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South African Interior Decor Clinton Friedman Scatter Cushions

Finally… the time has come to shed bulky coats and heavy cardi’s, as the onset of spring ushers in the warmer weather. Taking the lead from the flowers now starting to peek out of the thawing ground, why not celebrate the start of spring by injecting some floral South African interior decor inspiration throughout your living space. I’m inspired to bring the outside in with these gorgeous scatter cushions by Durban-based photographer, Clinton Friedman, who has taken to reproducing his stunning graphic imagery onto fabric. [Image credit: Subtraction Collection – Clinton Friedman]

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North African Home Decor Punched Metal Lighting

Flick a switch and watch as light spills through countless tiny holes, each painstakingly punched by hand using a hammer and a punch. This is a method of traditional punctured metal work that has been used in North Africa for thousands of years, and one that makes up the beautiful North African home decor lighting products from Dido Designs. [Image credit: Drum Lampshade – Dido Designs]

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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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South African Decor Mud Studio Earthy Chandeliers

[Image credit: Mud Studio via Bellissimo] I was intrigued by the elements and construction of these rather unique South African decor chandeliers from Mud Studio, based in the Orange Free State. Literally born out of the earth, these majestic chandeliers exuding rustic charm are made up of over 6000 handmade clay beads, drawn from the surrounding South African soil and handcrafted in partnership with artisans from the local communities. Drawing inspiration from the landscape and nature the ceramic beads are wire-wrapped, strung and styled around handmade wire frames.

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Gahaya Links African Baskets Celebrating Peace In Rwanda

[Image credits: top, Fairwinds Trading; bottom, Gahaya Links] Following on from my previous posting about the Zimbabwean Basket Weavers, I have become increasingly fascinated by the defining characteristics and regional differences in the patterns, forms and traditional uses of African baskets and thought it would be nice to dedicate a separate posting for each of the various country styles I come across.

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Wax Cloth African Print Dinnerware

Bring some colour to your place settings with African style homeware in the form of wax cloth African print inspired dinnerware offerings. Firstly from American-based French Bull, whose kitchen and lifestyle products are wonderfully bright and funky. With products sold globally, the Isis range of dinnerware and platters caught my eye whilst browsing their website. Described as being inspired by Africa, the Isis range has an air of vibrant wax cloth African print fabric design about it. Made from melamine making the products durable and resistant to high heat, these plates are perfect for adults and children alike making them ideal for picnics.

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Basket Case a showcase of Contemporary Zimbabwean Basketry

 [Image credit: BBC] I came across a photo-editorial on BBC about an exhibition of contemporary Zimbabwean basketry called ‘The Basket Case’, currently being held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare. The National Gallery is beautiful space and a place I know well having spent many a time there perusing the latest exhibits and completing assignments. I am glad to see that it is still putting on inspiring exhibits.  ‘The Basket Case’ exhibition is all about connecting the past and the present, traditional with contemporary and is based on a project by interior accessories designer, Heath Nash and the traditional basket weavers based […]

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  • This popular Africanisim beautifully illustrates the pioneering spirit of togethernes. It highlights how working and collaborating with others can propel you to new heights. Building a business rarely happens in isolation. Atelier Fifty Five seeks to to shine the light on African brands, and this includes extending a hand by sharing our knowledge and expertise to help African brands become the best they can be. So let us go together. Sign up to the Atelier Fifty Five Academy mailing list and join a community of ambitious creative business owners dedicated to creating brands that make their audiences sit up and take notice.⁣
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.  #quotes #inspirationalquotes #motivationalquotes #africanproverb #brandstrategy #creativeentrepreneur  #entrepreneur #mycreativebiz  #brandbuilding #africanstartup #africanbusiness #makeithappen
  • Preserving traditional skills the Kayla cushion by Frida 54 highlights the art of Tritik, a process of knotting and sewing that results in a variety of symmetric patterns. Handwoven with 100% cotton from the cotton mills of northern Cameroon the textiles are dyed with handmade dyes using ancestral techniques. [📷 credit: @frida_54 ]
  • Values . Respecting the design [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • Infuse your interior style with the colourful elegance of African beaded necklaces courtesy of The African Woven Necklace light shade by @moderngesture. The design features graduating circular hoops each hand wrapped with colourful woven thread bands. Handcrafted in Cape Town, South Africa by designer Candice Lawrence, the lighting is available in the  Atelier Fifty Five shop. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • 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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