Turning every shelter into a sanctuary of opulence and comfort.

CarobMagazine Africa talks to Ntongase Mathabela, founder of Nto Interiors, a young interior designer with a talent for turning any space into an elegant sanctuary of opulence and comfort. She can turn a shack into a five star hotel. We chat to her about her work and take a look at spaces she’s been able to transform.

Carob Magazine Africa: Give us a brief background on who Nto is, where were you born and how was it like growing up?

NTO: I am mostly referred to as Nto, my full name is Ntongase Mathabela.  I was born in the southern part of Johannesburg and spent my entire childhood there until I got married. From a young age, creativity has been a significant part of my life, almost like a divine gift. I excelled in any creative task I undertook. My journey began at Mondeor High School, where I explored various creative avenues such as virtual art, participation in fashion shows, and even delving into business ventures like selling cupcakes as a debutant. Over the years, I’ve continued to explore my creativity through endeavours like oil painting, event planning, baking designer cakes, and my true passion, interior design, which has proven to be the most successful and fulfilling for me.

Carob Magazine Africa: You’re able to transform any spaces into dream homes. When did you first realize that you have a talent for this?  

NTO: My love for decorating spaces blossomed at a young age, nurtured by the trust my mother placed in me to make decorative decisions for our home. Regardless of the budget, I could always find a way to make a space beautiful. I engaged in DIY projects, such as installing wallpapers, and vividly recall a time when I convinced my mother to change wallpapers three times until we found the perfect one that captivated everyone who visited. My parents’ home served as my initial canvas to explore my talent, where I eagerly undertook projects like mixing paints for our household painting endeavours, drawing from my high school experience in visual arts. Over the years, I began investing time in pursuing interior design through short courses, watching YouTube videos, and immersing myself in home décor shows such as “The Block” and “Dream Home Makeover.”

Carob Magazine Africa: What inspired you to start Nto Interiors?

NTO: Interior design had been my aspiration from a young age, although financial constraints led me to initially pursue Sports Management and later a postgraduate degree in Business Administration. However, determined to pursue my passion, I leveraged social media to showcase my talent and demonstrate that I could create stunning spaces with limited resources. My aim with Nto Interiors was to democratize interior design, making it accessible and affordable to everyone, not just reserved for affluent clients or corporate spaces. I want to infuse comfort, functionality, and homeliness into every space I touch.

Carob Magazine Africa: You have been able to gain a lot of followers and business since inception, what do you attribute your business success to?

NTO: I see my business poised for exponential growth, akin to a plane ready to take flight. The groundwork laid through my @home_with_nto brand over the past two years has been instrumental in building Nto Interiors. By sharing relatable content, I’ve allowed people to witness the evolution of my homemaking talent through my personal space.

Carob Magazine Africa: What has been rye most exciting or challenging project you’ve ever worked on and why?

NTO: One of the most exhilarating and demanding projects was the renovation of @happiness_thabile_winpride’s bedroom. Transforming a modest shack into a luxurious bedroom was both challenging and rewarding. Despite no structural changes, we achieved a remarkable transformation, resembling a lavish hotel room while ensuring functionality. It required creativity in materials selection, creating textured walls, and choosing furniture that suited the space, all while maintaining a style that was easy for the client to upkeep, even if they were to relocate. This project emphasized the notion that luxury and functionality need not be exclusive to grandiose mansions; every shelter can be a sanctuary of opulence and comfort.

Carob Magazine Africa: Where do you see your business in five years?

NTO: I envision Nto Interiors as an internationally renowned interior design firm with our own warehouse housing custom-made furniture. With a showroom that will allow clients to experience our products first-hand, further establishing our brand as a hallmark of quality and creativity.

Carob Magazine Africa: Where or who do you draw your inspiration, and why?

NTO: Studio McGee serves as a significant source of inspiration for me. Their journey from showcasing talent through renovating their own home to building a successful business epitomizes the power of hard work and dedication.

Carob Magazine Africa: What words of advice can you offer to our readers aspiring to start or expand their businesses?

NTO: Believe in your vision, put in the hard work, and be prepared to navigate obstacles. Initially, focus on investing in and nurturing your business, even if profitability seems distant. Success often requires perseverance and a willingness to overcome challenges along the way. “Persist despite the odds.”

Carob Magazine Africa: Last but not least kindly share your contacts for people who are interested in booking your services.

NTO: You can reach us at:

Email: info.ntocreations@gmail.com

Cell: 073 162 8772


·        Nto_interiors

·        Home_with_nto

By Carob

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