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Dedani collection

It’s cold here at the moment, and when the temps dip towards the minus figures, it’s all I can do not to spend the days hibernating, drinking tea and snuggled under a blanket for some much-needed warmth. The cosy cashmere and wool blend blankets from Dedani Collection would be perfect allowing me to hibernate in style. Dedani Collection is a South African textiles brand that is creating handcrafted interior and fashion textiles from luxurious natural fibres. 

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A Peaceful Weekend Home In Zimbabwe’s Matobo Hills

  Matobo also known as Matopos in the southern region of Zimbabwe is an area of outstanding natural beauty, known for its imposing gravity-defying granite formations, balancing rock formations created by the gradual erosion of the area’s granite plateau. These formations form the Matobo National Hills a part of the Matobo National Park. The Matobo Hills are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as the area is recognised for the highest concentration of prehistoric rock paintings in Southern Africa. It is also the historical land of King Mzilikazi and his son Lobengula. For lovers of wildlife, the Matobo National Park is […]

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YSWARA Brings Their Elegant Tearoom Experience To Ghana

  The launch of luxury tea brand YSWARA’s Johannesburg tearoom has been joined by the opening of one in Accra, Ghana. The YSWARA tearoom and boutique is part of a collaborative space shared with local retailer Luxury Living and Akrafo, YSWARA’S sister brand of gourmet condiment’s, bringing gourmet and interior decor experience to the city’s stylish residents.  

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Eva Sonaike’s Tips On Decorating With African Fabric

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 […]

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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 […]

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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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YSWARA Unveils A Tranquil Tearoom To Savour Precious African Teas

  There is nothing I love more than a good cup of tea, the stronger the better. Anytime is teatime as far as I am concerned, so you can only imagine what I think about those who take their tea as seriously as I do. Like YSWARA for instance, the luxury tea brand championing made in Africa, who are reviving the ceremony of ancient African tea drinking rituals with its offering of specially blended teas and accompanying accessories. And now you can immerse yourself fully in the YSWARA brand experience with the launch of their flagship tearoom and store in […]

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100% Design South Africa Chic African Interior Design Inspiration

August heralds the start of the global design exhibition season, which runs for several months. In Johannesburg, 100% Design South Africa, billed as the go-to interior design show for all things African design will run from the 5th-9th August. Now in its third year 100% Design South Africa will channel continental African cool with its abundance of contemporary ‘Chic Afrique’ – African interior design inspiration content.

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KuDu Spring Summer Contemporary African Interior Design Style Edit

  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.

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KuDu Redefining The Way We View African Interior Design Style

‘Africa is Beautiful. Africa is Home.’ Two concise, yet perfectly self explanatory statements that define the ethos of KuDu Home, a stylish online interiors boutique that presents contemporary African interior design style in the form of covetable curated collections of rare artifacts, luxurious contemporary furnishings, homeware, and decorative and lifestyle accessories made in Africa. Taking its name from a species of African antelope, renowned for its grace, beauty and stature, KuDu Home is the latest in a new wave of interior retailers redefining the way we view design and creativity from Africa, avoiding the stereotypes, and instead seeking to introduce a […]

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Peponi House Modern African Interior Design Style

A kiSwahili word meaning paradise, ideal or idyllic place or state, ‘Peponi’ is the name given to a thoughtfully styled home, whose Kenyan owner’s wanted their living space to reflect this sentiment by creating a sanctuary from the bustling city. A three-story Victorian conversion, located in London’s Notting Hill, Peponi House pays homage to contemporary African interior design style and culture, drawing on the owner’s layered cultural background, travels and memories. Completed in February 2015, Peponi House was designed by Studio [D] Tale, who were commissioned to create a ‘home from home’ experience. Founded by Safia Qureshi and Maxwell Mutanda, […]

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Modern Islamic and North African Interior Design Inspiration

Visiting 100% Design in early autumn I came across Mica, a gallery and interiors design company that specialises in modern Islamic and North African interior design and contemporary arts. Based in the UK Mica was founded in 2009 by Reedah El-Saie. At 100% Design, and also Decorex, Reedah launched Mica’s debut contemporary Islamic home interiors collection entitled ‘MICA Zen’. The collection is rooted in traditional Islamic art & architecture and centres on the point of infinity, embodying the principles of beauty and balance. Reedah sought to fuse Eastern holistic designs with Western creativity to create a stylish collection of Islamic and North African interior design […]

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AphroChic Home Decor Book Remix: Decorating with Culture, Objects and Soul

