From Success to Significance

From Success to Significance
With her trade-mark style and enthusiasm, Dorothy spoke to us about her latest project…

You are a world-renown interior designer. Why did you venture into this industry?
I entered into interior design and decorating out of necessity as a young single parent to provide for and educate my two daughters. Through God’s grace and hard work I won many local and international awards including Worlds Best Classical Interior Design Award and Worlds Best Contemporary Interior Design Award at Royal Ascot, England.

God is the Master Designer. How has He influenced your career?
God is the source of all creation.  We are created in the image and likeness of the Almighty God. Therefore in each of us there is an inherent creativity which is waiting to burst forth. God is my source and inspiration. He is the ultimate creator and all my creativity comes from Him. I start everyday with a quiet time with the Lord and commit each project into His hands.
When the going is sometimes so tough and things seem impossible (the construction industry is not for the faint hearted) my team always suggests “let’s pray”. God works miracles, things happen and we have supernatural favour and each project reflects His Masterstrokes.

God leads, directs and inspires me through thoughts, ideas and His creation in nature. I have been blessed with a gift, that when I walk into a room, I see the completed design. I always seek Him and He inspires and directs me. I am privileged to be in business with my husband Bernard Deeb, who holds BCom CA, MBA qualifications; together we make a great team!

What makes an excellent designer?
Design with Flair and Passion; think out of the box. Maintain professionalism whilst keeping the client in the loop and ensure the design journey remains inspiring.

You have designed for hotels, corporate offices and homes. Now you are partnering with a Christian university. Why?
I have reached a place in my life now, where I would like to give back to others and impart significant wisdom to Christian students – hence the partnership with Cornerstone Institute. I have been blessed with many wonderful contracts in hotels, corporate head offices and beautiful homes. Some of the exciting contracts include a 240 bedroom hotel for Four Points Sheraton in Lagos, Nigeria. Working in Africa is challenging, colourful and inspiring. I love the people of Africa and enjoy the passion with which they live their lives. The names of clients are confidential and many famous and significant people from around the world have graced my offices. I enjoy working with captains of industry and people of influence as they always stretch my creativity. The more I commit my talents to God the more my gifts grow through His favour.

What can one expect to achieve at the Cornerstone/DVR Academy?
Students will receive a two year Higher Certificate in Interior Design and Decoration. The Dorothy van’t Riet Design Academy started 12 years ago when Garden and Home Magazine approached me to write a basic course on design and décor for it’s readers. Little did I know God’s plan for this venture, with in excess of 2 000 students ranging from 18 – 70 years old having done the course. Students included doctors, psychologists, law professors, architects, interior designers, housewives, school teachers, school leavers, domestic helpers and prison inmates. This was a God inspired course which empowered and equipped people to start up their own businesses. Lives were changed and made whole.
The course motto is “unleash the creative ability within you”, and we also ran many seminars to help students succeed from a business perspective. Students came from throughout South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia, DRC, USA, UK, Europe and Dubai. We also ran a Design Academy in Nigeria. Although this course was secular in nature many people became born-again. The course has undergone many revisions, and is now at the stage where the accreditation from the Department of Education is pending.

God directed me to Michael Louis, CEO of Louis Group Africa and the Chairman of Cornerstone Institute, who invited us to integrate our course into the Cornerstone Institute curriculum. I have desired for over 12 years to start a Design and Décor University and God’s grace has now made this a reality. I believe that the decision to bring DVR Academy under the Cornerstone banner is a move from ‘Success to Significance’, so that God will receive all the glory.

Contact info for the course
To contact DVR Interior Design for your interior project, call 011 786 2028 or see To attend her course at Cornerstone Institute, call 021 671 3506 or  071 192 9933 or