I am usually not a big fan of the Safari style of interiors that foster a feeling of living elegantly in the bush. I was captivated, however, by the work of Silvio Retch in his interpretations of the Makalali camps on the banks of the Makhutswi River.
He has captured African traditions through the layouts, circular domes, and rough-looking wood work. As illustrated in South Africa, Private Worlds, Retch creates spaces that are warm and inviting. Something to think about for your next cabin in the woods.
Those who collect African art are a passionate group. However, it is not difficult to become overwhelmed with a collection. Often the best way to feature important artifacts is to integrate them seamlessly into the overall theme of the room rather than building mini-museums.
These examples from South African private worlds show how dramatic the approach can be.
Interiors are from the book “South Africa – Private Worlds” by Desmond Colborne, photography by Solvi Dos Santos.
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.
It is always very inspiring to get to see how other designers define their own personal spaces. A combination of the many phases of their days and lives these spaces created by artisans Carrol Boyes and Barbara Jackson are wonderful reflections of how they create things and the effect the surroundings have on their creative process.
What ever your creative bent live it!
For more views of these interiors see “South Africa – Private Worlds” by Desmond Colborne, photography by Solvi Dos Santos.
Moving away from out-of-the-box interior design solutions is always more difficult to say than do. We are naturally driven to the structure we are familiar with, but what we really want are rooms that reflect our own personal styles and memories.
Marianne Fassler, a well known South African fashion designer, bases her eclecticism on various elements which bring an African-inspired touch. Untraditional western decorative components give these a warm and lived-in feeling.
Using fundamental furniture pieces of any style, new or refurbished, combined with the cultural esthetic important to you, make the space reflect who you are and how you want others to see you.
Photos from the book “Maximalist Interiors,” by Encarna Castillo.
Like other design philosophies, African inspired offers a range of interpretations – the idea that we all look at our spaces through different lenses. When I explore the work of London-based David Champion, his interiors evoke an instinctive journey back to the South Africa where he grew up. The classic approach in the use of textures, color and textiles creates this sense of place and history.
Captured so vividly in the book Ethnic Interiors by Dinah Hall, these rooms speak not only to the cultural heritage of the classic artisans but to a sensitivity in creating warm and comforting spaces.