Eva Sonaike Tips On Decorating With African Textiles

 

African textiles offer a fascinating array of colours, patterns and textures that can instantly transform an interior. But with so much on offer it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start especially for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the fabrics. So to help you get started we caught up with London based textile and interior furnishings designer, Eva Sonaike for her tips on decorating with African textiles. And here is what she had to say…

It is 2017 and I can proudly say that ‘Africa is the New Black’! We launched our new FALOMO RISE Collection at Maison & Objet in Paris earlier this year, the feedback from press and buyers has been great and I was pleasantly surprised to see such a strong and diverse presence of the African aesthetic in the world of design, across many disciplines. Even better, I read an article in a German newspaper, that talked about Ikea’s collaboration with designers from across the African content to develop a new ‘Africa’ collection that will launch in 2019! So I assume you agree with me when I say ‘Africa IS the new black’.

But how do you incorporate African textiles in your home without achieving an over-ethnicized or stereotypical look?

 

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Interview With South African Furniture and Interior Designer Siyanda Mbele

Siyanda Mbele South African Furniture and Interior Design

 

Siyanda Mbele is a rising star in the contemporary South African furniture and product design industry. His streamlined and stylish designs regularly reference his Zulu heritage. We caught up with the designer to find out a bit more about his inspirations and the importance of culture to design:

 

1. What led you to furniture design, how long have you been working in the industry, and what do you enjoy most about your job?

I have always been interested in created objects. At first I was obsessed with drawing/ designing cars. Gradually I started loving furniture specifically tables, this was back in 2009. After finishing my first year in University, I knew for sure that I want to pursue furniture design. I have been in the industry since 2013, never had a full time job, and always been part time. I enjoy designing and seeing the final product, and what happens in-between that is normally crazy.

 

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4 Ways To Incorporate African Style Into Modern Interiors

 

As the seasons change thoughts often turn to a new look or refreshing an existing one. To help you on your way we turned to Thandi Mbali Renaldi, founder of stylish online interiors boutique Kudu for some tips on how to incorporate African Style into modern interiors…

With winter soon drawing to a close here in Europe I am really starting to enjoy the lunchtime spring sunshine that steams through my kitchen window. My thoughts turn to how to refresh our interior in preparation for the change of season. It is time to move things around a little. This will include removing and cleaning the lovingly-curated items from all over the African continent that are dotted around the house on shelves and displayed on walls; ostrich eggs, Zulu beer gourds, vintage watercolours, to name but a few. Anyone walking into our house will not fail to notice the reminders of the African continent that sit alongside its 19th century Belgian architecture. When I look at our house however, I sometimes ask myself: is our home a reflection of an ‘African style’? Does such a thing exist? I do not profess to have either invented it, or be an ‘expert’ in defining it. The African continent is a marvellous source of creative inspiration for my particular interior style. In my case, it reflects some of who I am but you do not need to have travelled to or be from Africa to use African elements in your interior space.

A question I am often asked is: how to integrate African style into a modern interior? If you feel overwhelmed about where to begin here are a few points to remember.

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LIHA Beauty Inspired By West African Skin Care Traditions

We have gone through a cold snap of late, the icy winter winds contrasted with the drying effects of central heating leaving skin feeling skin a bit distressed. Whether you are in a cold or hot climate, it is important to protect your skin as each season comes with its own set of challenges that can be harmful to exposed skin if you go not care for it properly. And with more of us shunning chemical laden products in favour of natural skin care ones it can be tricky to find natural products that are what they say they are. So had to share when I came across LIHA, a natural beauty brand made in Cheltenham and Hackney. The brand focuses on producing small batches of natural skin care products, inspired by the age old West African skin care tradition of making beautifying oils, soaps and lotions from the local nuts, tree bark and plants that grew in abundance; a skill that was traditionally learned by all young women.

 

[Main credit:  LIHA Skin Care collection]

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Graham and Green Chic African Print and Velvet Cocktail Chairs

 

Currently crushing on these gorgeous Cocktail chairs from UK retailer Graham and Green. The chairs are upholstered in the front with sumptuous jewel-toned velvets in yellow and teal, and each colour way paired with a complementary intricately patterned African print wax textile to the back. The result is classic design with modern appeal. Cocktail chairs are a 1950s mid-century design classic, sought after for their simple yet chic silhouettes. The chairs make great accent pieces in living spaces, and these will be ideal for those looking to incorporate some Afro chic interior inspiration.

[Image credit: Alpana Velvet Chair – Graham and Green ]

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Africa Travel Mhondoro Game Lodge Spotlights African Design

 

Mhondoro Game Lodge in Welgevonden Reserve, South Africa opened in early 2016, and seeks to move beyond being just another luxury Africa travel bush destination. Designed to give guests a seamless experience of luxury interiors and bushveld landscape Mhondoro Game Lodge combines cutting-edge architecture with some of the best in African design interior inspiration. The Mhondoro Game Lodge was created by interior designer Myriam Vogel who co-owns the lodge with her husband Frank.

 

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Fashion Cities Africa Marking Africa’s Influence On Global Fashion

Fashion Cities Africa Exhibition

Fashion Cities Africa is a major UK based exhibition that explores and celebrates the African continent’s influence and contribution to global fashion. The exhibition which opened earlier this year on 30th April at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery explores the diverse fashion and style of four leading African cities, Casablanca in Morocco; Nairobi in Kenya; Lagos in Nigeria and Johannesburg in South Africa. Cities that are at the compass points of the African continent. Fashion Cities Africa tackles the misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding African fashion and its diverse expressions of creativity.
[Main image credit: Fashion Cities Africa, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery – Judith Ricketts]
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Modern African Furniture Design At Dubai Design Week

Modern African Furniture Design, African Furniture Designer Jomo Tariku
Dubai Design Week opens today and among the many events and works being showcased is The Birth Chair II, modern African furniture design by Ethiopian/American furniture designer, Jomo Tariku. The Birth Chair II is inspired by African birthing chairs which are still being used in some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and are also being incorporated in mainstream design as decorative pieces. The Birth Chair II is crafted from a single bent piece with clean lines for the seat and a sliding back rest with artistic carvings in the front and back. The idea behind Jomo’s design is to allow people to use a similar design of back rests as a theme or different variations as a set. The interchangeable functionality of the backrest provides the user to be creative in decorating a room of their choice. The Birth Chair II is a trendsetting idea that Jomo hopes to use as a platform for his dream of bringing modern African furniture design to the mainstream design world.
[Main image credit: Birth Chair II – Jomo Design]
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