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Contemporary Beach House South African Interior Design

Inspired by nature, a beach house in South Africa is unique and stylish in its simplicity. The exterior of the building was what caught my attention as the finished appearance is quite unusual. Designed to have low impact on its surroundings, the building features cladding and shutters made from the wood of eucalyptus trees that have been bound together and hand twisted with brass wire. The interior is a showcase of contemporary South African interior design inspiration.

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Nyungwe Forest Lodge African Interior Design Inspiration

I have just finished reading a delightful and touching book called ‘Baking Cakes in Kigali‘ by Gaile Parkin and in it the main characters take a drive through the Nyungwe Forest, which they describe as being ‘beautiful’. When reading this part I kept visualising the chic Nyungwe Forest Lodge whose website I had come across a little while back. About four to five hours drive from Rwanda’s capital, Kigali; Nyungwe is a closed canopy rain forest. Designed to blend in with the surroundings the Nyungwe Forest Lodge is located on a tea plantation that sits on the edge of the Forest. In […]

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African Interior Design Suno Kay Osterweis Idyllic Lamu Retreat

Whilst browsing the blog Afritecture I came across this stunning home located off the Kenyan coast, on the beautiful island of Lamu. The home of Suno Kay Osterweis and her son Max, the founder of SUNO NY, is the definition of an idyllic Islamic African interior design retreat; and is the place Suno goes to a few months out of the year for reading, healing and restoration, and connecting with nature. Suno first visited Lamu in 1996 and was instantly captivated by the Island’s laidback living, stylishness and diverse mix of people. Returning often, Suno soon met and became friends with Italian architectural […]

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Contemporary South African Architecture And Interior Design

Happily sitting with the curtains or blinds open long into the night I find lingering by a window gazing at the twinkling lights of the city at night, or snatching glimpses of the world going about its day is one of life’s simple pleasures. And is probably the reason that when it comes to contemporary architectural features; an expanse of glass giving the illusion of having no walls, just floor to ceiling windows in the form of movable glass doors is a dream feature. Opened or closed as you wish, glass walls are a stunning feature that work to seamlessly […]

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Tunisian Fashion Designer Azzedine Alaïa Parisian Loft

[Image credits: Azzedine Alaïa Apartment Interior –  Alexandre & Emilie, Persona Production via Yatzer] I recently came across a feature into the interior decorating style of Tunisian fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa, who converted a 300 square metre loft in a traditional 17th century building into three separate apartments. Located in Rue de Moussy, Marais, one of Paris’ most exclusive districts, Azzedine wanted to create a boutique hotel feel giving guests to his home a taste of his style and appreciation for art and design, as well as a feel for Parisian life from his point of view. The apartments are also located close to […]

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Moroccan Interior Design Peacock Pavilions On Elle Decor

Maryam Montague is probably best known as My Marrakech, the inspirational blog she established documenting her life in Marrakech, Morocco running the boutique hotel Peacock Pavilions that is also her home; and which she designed, built and decorated from scratch with her architect husband Chris Redecke. You can take a peek into the Moroccan interior design and African decor accents in Peacocks Pavilions as the home is featured in the April issue of Elle Decor, which celebrates beautifully, decorated homes from around the world as part of their international issue. [Image credit: Peacock Pavilions Guest Bedroom – Simon Upton/Elle Decor]

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Contemporary South African Architecture And Interior Design Style

I love the element of surprise (as long as it’s a good one of course!!); and the Forest Town Long House located in Johannesburg, South Africa rises to the challenge…resembling a large shipping container, this house doesn’t look like much from the entrance approach; however swivel round to the back and what you get is an impressive expanse of open spaces maximising on light, and views that take in a forest of trees and an extensive garden covered with dense foliage. What drew me to the house was the vast sliding door that acts as a removable wall; completely opening up the living space […]

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African Interior Design Style, Taste and Culture

A blend of African, European and Asian cultural influences underpins the elegant style of interior designer Diane Tevoedjre, whose contemporary African interior design style solutions draw on her upbringing, travels and life experiences. The daughter of a diplomat, Diane is of Malian and Beninese heritage and was born in Ghana, and has lived in the US, Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, the Far East, Central and West Africa, and Switzerland to name a few. Starting her professional career as an art dealer and interior designer over 15 years ago after studying in Geneva, Dallas and Paris, in addition to a period living in Bangkok where she […]

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Christian Louboutin Egyptian Interior Decoration Style

Doing a bit of light reading I was flicking through Camilla Morton’s ‘A Year in High Heels’ when I happened to land on the page about Christian Louboutin on Egypt. The French shoe designer has a home there, in the desert near the city of  Aswân, and inspired by the beauty and tranquility of his surroundings is the place he goes to to draw all his shoe collections, I guess away from all the distractions of modern living and fast paced glamour of the industry he operates in. Recalling his first visit to Egypt at the age of fifteen, Christian tries to go every two months […]

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Fashion Designer Amsale Aberra Monochrome Interior Design

If you spent most of your days working with the various shades of a single colour; in this case white and ivory, you could forgive one for assuming that it would be natural to leap at the chance of introducing a splash of colour into other areas of your life, be it dress or living space. Not a theory to be applied to Amsale Aberra, the Ethiopian designer of exquisite bridal gowns, whose New York loft is a free flowing space defined by a monochrome interior design colour palette that is predominately white; the bridal influence perhaps… [Image source: Amsale Aberra […]

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New York and African Interior Design Style Meet In Italy

While looking around for Africa interior design style inspiration I came across a feature on The New York Times online showcasing a home where New York meets Africa in Italy. Loredana Tarini, born in Zambia to Italian parents and her husband, New York-born architect Adam Gaon opened their doors to reveal a living space where chic New York style loft living provides a canvas for contemporary African art and elegance.

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Koffi & Diabaté Defining Contemporary African Architecture

I don’t know whose houses these are but they are fine examples of contemporary African architecture and design from Koffi & Diabaté; a leading architectural firm based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Koffi & Diabaté Architect Agency is primarily a partnership between founder and manager, Guillaume Koffi and Issa Diabaté who initially started at the firm as an intern, then became an employee before eventually being made partner. The partners work alongside a team of 18, all sharing ideas to bring the concepts to life. Koffi & Diabaté’s portfolio consists of mainly commercial architecture following the ethos of applying modern architectural methods […]

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Ethniciti Modern African Interior Design Inspiration

The days are starting to get a bit longer, with spring just a couple of months away and for me; a time when the urge to have a good clear-out and reorganisation strikes – I have already started to feel the itch! And looking back on the few months since I started African Daydreams I have come across some truly beautiful and inspiring products that I wouldn’t hesitate to use to refresh my home. Our homes and what we put into them say so much about who we are, but it is so easy to get stuck in a rut […]

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Aline Matsika African Inspired Interior Design Elegance

[Image credit: Aline Matsika] With a portfolio that includes beautiful African inspired interior design, Interior designer Aline Matsika is known for her impeccable sense of style and discerning eye for detail that draws on her African heritage, seamlessly blending contemporary and antique French chic with traditional African elegance. The results are gorgeous inviting spaces where diverse cultural accents co-exist in unison.

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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