CREATOR, DESIGNER, DECORATOR, INFLUENCER, STYLIST, EVENTIST, SPEAKER, BLOGIST & ENTERTAINER
Living an inspired life, surrounded with great design !
CRAIG K. WHITEHEAD
FOUNDER & DIRECTOR - CKW LIFESTYLE ASSOCIATES PTY LTD
CKW LIfestyle Design, Collections and Events incl.
Craig K. Whitehead's impressive 28 year track record in Interior Design and Architecture, started as a design and decor graduate from Johannesburg, and has proven him to be a tenacious design entrepreneur. His skillset as a lone-wolf interior designer and decorator / furniture consultant was first earned in his five years of practically running a small furniture and curtain workroom in Pretoria which he helped grow into an enterprising design business- without ever having worked in a full time design position for a firm before.
His formative previous experiences were among other things, working for a fabric house, and his internship shadow work as a student decorator on the last interior design renovation of the illustrious Johannesburg Carlton Hotel for the late internationally acclaimed designer Gerard Kokt. Other opportunities such as assisting various big name designers and fabric houses through a curtain business he worked for as a student back in the eighties, included designing curtains, upholstery, soft furnishing and window treatments.
In no time Craig was a celebrated designer and decorator on the Johannesburg and Pretoria scene furnishing homes, offices and embassies alike. The sale of the business he worked in led to his desire to own his own design practice. An eager move but one no less exhilarating with all it's life lessons to come. After a stint in the musical arts, Craig founded his business in 1996 at twenty-fours years of age. He took an office in an old Art Deco boxing club building his father operated in Ellis Park JHB, originally opened by Sir George Albu in 1945. From here he worked odd interior jobs even walking to his first appointments or taking public transport with no ownership of his own car. Soon enough he acquired a lucrative contract and partnered with renowned architect Hugo Hamity (with whom he still works regularly today) and the multi award winning company Atelier Architects - forming a collaborative company called Atelier Whitehead Incorporated, creating stunning interiors and finishes for some very lucrative residential and commercial clients. Here Craig honed his skills as an interior architectural consultant on designing finishes and interiors for many of their joint-venture architectural and interior design clients. Together bringing their own special brand of magic on decor and architecture to the South African home and leisure sectors.
At just twenty six years of age Craig was recognised among ten leading interior designers at various Star Home Show Exhibitions after he went on to complete a project in team with his then architectural partners on a 1 400 m2 home which would gain him a ten page spread including front cover of a new up and coming design and lifestyle publication - SA Homeowner in 1998.
He has since worked on his own again and with teams of staff and designers and created incredible homes, offices and leisure spaces for his affluent clientele. One such friend and client is the respected event organiser Edith Venter with whom he collaborated on various charity and corporate events, which would bring his love of entertaining and the musical arts he once also enjoyed on his journey - to the fore. Now also creating extraordinary events, weddings and celebrations. Teaming up with 1st for women and CANSA saw his one fundraiser event raise over 1 Million Rand for CANSA in Women's Cancers research from 1st for women.
Paying homage to his acting and singing talents (once even as an Elvis & Elton John tributist ) Craig is currently collaborating and working with Jacques Terre'blanche, a local musical performer to rehearse, write and record his first ever solo demo album. If living a full life is testament to his many experiences and achievements, why not include his love of music and the arts?
Craig's philosophy is simple " Never get too busy building a life, that you forget to live one, and live it well. Life is so short and we owe it to ourselves to lead a rich bountiful life." Living well, in freedom with one's self and your talents, without fuss or the fear of failure - is at the core of what Craig is all about. Having gone through quite a traumatic and life altering experience, Craig has seen fit to open his heart and mind to influencing and encouraging others with talks on how to live their best lives too, mostly in how they live and how they enjoy their lives on a daily basis.
Craig's celebratory, deeply spiritual approach to his very transparent work ethic teamed with his tough no nonsense entrepreneurial spirit and his desire for stylish easy living, make him a creative force with an incredible spirit of fortitude and an inspiration to all his clients and friends alike. Paying homage to great design aesthetics, sharing the work with skilled artisans and consultants and being practical, transparent and knowledgeable in his approach to all his clients and commissions.
Craig's greatest testament comes when his clients realise he is well organised and equipped to offer many practical well versed alternatives to their various design and architectural challenges. Mostly because the style is theirs, the space is theirs to enjoy after all...but the skill, passion and creativity of making it all work best is CKW's (as he is professionally known) - This is most likely Craig 'Kingston' Whitehead's greatest creative strength as a designer.