Press Enter / Return to begin your search.

IFI Congress and African Design and Culture Festival Nigeria

  Lagos, Nigeria’s bustling dynamic capital plays host to the African Culture and Design Festival (ACDF), a four-day cultural extravaganza that is part of a series of activities organised for the International Federation of Interior Designers and Architects (IFI) 28th Biennial Congress. The Congress prepares to welcome over 500 local and international delegates and features architect Sir David Adjaye as a keynote speaker, Kunlé Adeyemi and writer, culture critic, and educator, Carol Becker,

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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.  

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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.  

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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.

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Otago Chandeliers Inspired by Dinka Corsets for Nandos

The intricate corsets worn by the Dinka of South Sudan are the inspiration for a bespoke range of African design lighting for a Nandos restaurant in Harrogate, UK. Worn by men, the bright colour coded Dinka corset indicates age, status and wealth within the community, whilst women wear a colourful beaded shawl type collar that also indicates age, status and wealth, read a previous feature I did on the corsets here. The lighting designs were based on the colour and the drape of the beaded strands, resulting in a collection of strikingly sophisticated yet fun lighting in keeping with Nandos’ quirky […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Ostrich Egg Bowls Stylish African Home Decor Accessories

Ostrich shells have been used in Africa for thousands of years, the fragments shaped into beads and the large hollow shell used as bowls, cups and containers. Thick, yet fragile the shells have featured painted scenes, and have been decorated with intricate carved or punctured patterns. These beautiful sculpted bowls from The Ostrich Company see the natural rough texture of the shell contrasted with the smooth shiny finish of the interior, giving them a modern update as stylish African home decor accessories. The insertion of bases and metal feet for added functionality and the deep rich hues used further enhance their […]

Read More

Otago Sophisticated Design Led African Accessories For The Home

High quality craftsmanship and artisanal skills lie at the heart of Otago, a UK-based luxury brand of African accessories for the home that collaborates mainly with artisans in East and Southern Africa, combining their skills with cutting-edge contemporary design aesthetics to produce their sophisticated design-led home decor craft collections. [Image credit: Kipapu Platters & Shanga Ya Ngozi Bottles – Otago]

Read More

Eva Sonaike Eko Eclipse African Inspired Home Decor

[Image credit: Eko Eclipse Collection – Eva Sonaike] London-based textile and lifestyle brand Eva Sonaike launches Eko Eclipse, their latest African inspired home decor collection of textiles and soft furnishings that are based on vibrant African prints. The brand’s creative director, Eva Sonaike herself drew inspiration from the West African metropolis that is Lagos, which was formerly known as Eko and was imbued with the folklore of the symbiotic relationship between the earth, the moon and the traditional Gods of the universe, who brought rain, wind and thunder to the planet.

Read More

Stylishly Stitched Bowls African Home Decor Accessories

[Image credit: Stitched Bowls – Quazi Design] Quazi Design’s African home decor accessories combines cutting edge craft with design driven aesthetics. The company, based in Swaziland is a social enterprise built on the principles of social, economic, and ecological sustainability, and was started in 2009, by Doron a designer from the UK; and Flotsam, a local Swazi magazine distributor. Quazi Design creates personal and interior African home decor accessories from recycling locally sourced 100% waste magazines, layering or rolling up the pages to give the designs a 3D effect, and once a year showcases their innovative paper fashion.

Read More

Toghal African Textiles Reimagined For Home Decor Accessories

Yesterday I visited Clerkenwell Design Week, and spent a few leisurely hours absorbed in the world of cutting-edge contemporary design and decor. There I met Toghal, a new textile brand inspired by African textiles drawing on the continent’s rich textile heritage. Toghal was started in December 2013 by friends Dayo and Marta. Dayo, who is originally from the Gambia, and Marta, from the Czech Republic, first met whilst both living in Kenya and now both reside in the UK, bringing with them a love for African textile’s and the continent’s traditional design and craft cultures. [Image credit: Table Napkins – Toghal]

Read More

South African Textiles Colourful Cushions Sustainable Design

Bold, colourful geometric patterns are hand embroidered in wool onto recycled maize meal sacks to form a range of modern South African textiles in the form of cushions by Africa!Ignite. The technique was created by Mma Betina Khumalo, who started embroidering the maize meal sacks as a way of passing time. A highly skilled craftswoman, MmaKhumalo learnt craftwork techniques like beading and embroidery from her mother, and now works closely with her own daughter passing the techniques on. [Image credit: Africa!Ignite, Langezela Cushions – Design Indaba]

Read More

Dar Leone Pop-Up African Inspired Textiles And Home Decor

Yesterday evening I headed to Clerkenwell where stylish interiors brand, Dar Leone was hosting an intimate drinks reception to mark the opening of their week long pop-up shop. I have previously featured Dar Leone here. Bringing their signature global traveller style and African inspired textiles to the area, the pop-up opened its doors on Monday 31st March and will run until Sunday 6th April. Plenty of time to pop along to meet Isatu, Dar Leone’s founder and browse the colourful offerings. [Image credits: Dar Leone Pop Up Shop, Clerkenwell – Atelier Fifty-Five]

Read More
  • 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