Tessa Proudfoot & Associates was established in 2001 when the creative director, Tessa Proudfoot, decided to turn her several years of academic study and personal experience working in various sectors of the interior design industry into the creation of a small, personalised interior design consultancy.After graduating from the University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg) with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Tessa completed a post-graduate diploma in interior design at The White House, Cape Town, before spending six months in London studying History of Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

In 1984, in association with a well-established Durban-based firm of architects, she launched her own interior design business. Four years later she moved to Johannesburg and in 1991 joined Karen Lotter in a small retail design outlet known as Mona Lisa.

After several years in this retail venture, Tessa Proudfoot & Associates was established.

Less than a year after its launch, the company successfully delivered a commission for a private home outside Manhattan in New York. This was quickly followed by building a network of clients in the New York area as a supplier of South African custom-made furnishings.

International work was further explored during 2001 when sourcing relationships with antique dealers in Provence, France, was set up, and a luxury city apartment in Geneva was commissioned.

In 2004 Tessa Proudfoot and Associates, in association with Paragon Interiors, completed its first hospitality design commission at the privately-owned Makanyane Safari Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve. The project was featured in the Architectural Digest magazine in the United States shortly thereafter.

In 2006 the company became firmly established as one of South Africa’s leading interior design consultancies when Tessa won first prize at the annual Conde Nast House & Garden Rooms on View event. The consultancy has featured prominently in the Conde Nast list of top SA designers every year since then.  Tessa and her work have also featured in the Architectural Digest, and in the 2009/10 edition of Andrew Martin’s review of the world’s leading interior designers.