We are sometimes intimated by the artful use of artifacts in our design ideas. I think mainly because we regard them as museum pieces and not in the way they were created: to be used.
These images from “Global Style” by Leslie Dilcock offer stunning examples of how the designers have seamlessly incorporated artistic, yet functional pieces into the scheme of their room designs.
I am of the opinion that color and texture are the foundation of any well designed space, setting the pace and acting as a reference point for choices as home interior projects evolve.
Traditional African textiles have always provided me with this checkpoint. A new awareness and access to artisans and suppliers open up many opportunities to be unique. I discovered, through a reference from Fatimata Ly, a company that is producing a wonderful line of textiles and furnishings.
Tensira, founded by a designer who is a native of Finland, recalls her first journey to Africa and how she was captured by the beauty of African textiles. They are fabrics of well-being, totally ecological and filled with history.
Unlike the structured styles to which we all are accustomed – Contemporary, Classic, Casual – there is an underlying aspect we seek, creating personal spaces.
Moving away from photo shoot rooms, an eclectic approach to room styling helps realize our desire for self-expression. While sometimes difficult to pull off, eclecticism offers another opportunity to personalize a space with detail.
These rooms provide a glimpse of an African-inspired approach with dramatic results – interiors from the book “South Africa – Private Worlds” by Desmond Colborne, photography by Solvi Dos Santos.
The M’Afrique exhibition held during Milan design week dismisses the notion that African inspired design is founded on the philosophy of skins, sticks, and beige.
These masters are creating furniture that will fit comfortably and dramatically into any contemporary space.
With the explosion of African-inspired fashion emanating from the UK, the shelter magazines are responding with quality focus on African inspired interiors.
“Living etc.” is one of many, and hopefully more to come.
In September 2005 Macy’s introduced the first Path to Peace baskets. The partnership with Rwandan artisans established a global market for these unique works of art. The initial modest collection of baskets only available online at Macy’s.com and the Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square has expanded to other Macy’s location as well as a presence on
www. fairwindstrading .com.
While keeping a focus on the individual artisans, the expansion to textiles and most importantly products for every day use helps move the merchandise perceptions from crafts and collectibles to home fashion, opening up enormous expansion opportunities.
One of the ways to add distinction and authenticity to any room design is to focus on those elements that communicate enduring connection to the culture and are at the same time very hip.
The accent tables provided by Snob add just the right touch to almost any room.
The Venda women of Southern Africa who are related to the culture that built the Great Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe are famous for their take on the hats and cloaks they wear and the ancient beads worn around their necks that represent their ancestors. We used this as inspiration to design a table setting that helped us visually tell this story.
“I don’t have any interest in design if it is only to remake that which already exists”. One look at his work and you can understand what inspires Ceick Diallo.
The colors, shapes, and textures of his furniture echo cultural essences that make a powerful connection to contemporary African-inspired home fashion. As a member of Design Africa/ca he joins a list of African designers who are forging a new and exciting interpretation of the culture.
Few in the West know that the West African country of Mali is home to more fiber artists and designers than most other countries in the world.
Examples of Mali’s extraordinary legacy of textile arts and complex graphic statements were recently presented at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco. The exhibit gave long overdue recognition to contemporary Malian fabric artisans as a major form of the aesthetic of Mali.
The exhibition also featured other forms of traditional art and craft including wooden puppets and life-sized masked and costumed marionettes. The energy exhibited by these contemporary artisans sheds a new light on a whole world of application to home fashion, available to those who are bold and seek the unique.