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African Style Homewares Anthropologie Habari Collection

Anthropologie’s latest season Dining and Entertaining collections see African Style Homewares courtesy of the Habari Collection. A range of bright hand painted dinnerware, serveware and printed table linens that appear to have been inspired by African print fabrics and East African Kanga’s.

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AphroChic African Design Inspired Juju Wallpaper Collection

US-based textile company, AphroChic’s new African design inspired wallpaper collection entitled ‘Juju’. Named for the feathered ceremonial headdress traditionally worn by the royal dancers of Cameroon’s Bamileke Tribe, Juju features a striking organic starburst pattern, reminiscent of the shape of the headdress, which is known as the Juju hat, hence the title of the collection.  

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Tucker Robbins Contemporary African Inspired Furniture

Recognisable by the slightly raised pillow at one end, and supported by chunky tapered feet, elegant simplicity defines the iconic hardwood beds of the Senufo, of Côte d’Ivoire. Traditionally used for resting throughout the day, the beds are carved from a single plank giving them a solid and sturdy appearance. Inspired by the traditional African furniture design New York based Tucker Robbins have produced a more contemporary African inspired furniture design version of the bed, which features a recess to insert a mattress and comes in a single size that is ideal as a daybed, and a double. Taking care to retain the […]

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Modern African Interior Design Inspiration And Craft

Flipping through the latest issue of House & Garden UK (February 2013) I came across a design editorial showcasing modern African design and craft. Co-ordinated by decoration editor, Gaby Deeming, bold bright colours, graphic prints, textures and handicrafts are combined for a modern take on African interior design inspiration. Products used to pull the looks together include leading contemporary African designers and producers; beaded cushions from Soboye; Eva Sonaike’s distinctive, signature fabrics in the form of pouffes, cushions, notebooks, upholstered armchairs, as well as lining walls; woven telephone wire bowls in contrasting graphic swirling patterns from Zenzulu; striped black and white beaded animals from Monkeybiz; and an African print umbrella […]

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Modern African Safari Chic Style Camping Stools

For those who prefer ‘glamping’ to camping, these beautifully crafted camp stools, from US-based home decor wholesaler Global Views, are just the thing to bring a touch of colourful contemporary glamour to modern African Safari Chic style. [Image credits: Camp Stools – Global Views]

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African Home Decor Inspiration Chic Moroccan Glassware

I have always thought that a sumptuously decorated Bedouin tent in the middle of the desert is so wonderfully mystical and incredibly romantic. Although the complete look may be too much to bring into the home, a few well-chosen items can help capture the spirit of the look, whether it is for a few hours of entertaining or permanently placed. Enter Emerald Fish, a gem of a boutique with inspiring decor that I discovered this morning on Aphro Chic (one of my favourite reads) whose selected African home decor inspiration items from Morocco will add a touch of colourful elegance to your living space. […]

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African Inspired Home Decor SisterBatik African Print Cushions

Loving these gorgeously colourful cushions and pillows from SisterBatik, that I saw via The South is Blooming blog. Working on a philosophy to create items that will happily become part of someone’s space or home, SisterBatik’s African inpsired home decor pillows and cushions will definitely add some cheer. [Image credit: SisterBatik – Etsy]

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Gudrun Sjödén Fashion LookBook Inspired By Africa

While leisurely flipping through the ‘Mail on Sunday’s’ (3rd April 2011) ‘You magazine’ supplement I saw a rather dreamy photoshoot inspired by Africa, advertising the latest ‘Early Summer 2011’ collections from Swedish clothing label Gudrun Sjödén. The backdrop of the editorial drew me before I’d even taken notice of the clothes; I guess such is the power of a comfortingly familiar savannah landscape of over me. Beautifully shot on location in various parts of Botswana, ‘Early Summer’ comprises four core looks that are laidback and easy to wear. Founding the company in 1976 designer, Gudrun Sjödén’s states that nature is her power […]

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Missoni Global Chic African Inspired Fashion Style

Luxurious crochet knits are the signature of family-owned Italian fashion house Missoni. Founded in 1953 the label’s distinctive prints make use of zig-zags, waves, blocks of colour and geometric shapes, and are seen across clothing like eveningwear, swimwear, and accessories.  [Image credits: Pre-collection spring 2011 – Missoni]

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Bettye Muller African Print Shoes on Anthropologie

[Image credit: Bettye Muller] Just stopped by Anthropolgie online and came across African print shoes, covered platform espadrilles. Called ‘Reaching For Light’ the strappy shoes were designed by New York native Bettye Muller. Whilst the espadrilles are definitely African inspired, the silk print on the clogs, although not explicitly attributed to African print, still reminded me of wax cloth print. It is not the first time Bettye Muller has created African print shoes, followers of African fashion may be familiar with the wooden heeled wedges below from a previous collection a few years back. [Image credit: Bettye Muller] …and these equally gorgeous platform clogs with a […]

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malene b Globally Inspired Home Textiles And Accessories

I have a love/hate relationship with carpets; love carpets but am such a stickler when it comes to shoes on carpets and cannot bear the thought of people coming in from outside and trampling dirt all over them… I hear you laugh but I get completely stressed out… is that irrational or what??? My previous home had vanilla ice cream coloured carpets and no one; and I mean no one wore shoes on them! So I can only imagine how high my stress levels would shoot up to if I owned one of malene b’s exquisite globally inspired home textiles and carpets… […]

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Zara Home African Inspired Home Decor And Textiles

I adore the Zara Home Store, it is a veritable treasure trove of beautiful things and passing by the window display in Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, this past Sunday I was greeted with a showcase of classic African inspired home decor and textiles – think safari style in various shades of brown, sand, ebony and ivory. Whilst I tend to prefer a more vibrant look incorporating brightly coloured accents, there were some elements that appealed, however on entering the store to have a closer look I was then greeted with distinct sections of fuchsia, peacock blue and purple – much […]

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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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African Design Inspired Liberia Tea Collection By SoHe Designs

Growing up my mum had a brown and white china tea and dinner set, depicting traditional English scenes rendered in the French toile style. It was a set that had pride of place in the display cabinet and came with the implict understanding we were not allowed to touch. My siblings and I would peer at it through the glass, fascinated at the detail and delicateness of it, making up stories about the images portrayed. The thing that strikes me most about that set was how it was reserved for special occasions only, and even then it hardly ever came […]

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Innovative Modern Basket Furniture

[Image source: Elle Decoration – South Africa] Take a giant, oversized woven basket and tip it on its side, add some sturdy wooden legs and voilà you have a piece of modern basket furniture in the form of a chair, the Jeddah Seat to be precise. I appreciate its not that simple but the resulting effect is an ingenious approach to the humble, yet stylish woven basket giving it a contemporary look in the process. Woven from rush, the Jeddah chair by Italian designer Angelo Figus is a beautiful example of handwoven craftsmanship and attention to detail.

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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