Earlier this month, the beautifully illustrated AphroChic home decor book, Remix: Decorating with the Culture, Objects and Soul was launched by bloggers Jeanine Hays and Bryan the bloggers behind the chic interiors blog, AphroChic. Remix is beautifully illustrated, filled with inspiration and tips on how to tastefully infuse culture into modern design aesthetics, and avoiding the cliches that end to come with creating culturally inspired spaces. Indeed, the couple have long been championing cultural diversity in design through their blog, and textiles company. Drawing inspiration from global cultures from France, to India to Africa and beyond, the couple believe that design should be […]

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South African Interior Design Truth Coffee’s Steampunk Inspired HQ

[Image credit: Truth Coffee Interior – Haldane Martin] The Steampunk aesthetic of science fiction with a dose of fantasy, and inspired by 19th-century Victorian industrial steam-powered machinery combined technology is proving an increasingly popular lifestyle culture, applied to everything from fashion to interiors. One such interior is that of Truth Coffee, a Cape Town-based café, coffee shop and dive bar whose fantastical interior transports you to the industrial workhouses of the Victorian era. Founded on an ethos of serving proper, fresh home-roasted coffee the team behind Truth Coffee sought a look and feel that would designer embody their philosophy, and collaborated […]

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African Interior Design Inspiration A Minimalist Home in South Africa

When I first came across the idyllic image of the open doors of this house on Pinterest, I spent ages trying to track down images of the rest of it to no avail; however the house has found me after an unrelated search. Marrying modern minimalism with traditional style, this airy open plan home situated in South Africa makes for a cooling; relaxing retreat in gloriously, hot summer days and offers up some wonderful African interior design inspiration and ideas. [Main image source: Minimalist House, South Africa – Home Trend Design]

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DO.II Interior Design Modern African Interior Design Style

Ifeyinwa Ighodalo creates bespoke high-end innovative, yet timeless interior design solutions that showcase a contemporary African interior design style aesthetic, Ifeyinwa is a Nigerian interior design industry and furniture manufacturing professional with over twenty-five years in the business. Believing ‘that a home should elicit excitement, joy and pleasure as you come home to it and live in it’ Ifeyinwa founded the company DO.II Designs, with aim of bringing her creative expertise to a range of discerning clients within the country. DO.II Designs works in four key areas encompassing interior design, furniture manufacturing, space planning and remodelling. [Image credits: Orange Place – DO.II Designs]

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Nando’s Interior Design Bustling South African Market Vibe

Nando’s flame-grilled Portuguese/Mozambican style chicken, is a favourite in my household, not just for the taste, but also because of the familiarity the brand brings in transporting us back home for a little while. The South African based restaurant chain opened up in Zimbabwe the early nineties, so being able to pop into one in the UK is always a welcome reminder. Nando’s was founded in South Africa in 1987, and now has restaurants in over thirty countries, including over 250 restaurants in the UK alone.

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Moroccan Embraces African Interior Design Inspiration

The Moroccan home of UK fashion designer, Liza Bruce and her artist husband Nicholas Alvis Vega, featured in Elle Decor, is a feast for the eyes; a place where pattern, detail and colour abound. Liza, who made her name designing swimwear in the 1980s, began her travels to Morocco in 2003 sourcing material for her collections, and after several trips to the country sought to establish a base. A trip to the Ourika Valley, a riverside region situated south of Marrakech in the foothills of the Atlas mountains revealed an abandoned, half-built riad in a Berber market village where she has developed a local and […]

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Singita Mara River Tented Camp Afro Chic Interior Design

    Luxury game reserve specialist, Singita introduce a new camp to their safari camp and lodges portfolio. The Singita Mara River Tented camp in Tanzania is located in the remote Lamai Triangle region, the northern most tip of the Serengeti National Park. In keeping with the laidback luxury style of their other properties in South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, (see the Singita Pamushana Lodge featured here), preview pictures of the new camp reveal a refreshing, modern take on the safari chic aesthetic by channeling a modern Afro chic interior design. [Image credit/source: Mara Tented River Camp – Singita]

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African Print And Afro Chic Interior Design Inspiration

An explosion of clashing colour and pattern characterises an idyllic holiday home in Senegal that I came across on the blog, Africa Moto. Located in the popular resort town of Saly, simple outdoor living is the order of the day conveyed in a mix of local, regional and Parisian influences that offer up Afro Chic interior design inspiration. A striking feature of the house is how it is decorated with African print. [Image credits: Senegalese Holiday home – Elle Decoration France/M P Morel]

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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
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  • 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