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Spring has begun bringing with it longer and warmer days, and the swapping of heavy accessories for lighter ones. Interiors and lifestyle retailer KuDu, whom we profiled on Atelier Fifty-Five shortly after their launch, introduces their new Spring/Summer 2016 collection of African interior design style homeware and lifestyle pieces sourced from the studios of talented designers and artisans from Africa. Perfect for the season ahead, Atelier Fifty-Five adores the refreshingly, modern colour palette.

[Image credits: top, Mungo cotton Kikoy; centre and bottom,
Baobab Batik Hand-dyed batik cushions – KuDu]
KuDu’s stylish African interior design style home accessories edit sees pure cotton Itawuli bath towels in bold, earthy inspired tones; Ruti loom kikoys, must-haves for your summer wardrobes with their multi-functionality as beach cover-ups, scarves or sarongs; all by South African textile company, Mungo; and the striking designs, light-weight fabrics and refreshing colour palettes from Baobab Batik’s cushion covers hand made and printed in Swaziland. For the kitchen South African artist, Carol Nevin’s handcrafted tea towels, aprons and oven gloves adorned with local flora and fauna patterns will add a pop of summer colour.
[Image credits: Decorative pieces and artefacts, including White Bangle,
White Shell Display necklace, and White Bone Beads 
– KuDu]
Also in the collection is a selection of authentic African artefacts and ornaments chosen to complement the modern home. Decorative cowrie shell beads, bone beads, and vintage Dinka shawls bring the soulful touch of a rich creative heritage. And, especially commissioned by KuDu founder, Thandi Mbali Renaldi, is a selection of wire animal head sculptures, each made from stainless steel wire and individually threaded glass beads. Choose from a Zebra with stripes, a Goat with horns, and in a nod to the brand name a Kudu with its distinctive spiral horns.
[Image credits: Hand-sculpted wire and glass bead Kudu animal heads – KuDu]
These are just a few of the pieces available from KuDu, whose mission is ‘to embrace the beautiful, traditional and modern styles of the African continent’. Visit their online boutique for more products that will bring contemporary African interior design style and creativity to your home and lifestyle this summer.
Additional details:
For further information about KuDu and to purchase visit:
[Image credits: All images belong to KuDu. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
  • Instagram Image
  • Colourful basketry, soulful sculpture and an elegant candle make a nice placeholder we think, as we prepare to usher in a new chapter of the Atelier Fifty Five journey. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive