awareness and recognition of the status of professional members to government and public and business communities.   

The IID is dedicated to establishing, promoting, and maintaining expertise, professionalism, and high standards throughout the industry. Its annual programme of continued professional development (CPD) workshops and seminars promotes continued learning as a key element of professional interior design practice, and as a member, I have a code of ethics to adhere to, in order to honour the dignity of my profession. I also have a professional obligation to further the social and aesthetic standards of the design community. 

Being a member of the IID not only demonstrates my status as a business professional with valuable  skills, but also reiterates my credibility, enhancing the trust and confidence of my clients in my ability as an industry professional.


Interestingly, the COVID-19 pandemic created new opportunities with the advent of work from home and virtual design.  

As with all spaces, I enjoy the challenge of creating the ideal office interior for the individual. No two people are alike; therefore, no two design briefs are the same, which is exciting for me as a designer.  

Creating a functional, aesthetically pleasing interior – even in conceptual form – that my client loves to be in is always the goal and truly rewarding when accomplished. This principle applies across the board, from large corporations to store owners, homeowners, and even apartment dwellers. 

Including virtual design as part of my service has afforded unlimited global work opportunities. People often ask how I manage e-design successfully, but it is possible. Having over 25 years of design experience also aids in understanding what my clients would really like.  

Not only do I design the space for my clients, but thanks to the internet, I can recommend furniture and finishes from their favourite stores, anywhere in the world.  

Since introducing e-design to Dezyna Interiors’ list of offerings, I’ve successfully consulted and completed design work for residential, retail, commercial, and corporate interiors locally and internationally. 

Having the opportunity to network with amazing people, not only in South Africa but all around the world, is another positive development for the business. I am proud to say that Dezyna Interiors recently received the African Excellence Award for Best Unique Interior Design Studio in Johannesburg.

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Nicolene Mausenbaum is the founder of Dezyna Interiors.